DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
XAZ : The Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is made of the inspiration of the Chinese traditional paper cutting. The inspiration for this design came from the love of my family. I am Chinese, when I was little my father taught me to do the paper-cutting. It is a traditional thing which Chinese people do to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The red Chinese paper-cutting is a symbol of joy and happiness.
Being a Chinese designer based in New York, I am so attracted to the exquisite elegance of traditional Chinese paper cuttings. I am proud of my own culture and enjoyed every process of this project.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
XAZ : The project includes a set of Typeface design and a book of each letter with each exquisite Chinese traditional element pattern. All patterns were hand made and translated into digital illustration. Each kind of element with the delicate Chinese style of impressionistic is added into 26 English letters. Decorated with Chinese elements, the letters show exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implications of China.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
XAZ : The Chinese paper cutting Typeface Design was selected and published in the book series, Oriental Motifs in Modern Design by SendPoints Publishing Co., Ltd.
I will continue exploring the Chinese paper-cutting and the traditional Chinese elements as I am very interested in my culture. I think the Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is a start point and there will be lots of potential for more related visual design such as branding design, advertise design and poster, etc.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
XAZ : The idea of the project began to conceive in early 2017, with all the traveling and researching back at Asia China, the typeface element in the pattern, and the finished production including book design in early February 2018, at New York, US.
After researching for the traditional Chinese elements, I translated and drew the digital patterns in Adobe Illustrator, then combine the 26 letters shape with the letter in Illustrator. After the typeface is, I edited and made the book with Adobe InDesign. Then made the application with photography and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom CC.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
XAZ : The inspiration for this design came from the love of my family. I am Chinese, when I was little my father taught me to do the paper-cutting. It is a traditional thing which Chinese people do to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The red Chinese paper-cutting is a symbol of joy and happiness. When I was young, my parents and I celebrate the Chinese New Year every year and we do the Chinese paper-cutting together. I am now growing up became a designer and moved to the U.S., I have always thought about my family, and I decided to use the inspiration and made this design. It will always remind me of my home and my root.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
XAZ : I own this Chinese paper-cutting Typeface Design. I don’t plan to see or release the design and will produce the work myself. The design is very special to me.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
XAZ : With all the visual concepts in mind, and with all the digital element patterns are done in illustrator, an experimental typeface set started to developed, where each letter is made out of the combination of the traditional Chinese element, bringing all the inspirations together and creating a unique, delicate Chinese style of impressionistic, which shows exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China
to be applied throughout the entire brand visual materials and communication.
A visually-pleasant design with the cultural background story is a great way to express and share the exquisite beauty of Chinese culture.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
XAZ : I was influenced by the great Italian designer Massimo Vignelli.
Vignelli worked in a wide variety of areas, including interior design, environmental design, package design, graphic design, furniture design, and product design. Vignelli's designs were famous for following a minimal aesthetic and a narrow range of typefaces that Vignelli considered to be perfect in their genre, including Akzidenz-Grotesk, Bodoni, Helvetica, Garamond No. 3 and Century Expanded.
Massimo Vignelli used to be one of the professors at Rochester Institute Technology at the Vignelli Center at RIT. As a grad student of RIT, I am very honored to studied lots of his projects. He is always the influence and the inspiration of my work.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
XAZ : The target audience for the Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is face to all-age and whoever loves design.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
XAZ : The idea and inspiration of this Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is the most unique aspect part that apart from other similar typeface design projects. Each element of the design are taking from the traditional Chinese patterns, which we used to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Each of them are special to me and they are a symbol of my root. I hand drew these elements and shapes and then translate into digital design.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
XAZ : The name of this design project - Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is simply and straight forward. It is valuable to my background and to the Chinese culture. Decorated with Chinese elements, the letters shows exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
XAZ : I mainly used the design tools from Adobe creative suits for this project. After researching for the traditional Chinese elements, I translated and drew the digital patterns in Adobe Illustrator, then combine the 26 letters shape with the letter in Illustrator. After the typeface is, I edited and made the book with Adobe InDesign. Then made the application with photography and Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom CC.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
XAZ : The most unique aspect of this Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is the idea to mix the very traditional Chinese patterns and elements into the 26 letters. It’s a fusion of my culture and root with my experience. As a Chinese designer, I am always thinking about my culture, I also love my experience to work and study here in the U.S.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
XAZ : I worked on my own to design this project. But I did traveling and researching back at China to find the authenticity of the traditional Chinese paper-cutting patterns.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
XAZ : The technology plays a great role in the Chinese paper cutting Typeface design. With the Adobe Creative Suite design tools, I could be able to translate hand drawing of my sketches into digital design, which gives me awesome experience and a lot more exploration of the design overall.
Also, even the technology is highly developed today, the “tradition” is still very important to people. That is the main idea I would like to express in this design.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
XAZ : At the first stage of the design, I traveled and researching back at China to find the authenticity of the traditional Chinese paper-cutting patterns. I talked with people who are professional to the traditional Chinese patterns, and they helped me a lot with the patterns, shapes and meanings of all the elements used into the design. It is a very important step of the whole design process and also the foundation of the Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
XAZ : The challenge of this project is to keep the authenticity of the traditional Chinese paper-cutting and visually pleasant while combing with the 26 letters as a typeface set.
During the process, I also learned to make the traditional paper-cutting and hand drew & translate each exquisite element patterns into digital patterns, which is a fun challenge to my experience.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
XAZ : I love my culture, and I love the Chinese traditional culture elements. I am hoping with my design skill, more people could see the exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China.That is why I decided to submit my design to A’ Design Award, the most influenced design competition. It’s an honor to be able to win the Bronze prize.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
XAZ : I learned a lot from the process of designing this project. It is amazing to see the beauty of my own culture and root - the Chinese traditional elements. To be able to use my design skill and inspiration to make the design that mixed the 26 letters with the traditional Chinese pattern elements, it’s an improvement of both my design skill and vision aesthetic.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
XAZ : This Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design project has also been exhibited and presented in the OCULUS Center, World Trade Center in New York.
The project has also won the 2018 International Design Award. IDA 2019.
The Chinese paper cutting Typeface Design was also selected and published in the book series, Oriental Motifs in Modern Design by SendPoints Publishing Co., Ltd.