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What & How is a good branding designer?
Interview | Zhihua Duan   

Author: Cynthia Zhu
Visiting Designer: Zhihua Duan | http://duanzhihua.design
Translation: Cynthia Zhu
Design: Cynthia Zhu
Aug. 15.2017

 

C:首先非常感谢参加设计無止的专题采访!认识你几年,一直都在听闻不断得奖,参展,并且在branding上很有建树。因此借此机会特别有幸邀请到你一起聊聊关于branding设计,和设计背后的概念。

C:First of all, I want to deliver my gratitude to your accept of our interview. I've known you for years, and always heard you winning awards, having shows and contributing to branding specifically. By this interview chance, we would love to talk with you about branding design and the concept behind it.

 

C: 那我们就先以简单的自我介绍开始吧

C: Can you briefly introduce yourself?

D:平面设计师,目前正在墨尔本的Monash艺术设计与建筑学院(MADA)完成最后一学期的研究生课程。截至目前,大多数的设计实践可能都基于文字和图形符号相关,除了个人项目之外,平时多以自由设计师的身份接受一些来自于品牌、设计机构以及美术馆和画廊的设计委托。

D: I'm a graphic designer. Now I'm pursuing my master as MADA in Melbourne. Most of my design practice focus on typography and graphic symbols. Besides my personal projects, I accept projects as a freelancer from brands, institutions, museums and galleries.

 

C: 可以再介绍你下最近几年参加的一些赛事和展览吗?

C: Can you also introduce your recent competitions and exhibitions?

D:之前很幸运的入选过“金蜜蜂”国际平面设计双年展、中国动态文字与图形邀请展、3x3国际插画大奖赛、HiiiBrand、HiiiTypography和“美学城市”设计上海平面设计邀请展等展览与赛事,以及有作品被选编入香港Victionary出版的《HanziHanja Kanji》、德国Gestalten出版的《LosLogos 8》、BranD杂志,最近亦很荣幸被收录在即将出版的一本收录了国内300位各个创意领域顶尖创意人的访谈和作品的《EKOO300》。然而,诚实地说,自己一直都没很主动参加过很多比赛之类,前面提到的这些展览和收录,都得感谢自己周围很多朋友的支持以及师长前辈们的提携。

D: I feel  very lucky that my works are selected and exhibited in "Jin Mi Feng" International Graphic Design Biennale, China Motion Type and Graphic Exhibition, 3x3 Illustration Award, HiiiBrand, HiiiTypography and Shanghai Graphic Design Exhibition. My works are published in HanziHanja Kanji, LosLogos 8,  BranD and EKOO300. However, I never proactively participated in contests. All the awards and featured are generously helped and supported by my friends and supervisors.

 

C: 上过Los Logo和BranD好厉害(这里有掌声)都是在branding界知名的读物。可否谈谈你对优秀branding的理解呢?

C: Congratulations! It's surely a pride to be featured in Los Logo and BranD! Can you talk about your understanding of what is a good branding?

D:虽然还并没给自己定性在branding的路上走,但大多数的商业委托却都和branding相关。一直觉得branding这个词是比较大的或者更综合一级的,除了设计之外还包括很多其它方方面面的因素才能够达成,我自己到目前可能都只能说是在做branding的视觉识别或者视觉形象系统。从我自己的这个角度来说,一个好的branding的前提一定首先是这个品牌的产品或者服务在它开始构建的当下和可预见的未来中被人们所需要,并且这个品牌的所有者是有对把产品当作品牌来长期经营和发展的计划。而后,如果合适的产品和品牌恰好能够遇到合适的设计师,设计师又能够被信任通过自己擅长的手法和切入点把品牌的愿景有逻辑的视觉化叙述,那么一个好的branding该就不难实现。

D: Although I haven't decided to be a banding designer, but most inquiries I got are related to branding. I always think branding is comprehensive. Besides design itself, a good branding needs more inputs. As far as I do, I am still only working on the visual system. From my perspective, a good brand must be established based on the needs from people nowadays or in the future, and the brand will keep running  itself in a good way for a long term. Based on that, if the brand can find a designer has a good fit and trust, which allows the designer to visualize it in a way to explain the brand well. That would potentially realize a good branding.

 

C:从你的工作和经验中来说,你认为设计师在为品牌做branding时,最重要的是什么?

C: From your experience, what do you think is the most important thing while designing for a brand?

D:我觉得设计师自己要先判断即将展开的委托将真的可能会是一个“品牌”还是只是一个需要在市场上拥有“视觉标配”的产品。个人来说,我真的觉得对这一点的清晰理解能够帮助设计师看清自己到底在做什么,避免对设计可发展性的考虑不周,或者避免花费过多美好的无用功。此外,就是要共情的体会这个品牌的产品或者服务对于自己的感动到底是什么,如此才更有可能做出适合、干净利落又一语中的的设计。

D: I think designers should identify at the beginning that the inquiry is a brand or just a product needs a standard visual. Personally speaking, this understanding will help designers know what they are doing, so as to avoid lack of plan or redundant work. Other than that, how you feel about the brand synthetically and resonantly will decide wether you can design it well, or not.

 

C:(点头)。那么在你的所有作品中,你自己最喜欢或者最满意的一件商业branding作品是什么&为什么?

C:Among your works, which one you like most, and why?

D:很喜欢近期正在做的一个当代艺术行业的新品牌“ARIA跃然艺术”。首先,当代艺术类的产品和服务是自己很感兴趣的主题之一,在和委托人的沟通过程中有很多能够共同理解和讨论的具象和抽象的要点和概念能够应用在视觉形象系统的设计中;其次,在沟通的过程中能够感受到委托人对于品牌未来愿景的极大热情和信念,加之也很幸运得到委托人对于设计上的信任。在这样的状态下自己作为设计师也自然而然的在设计上变得很有动力和热情,希望早日做好和大家分享。

D: I really like the project I am doing now, ARIA. First of all, I am always interested in modern art field. In the communication with the client, we have lots of tacit understanding that I could apply to the design of visual system. Secondly, I can feel the passion and belief  from clients. Plus I get many trust from clients, I naturally become very passionate and motivated on this project. Hope it will come out soon. 

 

C:我有在你ins上看到一点小剧透,很期待它最后的成稿!你觉得一个branding方向的设计师,应该要注重哪些方面的修炼?

C:What should designers sharpen if they want to become a branding designer?

D:除了要不断提高基于自己专业的视觉叙事和设计能力,也应该多多关注随着时间发展的生活中,产品和服务的种种状态和可能的趋势,尤其在自己最感兴趣的品类上。此外,如何从客户的反馈中提取要点信息和如何讲述自己的设计的沟通技巧也是个老生常谈却真的又很重要的一点。

D: Besides horning professional design skill, they need care about statuses and trends of brands, products and service in life, especially on interested field. Moreover, learning how to communicate with clients and translating feedback is also vital–like we talked about it again and again. 

 

C:最后一个问题,是我们的常规问题,请问你最近在阅读的一本书是什么?以及对设计师朋友们有什么阅读类的推荐吗?

C: Last but not least, tell us the book you read most recently, and your advice on reading.

D:最近正在读一本叫ToNote:NotationAcross Disciplines的书。至于阅读类的推荐,会想说设计方面的专业书籍其实可能只该占总的阅读的很小的比重,更多的应该是读设计之外的各种书和杂志,尤其是自己感兴趣的话题和类别,无论是人文的或者科学的,甚至炼金术和黑魔法……

D: The book I'm reading now is called ToNote:NotationAcross Disciplines. I would recommend designers to read more books out of design, such as the topics you are interested in. They could be literature, science, or even alchemy and dark magic....(lol)


我们很多时候都会在想,为什么有些branding设计师对客户需求抓得很准,对作品水准把控很强,为什么不但赚了钱还拿了奖。将商业设计和对艺术的追求融为一体,其难度远高于学生作品。就像段智华所说的,我们在设计前有没有共情的体会这个品牌的产品或者服务对于自己的感动到底是什么?有没有寻找到设计中的动力和热情?另外,我也非常赞同关注生活和阅读设计以外的书,毕竟我们做设计师的,就是要上知天文,下知地理的嘛 :D

We always wonder why some designers never be a clients' punch bag, accomplish work aesthetically well and win awards home.  Commercial goals and aesthetic achievement  being approached at the same time is way harder than what we expect. Like what Zhihua mentioned, do we feel the brand synthetically and resonantly? Do we find passion and motivation in this project? Other than that, I agree a lot with reading more books out of design. After all, being a designer is to be curious about the universe and think out of the box.

– Cynthia Zhu