The Fusion of Culture and Modern Design-Kan Tai-Keung

The design has a direct connection with culture and culture exists as the value behind the design. About our textbooks; The New History of Graphic Design involves graphic designs with different cultural backgrounds. However, with the gradual development of modern design, the integration of culture has become essential. Behind the fusion represents the intention to achieve commonality in design, and at the same time has the functionality of the design. Only under the influence of traditional culture, the graphic design produced by developing design thinking and integrating with modern design can maximize the value of design. Many designers have not stopped thinking and are constantly trying to integrate their own culture into modern design, and Hong Kong, Chinese designer Kan Tai-Keung is among them.

Kan Tai-Keung, who was born in Guangdong in 1942, has been influenced by Chinese culture since childhood and is happy to show the charm of the culture he has received in his design. Kan Tai-Keung skillfully incorporated Chinese ink painting from elementary school into his design, and he refused to combine rigidly. He insisted on incorporating the spirit of a culture in the design rather than a simple shell.


-2008 Beijing Olympics (2006)

Perseverance in culture did not make Kan Tai-Keung’s design immutable. On the contrary, he always tried different design methods and adhered to the concept of modern design. He has always emphasized the combination of design and brand; and focused on visual communication with customers in design. Kan Tai-Keung insists on visually connecting the design to the brand positioning and presenting it to customers in a clear manner.

-Beijing International Logo Festival (2000)

Just as Kan Tai-Keung designed the posters for the Beijing International Logo Festival, he attached great importance to the functionality of poster design when combining culture and design. He clearly shows Chinese culture through concise graphics and colors. The overall design is visually simple and intuitive enough. The geometric figures in the poster represent the base of the logo design and accurately represent the theme of the trademark festival.

-“Chinese Characters” Series Poster

His design always has direct visual influence and can convey the inner spirit of culture at the same time instead of simple patterns. Ink paintings with Chinese culture are combined with modern design. The picture is visually concise and dynamic, yet it can reflect the peaceful spirit of Chinese culture. This is a good example of the combination of traditional culture and modern design.

A pattern cannot represent a culture. Only the fusion of the inner spirit of culture and the concept of modern design for visual function can realize the value of design.


Work Cited

“靳埭强-传统文化与现代设计融合的平面设计: 后时代.” 返回首页,

“Kan Tai-Keung.” Ideasondesign,

“靳埭强:在任何时代创新都最重要: 平面: 专访: 设计师专访 – 原创文章 – 站酷 (ZCOOL).” 靳埭强:在任何时代创新都最重要|平面|专访|设计师专访 – 原创文章 – 站酷 (ZCOOL),

Batagoda, Muditha. “Impact of Culture in Modern Design Techniques.” Medium, UX Planet, 27 Jan. 2019,

Vasilis Marmatakis’s Movie Poster of The Lobster

Vasilis Marmatakis’s Movie Poster of The Lobster

Yuting Lang


The design of a movie poster is as seductive as a movie, and it can well express the tone of the movie. Like Vasilis Marmatakis ‘poster for Yorgos Lanthimos’ dystopian movie The Lobster, it was extremely attractive to me and met my expectations for a movie poster.

The movie The Lobster is a black comedy about love and builds a weird utopian world in it. The poster designed by Vasilis Marmatakis shows the tone of the movie. This poster is created with minimalist style. The perspective of the poster focuses on the figure of the central man. In the empty background, the man seemed to be holding something. We can infer from the shape of the negative space next to the man’s face that he may be holding a woman, but the image of the woman is not directly shown. From this, you can feel that this is not a movie about ordinary love. The huge negative space divides the man’s body, and the hands floating in the picture also strengthen the weird and absurd feeling. The cut space visually implies an imperfection. This incompleteness can directly express the loneliness that the movie wants to express. In addition, the figure in black and white does not form a huge color contrast with the background color. This bland use of color can also deepen the sense of nothingness and the pain that comes with visual imperfections.


The Lobster (2015) – official poster

Designer Vasilis Marmatakis said he refused to use one of the shots in the movie to design movie posters. He thought that a picture of the frame could not present the theme of the film. His design focuses on stylizing the theme of the film, based on and expressing the emotions expressed in the film itself. His idea is more reflected in the use of composition and symbolic design to express the tone of the film.

Similar to The Lobster’s movie posters, Vasilis Marmatakis’ poster design style can also be reflected in the other two posters he designed for the movie “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”(bottom). These three movie posters can directly show the symbolic design of Vasilis Marmatakis’ use of creating a sense of visual space and the visual effects of the elements in the poster. In the first poster, the space about the hospital was enlarged and the characters were placed at the bottom of the picture. A huge sense of space filled the poster and formed a helpless and disturbing atmosphere visually.


The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) – official poster


The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) – official poster

Moreover, Vasilis Marmatakis has always been happy to use clean and natural fonts in posters to highlight the proportion of graphic design in posters. The font was used in The Lobster’s poster is Avenir Next. It is a sans serif typeface. The neutral, easy to read and concise feel of Avenir Next is perfect for this poster. It is quiet and unemotional. Can make the poster more prominent in the figure of the man figure.



Works Citied

morganlmurray, Posted by. “Avenir.” The History, Style and Use of Type, 17 June 2014,

“Greek Unorthodoxy: *The Killing of a Sacred Deer* and the Bleeding Edge of Poster Design.” TIFF,

Dazed. “Meet the Artist behind Yorgos Lanthimos’s Uniquely Intriguing Film Posters.” Dazed, 4 Jan. 2019,