A true mark of our dedication for results and excellence.

November 24th, 2017

Winner – Top 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs 2017

On 24th November 2017, Zachary Haris Ong was awarded the Top 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs 2017.

The 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs (The 100 MIYE) acknowledges bold, creative and innovative young Malaysian entrepreneurs who set the standards of Malaysia’s enterprising spirit. These outstanding personalities are pioneers of their industry who run incredible ventures, proving that there’s no substitute for hard work, tenacity and some ingenuity to get to where they are today.

The award exhibits the level of team work, dedication and passion from the team at Zachary Haris Ong & Associates.

October 31st, 2017

Zachary Haris Ong appointed ico-D President

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 25): The International Council of Design (ico-D) marked an important milestone with the appointment of Zachary Haris Ong as its incoming President for the 2017– 2019 term. Zachary – who was formerly President of the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia (wREGA) – is the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) candidate to be elevated to the Council’s highest post in the body’s five decade history.

“I am grateful to members of ico-D for allowing me the opportunity to lead the organisation in the next term,” said Zachary, who is the Principal of his own design consultancy, Zachary Haris Ong & Associates (ZHOA). “Being from a developing country provides me with a unique outlook which I look forward to bring to the next Board – a favour of optimism and a commitment to strengthening developments,” he said, adding that the past two years on the Board under the leadership of outgoing President David Grossman permitted him to learn and familiarise himself with the organisation, which he would then be able to lead with confidence.

“This elevation is for me a great honour, both personally and as a Malaysian,” Zachary continued. “ASEAN has a population 622 million people, or roughly 8.8% of the world’s population. Its combined nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to be US$2.57 trillion (RM10.87 trillion), and the ASEAN+3 bloc (which includes China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) makes up 24.8% of world trade, totalling US$9.44 trillion (RM39.93 trillion). To be chosen as a representative for such a prodigious regional body is a tremendous responsibility, and it is a task that I know can be tackled effectively, thanks to the passion and vigour of the Council’s Board and Members.” ico-D is a world organisation for design professionals that was founded in London in 1963.

Formerly known as the International Council of Communication Design (Icograda, itself formerly an initialism for the International Council of Graphic Design Associations), the body is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation and member-based network of independent organisations and stakeholders working within the multidisciplinary scope of the world’s design industry. Covering five international regions (Asia, ASEAN, Europe, Latin America, and North America), its members include professional design organisations, design-promotion bodies, design media, design education institutions and individuals with a vested interest in professional design.

Rising above the turbulence Zachary said that the world economic situation of the past few years have been challenging for the Council. “The historical transition that ico-D has successfully weathered through in the 2013-2015 period under the leadership of Former President Iva Babaja, the Board and Secretariat is a grand reminder the importance of successful continuation of long-term efforts set by previous Boards, and in pursuing forward our objectives with great care and a tenacious focus on delivering results,” he said, adding that the subsequent efforts spearheaded by Grossman in grounding and aligning ico-D ‘s efforts in embracing its new multidisciplinary stance during the 2015-2017 period was worthy of praise.

Amongst the efforts undertaken by ico-D during that period were: dealing with challenges arising from globalisation; actively expanding its activities in China with universities, in conferences and in discussions with government; re-initiated its Regional Meeting formats; working with many related international organisations to draft the first World Design Declaration, which also resulted in the establishment of working relationships with entities including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); and the expansion in membership to the organisation, alongside several significant spinoff projects.

Future plans

Zachary revealed that his plans for the Council would be in keeping with the ongoing efforts resulting from the achievements of ico-D’s previous leaders. “For the upcoming term, I would like to propose several objectives to the General Assembly, as a direct continuation from the last two Boards since the transition.”

“Firstly, ico-D should amplify efforts that continuously generate value to our Members. Next would be the expansion of the Council’s resources, which can be achieved through Partnerships and Sponsorships. Thirdly, there should be an expansion of ico-D ‘s role as a voice for the international design community across disciplines.

Last but not least, the Council must strengthen Membership expansion in every part of the world.” Zachary said that pursuing these objectives would result in strong positives for the Council. “The primary result we shall be after are generating a healthy resource for current and future projects, and amplifying our communications to Members and the public on the important role of design in the 21st century. The communications thrust will result in adoption of our efforts and encourage more collaborations with ico-D,” he said, adding that this in turn would strengthen ico-D’s role as a design ambassador that speaks for and on behalf of designers worldwide.

ico-D is set to hold several important meetings in 2018, consisting of a Regional Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in February, as well as a Platform Meeting and its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Beijing in October.



March 21st, 2016

WINNER – Malaysia Website Awards 2015, Malaysia Tourism Award 2016 (

(photo: Zachary Haris Ong with representative, Syed Ismail and art director Arez Ezman.)

In January 2016, Zachary Haris Ong Associates’ work won the first ever Malaysia Web Awards 2015 in the highest rated website for design and development for the month of September 2015. The Malaysia Web Awards is a prestigious Website Awards program seeking to recognize and reward outstanding performance, talent and effort of the best web developers, web designers and web agencies in the country.

In February 2016, won another award for Best Online Promotion in the prestigious Malaysia Tourism Awards 2016. The Malaysia Tourism Awards is the highest form of recognition by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Tourism Malaysia for industry players whose outstanding contributions have played a significant role in the success of Malaysia’s tourism industry

Zachary Haris Ong with Award Committee Member Mr. Zuraimi and representative, Syed Ismail.

December 31st, 2015

Workgroup 2015, International Council of Design

Certification and Professional Development Workgroup
Lead: Adrian Jean (Canada)

Having the skills and experience of a designer’s work recognised and codified, much as other professions do, represents a major challenge to countries that are yet to put such certification systems in place. Thus the role of this WG has, in large part, been the transference and sharing of knowledge from established schemes to those countries seeking to establish their own frameworks, along with what steps must be followed in order to do so. Therefore an analysis is taking place that fleshes out the components of the various systems already in place, which will essentially serve up a menu of options on how to approach certifying the design profession. Moreover, a roadmap is being developed whereby the first steps that need to be established are identified (such as a code of ethics for example) before a true certification process can be built. This research will be viewable through a template that displays the attributes of each scheme, with the aim of providing optional pathways that can be followed, be it through seeking official government recognition of the profession, through self-governing professional association initiatives, or through other efforts to establish and enhance recognition of the design profession with other entities.

National Design Policy Workgroup

Lead: Rebecca Blake (USA)

Research has been undertaken to ascertain which countries officially adopt stand-alone national design policies and which nations have design policies as elements of broader growth, trade or economic strategy. The first step is to take a snap-shot of the current international landscape. Then, a more in depth analysis will take place into the specific elements of each countries design initiatives, identifying commonalities and highlighting individual countries particularisms. A first effort will be viewable through a matrix of countries design policies, which will serve as a discussion document in Gwangju. Experts in design policy formulation as well as major contributors to individual states’ policies, have been contacted by the Secretariat and indicated a willingness to offer expert opinion and even contribute as guest contributors to our online meetings.

Communicating the Value of Design Workgroup
Lead: Tyra von Zweigbergk (Sweden)

This truly broad topic has engendered a lively online discussion and the varied nature of the many audiences that design needs to be better communicated to, has been identified throughout the discussion. It was agreed that one thing lacking in getting the message across to these disparate audiences is evidence—be it through the measuring of design’s value using metrics, or accumulating case studies to highlight instances where design has fundamentally affected the outcome of a particular project. It is important to note that such efforts must be directed to design practitioners as well as users.The scheduled meetings in Gwangju will be a starting point for focusing on the development of the Platforms and communication and educational tools and materials. The Platforms will be crucial in clarifying the ico-D Agenda gearing up for the World Design Summit in Montréal in 2017.

November 30th, 2015

President-Elect 2015-2017, International Council of Design

( Photo: The newly minted Executive Board of International Council of Design 2015 – 2017. From left to right: Wang Ziyuan (China), Heidrun Mumper-drumm (USA), Antoine Abi Aad (Lebanon), Peter Florentzos (Australia), David Grossman (Israel), Tyra von Zweigbergk (Sweden), Zachary Haris Ong (Malaysia), Iva Babaja (Croatia), Cihangir Istek (Turkey), Rebecca Wright (UK) (not in picture). Photo by Idzwan Junaidi )



GWANGJU, Oct 23: Malaysia’s graphic design practitioner Zachary Haris Ong, was unanimously voted today as President-elect of the International Council of Design (ico-D) during the 26th ico-D General Assembly in this South Korean city.

Zachary who is the president of the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia (wREGA) will succeed David Grossman of Israel when his current term ends in 2017. He is not only the first Malaysian, but also ASEAN’s first ico-D President-elect. Zachary’s selection as President-elect marks the recognition of Malaysian talents by the international design community.

The International Council of Design (ico-D) is a member-based world body comprised of design professionals, design academicians and design experts from around the world. They are active vindicators of design excellence as a medium of change for social, cultural and economic movement.

Malaysian delegates to the assembly consist of Gan Aaron (Honorary Secretary), Arez Ezman (Committee Member), and Vishal J.Singh (Associate Member) from wREGA.

As president of wREGA, Zachary has proven his position as an active beacon in the design industry on a national scale through series of actions; most notably the call for a new Merdeka logo in 2012, spearheaded the Rediscovery: Icograda Design Week in Sarawak and implemented the Code of Professional Conduct for graphic design practitioners.

ico-D President Elect candidate, Zachary Haris Ong delivering his proposition to the delegates at the 26th General Assembly in Gwangju, South Korea. Photo by Idzwan Junaidi

( Photo: wREGA Malaysia delegates with ico-D’s newly appointed President Elect, Zachary Haris Ong. From left to right: Arez Ezman (wREGA Committee), Gan Aaron (wREGA Honorary Secretary), Zachary Haris Ong (wREGA President), Zarul Nazli Zulkhurnain, Vishal J. Singh (wREGA Associate Member). Photo by Idzwan Junaidi )

“I am honoured to be elected as President-elect and to represent Malaysia on a global stage. With my appointment, I am committed to spark the next real evolution of design, that is to enable world governments to participate and profit from the power of design to further bettering quality of life for all.”

With his position in ico-D, Zachary is committed to lead and co-develop a robust and sophisticated resource on communicating the value of design, national design policy, accreditation and certification in enabling design economies for the world.wREGA will participate in this year’s Malaysian Design Festival (MaDe 2015) in December as one of the 6 design-related associations where Zachary will be present as a panel member.

Meanwhile, David, President of ico-D said “We’re very pleased that Zachary is going to join us on board and serve as President Elect. We know that he has a proven record in his home country for promoting and developing awareness of design and he’s already been active in our activities. I’m sure he’s going to make a very important contribution to our work internationally and we also hope to be an opportunity to get to be more involved in the Malaysian design industry and maybe with some good fortune we might be making a visit and learn more about Malaysia”.

Written by the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia, wREGA

For the official announcement by International Council of Design, click HERE.

September 5th, 2014

Launch of the first Malaysia Design Festival (MaDE)

( Photo:Official launch of the inaugural Malaysia Design Festival 2014 on 27 September 2014 officiated by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Haji Zainuddin, Chairman of Malaysia Design Council (MRM) with Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Present for the launch were all participating design associations President Sufian Yahuza, Persatuan Pereka Perindustrian Malaysia (Pereka), President Zachary Haris Ong, Pertubuhan Wakaf Reka Grafik Malaysia (wREGA), Deputy President Ar. Mohd Zulhemlee An, Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM), President Assoc. Prof. LAr. Dr. Osman Mohd Tahir, Insititute of Landscape Architects (ILAM), and President Ar. Chris Yap Seng Chye, Malaysian Institute of Interior Design (MIID). Photo by Arez Ezman )

Zachary Haris Ong pioneered the coalition of design associations in Malaysia since 2011 which includes architecture, interior architecture, landscape architects, graphic design, industrial design and fashion design. Inspired by the current global state of design evolving to a multi-disciplinary approach, he requested participation from each association and led the first meeting at wREGA’s secretariat office.

The Malaysia Design Council accepted full authority of the coalition which became official in March 2012 presided by the Chairman Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Hj. Zainuddin.

On September 2014, the Malaysia Design Council and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, organised the first Malaysia Design Festival with the participation of design associations that focused on showcasing local design talents.

September 3rd, 2013

Launch of wREGA Code of Professional Conduct (CoPC)

(Photo: wREGA President Zachary Haris Ong leads Malaysian designers in swearing in of their Code of Professional Conduct, 3 September 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo by Idzwan Junaidi)

In September 2013, wREGA launched the Code of Professional Conduct officiated by the Chairman of Malaysia Design Council, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Hj. Zainuddin and David Berman (R.G.D., CGD, FGDC). The event is endorsed by the world body International Council of Design, ico-D.

Read Zachary’s interview with David Berman (R.G.D., CGD, FGDC) here.

December 31st, 2012

WINNER – Top 40 Under 40, Prestige Magazine

( Photo: Zachary Haris Ong receiving the award with other movers and shakers of various industries. Photo by Zarul Nazli Zulkhurnain )

In 2012 Zachary Haris Ong is awarded the Young Achiever Award for Prestige Magazine’s Top 40 Movers and Shakers of Malaysia Under 40 for his work in transforming the design industry of Malaysia.

Prestige’s Top 40 Under 40 unveils the country’s young breed of movers and shakers. For these 40 individuals, age is just a number that brings no hindrance to achieving great success. Every year, Prestige searches for 40 young men and women who are leaders in their fields and have proven that all it takes to scale new heights is a bold and brave approach to life and its challenges.

October 17th, 2012

‘The State of Design in Malaysia’ Dossier, Graphic Design Association of Malaysia (wREGA)

The by-invitation roundtable discussion was chaired by Prof. Helmut Lueckenhausen and attended by board members of the International Council of Design (ico-D), Indigo Ambassadors, business and design educators, design associations and the executive committee members of wREGA. It is a discourse on issues preventing Design from being a key contributor to a nation’s overall growth, and what could be the solutions to these problems – skewed towards the context of the Malaysian landscape. The intention of this discourse is to gain insight from ico-D in empowering the Malaysian design industry with the professional teamwork from wREGA to create a dossier to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on the importance of Design for the country.

Photographed by:
Zarul Nazli Zulkhurnain, Harith Riza Rasid

Designed by:
Zarul Nazli Zulkhurnain

Zachary Haris Ong (M.wREGA), Ng Foong Wai (A.wREGA)

Dr. Debbie Gan (M.wREGA), Irina Muis (M.wREGA)

Download the document here.

October 15th, 2012

Leading Icograda Design Week 2012 Sarawak

( Photo: wREGA President Zachary Haris Ong, ICOGRADA Former President Russell Kennedy and honorable keynote presenters and speakers of the Design Week. Photo by Zarul Nazli Zulkhurnain )

From 15-21 October 2012, ICOGRADA and the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia (wREGA), hosted Rediscovery 2012.

Icograda Design Week in Sarawak 2012 provided a platform to share, collaborate and be inspired among local and international designers in an atmosphere steeped in Sarawak’s indigenous cultures and traditions. The venue, the Kuching Old Courthouse, a 165 year-old heritage building, is located in the city of Kuching, Sarawak. As the largest state in Malaysia, Sarawak holds a rich history and sees significant cultural convergence. For all that is modern, technologically advanced and as developed as any regular metropolis, Kuching – the capital city of Sarawak – is equally rich in the arts and boasts artists of international caliber.


The theme for the 2012 ICOGRADA Design Week in Sarawak is ‘Rediscovery’. Rediscovery is a celebration of indigenous design and will highlight the relevance of local culture in a globalised world. It invited participants to survey creative practices of local indigenous people and provide a context to re-think the future of design in relationship to cultural assets. It will also aim to demystify the magic of Borneo for local and international designers.


Through Rediscovery’s diverse programming, we shared case studies that reflect the integration of design strategies into the development of sustainable practices and social innovation in the craft industries. We showcased the many ways in which design and visual communication can help the growth of creative and sustainable tourism, and also explore the notion of cultural diversity within indigenous design.

ABOUT ICO-D (formerly known as ICOGRADA)

Leading Creatively

ico-D is a non-profit, non-partisan, member-based network that leads creatively by facilitating dialogue between design platforms including professional, educational and promotional categories.

Our vision, mission and core values are manifested through ico-D initiatives carried out in collaboration with our Members, who makeup an expert, multidisciplinary network of organizations, designers and stakeholders.

Members of ico-D have current perspective on contemporary contexts, and an eye for collaboration across disciplines and with diverse global and local communities. As an interface between the community of professional designers and the wider public, ico-D promotes design excellence, and upholds the importance of design as a key medium for social change.

August 31st, 2012

Restoring Malaysia’s Independence Day Anniversary Celebration Logo 2012/2013

In his capacity as President of the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia, wREGA, Zachary Haris Ong demanded the government to withdraw the very unpopular independence day logo released for the year 2012. Upon meeting with the relevant ministry, the government was made aware the power and gravity of communication design for the country and agreed to withdraw the logo. Subsequently, he assisted the government to ensure that the process abides by local and international codes for design competitions. With the assistance from wREGA Past President William Harald-Wong, the final winning entry was chosen through a comprehensive logo competition in 2013 that adhered all codes and proper practices.

September 25th, 2011

NOMINEE – 7 Bintang Lifetime Achievement Award

Seven Bintang Awards is Malaysia’s Independent Creative Excellence Awards initiated to recognize, reward and acknowledge young Malaysian Creative Individuals. It is the first ever award that was designed to be independent, at liberty to be adopted by associations, companies or organizations with the objective of providing recognition towards deserving creative works and ideas.

Seven Bintang Awards is a unique independent creative award, with the long-term objective to categorize and document today’s achievements for future generations for referral of who’s who in the Malaysian creative industry and are selected based on a stringent process of evaluation by a panel of distinguished jurors.

In addition, it is a platform to offer appreciation to talented creative individuals and collectives in pursuing their dream of putting Malaysia on the world’s creative map.