Chinese Poster Designer – Huang Hai – by Emily Lu

 

 

 

Designer Huang Hai
                             Designer Huang Hai

It is rare to see Chinese graphic designers to be included in the context of Western design textbooks. As the design field transitions to a more open market, talented designers from all around the world should be showcased with their works and inspire future students. Huang Hai is one of the most well-known poster designers from China, who significantly combined Chinese art styles and modern approaches together through a simple, but elegant perspective (HUANG Hai: The Poster as a Tribute to the Heroes behind the Scenes). His works always specifically depict the feeling of the movie before the audience even watch it by using different stylistic techniques. The designs do not contain a lot of abstract shapes or unique colour combinations, but the stylistic techniques capture the eyes and make the viewers want to explore and discover the various possibilities. 

Fig 1. Spirited Away Poster, 2019, Huang Hai
Fig 1. Spirited Away Poster, 2019, Huang Hai

The most important step stone in his career was when he designed the movie poster for the film, The Sun Also Rises, directed by Jiang Wen. It was extremely different from the typical posters created during the time, and it made a dramatic contrast that separated him from other designers (Chen. Global Times). The poster is very simple, but the use of white and red colours contrast along with the figure in the center with the type capture the eyes. 

Fig 2. The Sun Also Rises, 2007, Huang Hai
Fig 2. The Sun Also Rises Poster, 2007, Huang Hai

A few of his recent designs that undoubtedly captured the public’s attention are the making of the movie posters for the film Big Fish & Begonia, and The Golden Era, which are both directly associated with traditional Chinese art forms and the incorporation of Chinese calligraphy. Especially for the film Shadow, the posters heavily highlight the Chinese calligraphy along with the combination of the characters. The powerful strokes of the Chinese character with the black and white contrast explained the feeling of what the movie is conveying. He does not portray the type and objects separately, instead, he combines them together in a dynamic perspective. Huang Hai iterates on the weight and the movement of the strokes as the main element along with the traditional colour combinations and brush techniques. Huang Hai’s works are so calming, that captures the essence of the film and there are no extra decorative elements that are meaningless. Everything has its own meaning that represents a specific meaning from the film. The sense of hand-drawn emphasized on the brush strokes provides a perspective of originality. Due to the release of the film “The Golden Era” in various countries, Huang Hai created different designs to match each country’s characteristics (Fan. Now Introducing: HuangHai).  For example, the poster made for France release focuses on the movement of the smoke and in contrast with the background colour, it provides a sense of romanticism and mystery.

Fig 3. Big Fish & Begonia Poster, 2016, Huang Hai
Fig 3. Big Fish & Begonia Poster, 2016, Huang Hai
Fig 4. Shadow Poster, 2018, Huang Hai
Fig 4. Shadow Poster, 2018, Huang Hai
Fig 4. The Golden Era Poster (China), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 5. The Golden Era Poster (China), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 5. The Golden Era Poster (Japan), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 6. The Golden Era Poster (Japan), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 7. The Golden Era Poster (France), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 7. The Golden Era Poster (France), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 8. The Golden Era Poster (Korea), 2014, Huang Hai
Fig 8. The Golden Era Poster (Korea), 2014, Huang Hai

The Graphic Design: A New History by Stephen F. Eskilson includes detailed descriptions of the various historical art periods and important Western designers such as William Morris and Edward McKnight Kauffer. However, there is a dramatic transition in design style and the present-day aesthetics people appreciate has changed. It is crucial to be updated with the present-day designers, who are the main domination and influencers of the current market.

Fig 9. Masters In The Forbidden City Posters, 2016, Huang Hai
Fig 9. Masters In The Forbidden City Posters, 2016, Huang Hai

Work Cited:

Chen, Xi. “Graphic Artist Huang Hai Strikes Again with ‘Spirited Away’ Posters.” Global Times, 23 June 2019, www.globaltimes.cn/content/1155353.shtml.

“HUANG Hai: The Poster as a Tribute to the Heroes behind the Scenes.” 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival, 18 Mar. 2019, www.siff.com/a/2019-03-18/3194.html.

Fan, Ania. “Now Introducing: HuangHai.” Graphic Design Hist20th C FW2018S2, 5 Apr. 2019, blog.ocad.ca/wordpress/visd2006-fw201803-02/2019/04/now-introducing-huanghai/.

Evolution of the Coca-Cola logo-Emily Lu

Fig 1. Coca-Cola logo, 2020
Fig 1. Coca-Cola logo, 2020, Frank Mason Robinson

The “Coca-Cola” logo is one of the most recognizable and successful graphic design works around the world. Designer Frank Mason Robinson was the first person who suggested the possibility of experimenting with the double “Cs” and created the iconic logo with the Spencerian Script. However, the initial Coca-Cola logo did not appear the form we recognized today, instead, it was a plain, simple serif font advertised through newspaper prints since that was the common approach of spreading messages to the general public. In 1887 the founder of Coca-Cola, John Stith Pemberton, decided that the brand needed a more noticeable logo in order to differentiate itself from other competitors leading to the final result of the present popular trademark (Trace the 130-Year Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo). Nonetheless, between 1890 to 1891, the third iteration of the logo became too decorative overtaking the aesthetics of the brand itself, therefore, this version only lasted for one year. From then on, the dramatic flow and line movement accurately represented the flavours and the liquid form of the beverage that distinguished itself from other trademarks. With the production of colour printing, Coca-Cola incorporated the signature red as the background and white for the letters to create the contrast that captured people’s attention even from a distance. The addition of the white line flow and bottle graphics were later adapted into the design, emphasized the energetic feeling from consuming the beverage that acts as a direct advertising method to the potential customers.

Fig 2. Coca-Cola logo, 1969
Fig 2. Coca-Cola logo, 1969, Frank Mason Robinson

As time went on, Coca-Cola continued focusing on incorporating and focusing on the line movement of the logo and included modern typefaces for some product productions along with the traditional design such as “Diet Coke”, “Classic Coke” and etc (The History of the Coca‑Cola Logo: Our History: Coca-Cola GB). These modern typefaces represented the evolution and transition of Coca-Cola to the current market and joined the modern retail competition. The double “C” developed a connection and movement to the overall flow of the design.  The bottom extended line for the first “C” and the top extended line for the second “C” formed a balance and frame for the composition that all line works travelled in matching direction. This developed a special relationship with the tasting experience and also the liquid form of the beverage. The Coca-Cola logo is one of the most recognizable brand trademarks around the world and one of the main reasons it’s due to the strong colour contrast created between the red and white. The use of red was such an eyecatching and powerful colour that stood out from other competing brands. Coca-Cola was able to make itself one of the most profitable companies due to its ability to follow up trends and keen observation skills to the international market.

Fig 3. Coca-Cola logo Evolution
Fig 3. Coca-Cola logo Evolution

Work Cited:

“Trace the 130-Year Evolution of the Coca-Cola Logo.” Coca-Cola Australia, Coca-Cola, 3 Apr. 2018, www.coca-colacompany.com/au/news/trace-the-130-year-evolution-of-the-coca-cola-logo.

“The History of the Coca‑Cola Logo: Our History: Coca-Cola GB.” Coca-Cola Journey, Coca-Cola UK, www.coca-cola.co.uk/stories/the-logo-story.