About this proud Torontonian.

During my years working in the non-profit and higher education industries, I learned that I love doing something that most people find a little boring: writing, editing, designing, and formatting documents—especially reports!

I started my company Sea & Mulberry in 2015 to show the world that information-rich documents can be amazing expressions of an organization's heart and soul. Through Sea & Mulberry I'm channeling my love for typography, visual language, and the written word.

I've won Hermes Creative Awards for my annual reports (Gold: 2013, 2014) as well as the Alan Blizzard Award in 2014 for collaboration in higher ed.

I earned undergraduate degrees in Commerce (B.Com) and Philosophy (B.A.) from Queen’s University. Inspired to perfect my craft, I earned a masters degree in Professional Communication (MPC) from Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.

Ugliness drives me nuts. Oxford commas make me happy.

Brian Tran

Everyone works differently. My approach revolves around two Japanese principles:

渋み — shibumi
Minimalism is important to me. Shibumi signifies refinement without pretension. My philosophy to both writing and design is to strive for simplicity. Always honour the content and the audience by avoiding excess. Understated elegance often leads to the best results.

心 — kokoro
Memorable communication connects facts with feelings. Kokoro, or “heart,” for me, is about finding the emotional core in each project. Even in highly technical publications, the numbers and figures are themselves rarely the point. They signify impact and this is what must be articulated effectively.

By lamplight turn these scented leaves and read a tale of love recorded in old books.
— The Tale of Kieu, Nguyen Du (Trans. Huynh Sanh Thong)

People ask me all the time where my company name "Sea & Mulberry" comes from. It's the English translation of the Vietnamese expression, be dau, which denotes periods of transformation and upheaval, and connotes the ebb and flow of life. It appears in the opening lines of Vietnam’s national epic, The Tale of Kieu.

When I came across these beautiful words one summer evening, I just knew.