Feng Zhu Design (FZD) began as a studio back in 2001 and quickly grew into a premium Image Property (IP) creator for the feature film and videogames industry. This was due to a high demand for conceptual design in the entertainment arena, which continues to expand. “For the past 12 years, we’ve worked on a large variety of high-profile projects,” reveals founder Feng Zhu. “These days, we’re based in Singapore and focus more on in-house IP production rather than being an external service studio. Later this year, I will be launching a new venture called FZD Media to support this service.”
The decision for FZD to work only with IP came relatively naturally. Zhu describes the industry back in 2001 as “the wild west”, especially in the videogame sector. New studios were popping up all over the place and they all wanted to make new IPs. “Even studio giants such as Electronic Arts (EA) were also redirecting their core focus onto original IPs, for games such as Dead Space and Battlefield,” explains Zhu. “This need for new ones kept our studio busy for years,” he adds.
It wasn’t long until the studio successfully expanded into other industry sectors. These included film, video, television and toys. Zhu focused his efforts on providing three factors – speed, quality and industry experience – to promote the studio to clients operating in these separate fields. He explains: “When these criteria are met, word of mouth travels fast within our industry. We expanded into these other areas of design.”
Maintaining success then became FZD’s main obstacle, which Zhu tackled by “under-promising and over-delivering,” This simple phrase can do wonders in a studio environment, as he explains: “We never over-promise to clients in order to seal a deal. Instead, we just focus on delivering cool designs and try to always over-achieve what was originally asked for. This can put a lot of pressure on myself and my team at first, but the result is often a long-term contract and a huge network of clients.” He also warns never to miss a deadline or lie to cover a missed deadline, as this will only cause more problems in the long run.