Interview by Jianping He

Why did you choose graphic design as your profession?
Because I am passionate about graphic design and love doing it.

How is graphic design present in your life?
I truly appreciate ‘good’ design – it constantly touches
every aspect of my life, as such, graphic design is a part of
and an extension of this appreciation which informs my life.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
From daily life, the local environment and the world around us.
From a design perspective, it comes from the Swiss graphic design
of the 50s, in particular, the work of Müller-Brockmann.
His thinking, rigour, discipline and clarity established and set
the foundations of a design system that essentially is difficult
to improve on.

Last but not least, wit and humour… it’s very important.

How many years of graphic training have you received?
3 years of formal training for my graphic design degree from
Saint Martin’s in London. But more importantly, the years following
my graduation since school and a degree alone cannot define
a graphic designer. While school may teach ‘some’ things,
there are other areas they cannot teach. Good graphic design
is an on going process of learning and experience i.e. it is
in the doing itself.

Does your own cultural background account for
the main influence in your design?

Naturally, Hong Kong and its local flavour must have served
as a basis – from the visual stimulus and colours of our culture
and environment to our food. I also remember my fascination
with old Chinese signs and the different styles of the characters.

In addition, I feel the chaos and confusion of the physical environment
in Hong Kong played a part in influencing my design sensibility
and my desire to use design to create clarity and order to improve
the environment.

Does literature, theatre, music or any other subject
contribute to your work?

I’m not directly and consciously aware of it, but that
does not mean that it doesn’t play a part in contributing to my work.

Among the three, music is essential and has always been a part of my life.
I listen to it continuously at work and home.

In literature, the books I read are mainly non-fiction – from historical,
biographical, prose, essays, to art, design and music.

To be honest, I haven’t really analysed this aspect in my work.

Who would you name as the greatest master of graphic design?
If I have to mention one designer, I would say Paul Rand. But it isn’t
synonymous with that of the ‘greatest master of graphic design’ as
I don’t think in those terms. I remember how excited I was when I first
read “Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art” in 1985. It’s not just visually,
his thinking, wit and simplicity has been very influential.

Besides design, what other hobbies do you have?
Food, music of which I have a reasonable collection of jazz and
the classics, and the cinema. And I used to really enjoy playing soccer.

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