Instant noodles are a key ingredient in the decade-long story of communication design studio Anonymous. It kept founders Felix Ng and Germaine Chong alive for a week while they waited for clients to pay their bills. But even before that low point in their early design days, instant noodles imparted a key lesson in design for the fledgling Singapore studio.
On their first-ever trip to Tokyo, Ng and Chong were astonished by the packaging design for some dry instant noodles they saw at a convenience store. Typically these bowls have just one opening for pouring hot water both in and out to cook the noodles, requiring an awkward balance to keep the noodles in. But the Japanese package had a separate perforated opening just for draining out the water.
It seems simple enough, but this was a revelation for Ng. “Very often, what we create as designers is invisible. It’s there. It helps make my life easier, but you don’t even realize it’s there,” he said in a Skype interview. “I want to do work that, in a way, is slightly invisible but has a point to it.” (Inspiration for their studio name, perhaps?)