If you are in Shanghai, you may come across a poster I designed for Coca-Cola. The Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy China got in touch with me, and offered me this amazing opportunity. I can’t thank them enough, and really hope we can keep doing work together in the future.

You can read an article about it on Ad Age. There’s also a set of pretty cool photos of passers-by posing with the ad on Ogilvy’s Flickr.

It has been half a year since my image went viral, and it never ceases to amaze me how much the incident has affected me.

When life gives you lemonade, pour some coke into it.

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Happy Birthday Steve.
I debated with myself whether I should post this. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to somehow “top” the previous design or recreate what happened once — not that I believe it’s possible anyway. And the last thing I want is to exploit Steve Jobs’ legacy.
But little did I know, history does repeat itself. Kind of.
Almost immediately after I posted this on Facebook, somebody told me about a Hong Kong band that dedicated a song to the passing of Steve, and their album art… well, see for yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrRugZcrkYU
Another tribute graphic, another potential accusation of plagiarism impossible to verify.
The last time I posted a disclaimer regarding my work, it made me look even more suspicious to some people. So consider the fact I’m telling you about a similar design that came before mine, NOT as a preemptive defense for myself, but simply a story that has come full circle in a rather amusing/depressing way that I must share it with you.
Dare I ask… thoughts?

Happy Birthday Steve.

I debated with myself whether I should post this. I don’t want people to think I’m trying to somehow “top” the previous design or recreate what happened once — not that I believe it’s possible anyway. And the last thing I want is to exploit Steve Jobs’ legacy.

But little did I know, history does repeat itself. Kind of.

Almost immediately after I posted this on Facebook, somebody told me about a Hong Kong band that dedicated a song to the passing of Steve, and their album art… well, see for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrRugZcrkYU

Another tribute graphic, another potential accusation of plagiarism impossible to verify.

The last time I posted a disclaimer regarding my work, it made me look even more suspicious to some people. So consider the fact I’m telling you about a similar design that came before mine, NOT as a preemptive defense for myself, but simply a story that has come full circle in a rather amusing/depressing way that I must share it with you.

Dare I ask… thoughts?



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Your Love is my Command
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Would anyone want this on a shirt?

Your Love is my Command

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Would anyone want this on a shirt?



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Ought to be shot

Many people were protesting outside the Dolce & Gabbana flagship store here in Hong Kong yesterday. They were upset about the fact that a security guard of the store tried to stop people standing in a public space from taking photos. But few of the online overseas news report I read got the point of the protest. The guard said tourists from Mainland China are allowed to shoot photos, presumably because they are typically far bigger spenders than the locals. Whether it’s outright hostility or passive-aggressive behavior, we’ve long been treated differently, and there’ve been other factors stirring up tension between the Hong Kongers and those from the Mainland.

The issue is obviously not just about D&G. The event just sparked off some longstanding grievances. It’s about inequality, the right over public space, cultural identities, and above all, our dissatisfaction with a government/society obsessed with money.

Thoughts?



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Learning FontLab
I’ve been fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to visit Copenhagen for 2 weeks, where I’ll get to work at the Danish design agency Kontrapunkt on a typeface.
Although I love typography and dabbled with type design, FontLab is pretty foreign to me. Trying to familiarize myself with the interface.
Sorry for the lack of activity lately. I’ve been busy with projects I can’t show you just yet. Soooooon.

Learning FontLab

I’ve been fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to visit Copenhagen for 2 weeks, where I’ll get to work at the Danish design agency Kontrapunkt on a typeface.

Although I love typography and dabbled with type design, FontLab is pretty foreign to me. Trying to familiarize myself with the interface.

Sorry for the lack of activity lately. I’ve been busy with projects I can’t show you just yet. Soooooon.



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Merry Christmas.
好!好!好!
Cantonese好 (hou2)
good, well
very

Merry Christmas.

好!好!好!

Cantonese
(hou2)

  1. good, well
  2. very


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On the Apple/Steve logo, and unexpected connections.
I was not planning to write at length about this subject anymore, but something made me want to share my thoughts one last time:
I received a comment yesterday from Albert, a Chinese gentleman in his late 50s, who saw a few photos I took that reminded him of his childhood. 
His story is very long, deeply personal, and a joy to read. I was not exactly sure how to respond in the comments, so I’m making this post. Because his message represents everything that’s been so wonderful about the experience.
I’ve been meaning to say this for a while: the best thing about my design going viral is not the publicity, or even the support I got from around the world (even though I greatly appreciate it). It’s the people I get to talk to, and the tales they share with me.
Whether it’s an email from Kevin Kern (the pianist — whose CD I later knew my father actually owns) sharing the role Apple products play in his life due to his visual impairment, or the story of a Chinese woman immigrating to the US, I love it all. I’ve met both “ordinary” people such as myself, and powerful individuals. Their stories and philosophies are equally fascinating.
Interestingly, the things people tell me are not always directly related to Apple, but I find that even more amazing in a way: the design has not only resonated with people concerning Steve’s passing, but has simply become a “window” for me to make all these connections. The comment I just received is not even about the design, but I assume that was how he found my blog.
It would be naive of me to think all these responses are a start to many friendships, but I treasure all these bits and pieces of life experiences people have shared. I’ll never forget the experience.
So, thank you, Albert, for your comment. It was a long and delightful read.
Maybe you’d like to share your thoughts? ;)

On the Apple/Steve logo, and unexpected connections.

I was not planning to write at length about this subject anymore, but something made me want to share my thoughts one last time:

I received a comment yesterday from Albert, a Chinese gentleman in his late 50s, who saw a few photos I took that reminded him of his childhood. 

His story is very long, deeply personal, and a joy to read. I was not exactly sure how to respond in the comments, so I’m making this post. Because his message represents everything that’s been so wonderful about the experience.

I’ve been meaning to say this for a while: the best thing about my design going viral is not the publicity, or even the support I got from around the world (even though I greatly appreciate it). It’s the people I get to talk to, and the tales they share with me.

Whether it’s an email from Kevin Kern (the pianist — whose CD I later knew my father actually owns) sharing the role Apple products play in his life due to his visual impairment, or the story of a Chinese woman immigrating to the US, I love it all. I’ve met both “ordinary” people such as myself, and powerful individuals. Their stories and philosophies are equally fascinating.

Interestingly, the things people tell me are not always directly related to Apple, but I find that even more amazing in a way: the design has not only resonated with people concerning Steve’s passing, but has simply become a “window” for me to make all these connections. The comment I just received is not even about the design, but I assume that was how he found my blog.

It would be naive of me to think all these responses are a start to many friendships, but I treasure all these bits and pieces of life experiences people have shared. I’ll never forget the experience.

So, thank you, Albert, for your comment. It was a long and delightful read.

Maybe you’d like to share your thoughts? ;)



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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas



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OWS meets V for Vendetta
Warning: dense text post ahead — read at your own risk.
When my modified Apple logo went viral, somebody on the Internet suggested to me that I should design something for the Occupy protests.
But this post is not really a response to that request. It simply reminded me of a thought I had concerning the relationship between a designer’s work and his/her intentions.
I have done my fair share of designs related to current events. They are all things I care about, and it seems logical to say that my emotional connection to the issues compelled me to represent them visually.
But it is not always that simple. Sometimes, I find my love for visual rhetoric to be almost disproportionately large, compared to my concern for the issue. Put simply, it almost seems that I care more about conveying a message effectively than the message itself.
I may be over-complicating things. Something strikes a chord with me, and I really want to express it well. What’s the big deal? The problem is that, when, let’s say, I finally come up with a clever solution, the adrenaline rush I get appears to be purely about the design itself. I cannot help but feel a bit like a phony during moments like these.
Back to Occupy Wall Street — don’t get me wrong, it certainly resonates with me. The general idea behind the movement is admirable. Resistance against social and economic inequality should be applauded, but the vast scope and variety of methods used in this movement makes it very hard to define. That leaves me without a clear stance, so does it give me the “right” to make a poster like this? Am I just designing this for design’s sake? Am I being irresponsible by making something with the potential to encourage behavior I don’t necessarily agree with?
I haven’t figured it out yet, and I am not writing all this noncommittal nonsense to cover my ass. But the relationship between a design, the intentions/motivations behind, and its potential impact is worth thinking about.
Thoughts?
Obligatory disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting that I care more about my design itself than Steve Jobs’ death.

OWS meets V for Vendetta

Warning: dense text post ahead — read at your own risk.

When my modified Apple logo went viral, somebody on the Internet suggested to me that I should design something for the Occupy protests.

But this post is not really a response to that request. It simply reminded me of a thought I had concerning the relationship between a designer’s work and his/her intentions.

I have done my fair share of designs related to current events. They are all things I care about, and it seems logical to say that my emotional connection to the issues compelled me to represent them visually.

But it is not always that simple. Sometimes, I find my love for visual rhetoric to be almost disproportionately large, compared to my concern for the issue. Put simply, it almost seems that I care more about conveying a message effectively than the message itself.

I may be over-complicating things. Something strikes a chord with me, and I really want to express it well. What’s the big deal? The problem is that, when, let’s say, I finally come up with a clever solution, the adrenaline rush I get appears to be purely about the design itself. I cannot help but feel a bit like a phony during moments like these.

Back to Occupy Wall Street — don’t get me wrong, it certainly resonates with me. The general idea behind the movement is admirable. Resistance against social and economic inequality should be applauded, but the vast scope and variety of methods used in this movement makes it very hard to define. That leaves me without a clear stance, so does it give me the “right” to make a poster like this? Am I just designing this for design’s sake? Am I being irresponsible by making something with the potential to encourage behavior I don’t necessarily agree with?

I haven’t figured it out yet, and I am not writing all this noncommittal nonsense to cover my ass. But the relationship between a design, the intentions/motivations behind, and its potential impact is worth thinking about.

Thoughts?

Obligatory disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting that I care more about my design itself than Steve Jobs’ death.



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Now Everyone’s Watching
I cannot thank the people who have given me their support enough. It has been a challenging but incredible week for me.
And I should move on.
The Steve/Apple design falls well within the visual vocabulary I’m used to adopting, but I do not wish to be defined by it. Because expectations can be a terrible thing.
Not everything I post here will be pithy and minimalistic. I post rough experiments I am not necessarily happy with. I swear. I complain. The last thing I want is to word every entry perfectly as if I am writing a press release each time I have something to share. Everything here is just a record of the things I do, for better or worse.
Of course, I will be insulting whoever’s reading this if I assume those are the unreasonable expectations they have of me. But it needs to be said, if only for my own sake.
I am still young, and have a long way to go. Last week has changed me, but not the fact that this blog is my playground.
Thoughts?
Obligatory disclaimer: I am by no means comparing myself to Mr. Jobs.

Now Everyone’s Watching

I cannot thank the people who have given me their support enough. It has been a challenging but incredible week for me.

And I should move on.

The Steve/Apple design falls well within the visual vocabulary I’m used to adopting, but I do not wish to be defined by it. Because expectations can be a terrible thing.

Not everything I post here will be pithy and minimalistic. I post rough experiments I am not necessarily happy with. I swear. I complain. The last thing I want is to word every entry perfectly as if I am writing a press release each time I have something to share. Everything here is just a record of the things I do, for better or worse.

Of course, I will be insulting whoever’s reading this if I assume those are the unreasonable expectations they have of me. But it needs to be said, if only for my own sake.

I am still young, and have a long way to go. Last week has changed me, but not the fact that this blog is my playground.

Thoughts?

Obligatory disclaimer: I am by no means comparing myself to Mr. Jobs.



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My response to the disputed originality of the Apple/Steve design:
I have broken the unspoken rule of how to reblog on Tumblr by putting my response on top, but I believe it’s necessary for people to see this:
I have indeed been informed by others earlier last night (perhaps even earlier, but I was too overwhelmed by emails to notice) of RAID71’s work.
People have accused me of ripping off photos such as this one, which I have already seen when I did the Google search after having the idea. Whether you take my word for it or not, the visual similarities of these images are irrelevant to the design concept, in my opinion, and do not merit the comparison.
RAID71’s design, on the other hand, does indeed contain the very same idea. Although it is impossible to verify it now that all this happened, I honestly did not come across his work while searching for terms such as “Apple, Steve Jobs, logo, silhouette”. I did my best to ensure that the idea had not been done before.
It probably does not help that I have expressed uncertainties about the originality of my work, but my paranoia stemmed from the apparent simplicity of the concept. The visual connection between Steve’s profile and the logo seemed too obvious to not have been picked up on yet. Turns out, I’m right.
I will not apologize for “ripping off” Mr. Thornley’s work, because like others who have created similar pieces at around the same time (blatant copies notwithstanding), I have arrived at this design on my own.
I do, however, wish to say sorry for not dealing with this as quickly as I probably should have, but I was struggling with how to word my response properly last night.
A final clarification: I have NOT made any money from this, and have only answered people who offered to donate all their proceedings to charities with the condition of receiving a receipt or other confirmation of the donation.
I have yet to hear back from Apple and do not know how they view the issue, but for the time being, please support RAID71’s cause.
bentheillustrator:

THIS GRAPHIC IS A RIP-OFF.This image has been all over the internet for the passed few days, however this graphic is a rip-off, it was produced earlier this year by Chris Thornley aka RAID71 for an editorial piece, you can see it featured on Creative Review here » http://www.creativereview.co.ukSadly Raid71 is currently going through cancer treatment himself right now.  An online store has been set-up selling his artwork and raising funds for the hospital’s cancer charity that is caring for him » http://www.raid71.bigcartel.comI do appreciate that the designer who is getting all the attention for this image actually said that it may have been done before, and to let him know if it has (his post is below) but people have posted on his blog and he’s not referenced it.  If some of the people who have praised this image could credit the originator, RAID71, and help to promote his online print shop in aid of Royal Manchester’s cancer charity then that would be brilliant, thanks.As he is the actual originator of this image please support Raid71’s online store » http://www.raid71.bigcartel.com
jmak:

Thanks, Steve.
Posting designs like this one makes me paranoid, because I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not original. I enjoyed the process regardless, but please let me know if somebody else beat me to the idea!
Thoughts?

My response to the disputed originality of the Apple/Steve design:

I have broken the unspoken rule of how to reblog on Tumblr by putting my response on top, but I believe it’s necessary for people to see this:

I have indeed been informed by others earlier last night (perhaps even earlier, but I was too overwhelmed by emails to notice) of RAID71’s work.

People have accused me of ripping off photos such as this one, which I have already seen when I did the Google search after having the idea. Whether you take my word for it or not, the visual similarities of these images are irrelevant to the design concept, in my opinion, and do not merit the comparison.

RAID71’s design, on the other hand, does indeed contain the very same idea. Although it is impossible to verify it now that all this happened, I honestly did not come across his work while searching for terms such as “Apple, Steve Jobs, logo, silhouette”. I did my best to ensure that the idea had not been done before.

It probably does not help that I have expressed uncertainties about the originality of my work, but my paranoia stemmed from the apparent simplicity of the concept. The visual connection between Steve’s profile and the logo seemed too obvious to not have been picked up on yet. Turns out, I’m right.

I will not apologize for “ripping off” Mr. Thornley’s work, because like others who have created similar pieces at around the same time (blatant copies notwithstanding), I have arrived at this design on my own.

I do, however, wish to say sorry for not dealing with this as quickly as I probably should have, but I was struggling with how to word my response properly last night.

A final clarification: I have NOT made any money from this, and have only answered people who offered to donate all their proceedings to charities with the condition of receiving a receipt or other confirmation of the donation.

I have yet to hear back from Apple and do not know how they view the issue, but for the time being, please support RAID71’s cause.

bentheillustrator:

THIS GRAPHIC IS A RIP-OFF.

This image has been all over the internet for the passed few days, however this graphic is a rip-off, it was produced earlier this year by Chris Thornley aka RAID71 for an editorial piece, you can see it featured on Creative Review here » http://www.creativereview.co.uk

Sadly Raid71 is currently going through cancer treatment himself right now.  An online store has been set-up selling his artwork and raising funds for the hospital’s cancer charity that is caring for him » http://www.raid71.bigcartel.com

I do appreciate that the designer who is getting all the attention for this image actually said that it may have been done before, and to let him know if it has (his post is below) but people have posted on his blog and he’s not referenced it.  If some of the people who have praised this image could credit the originator, RAID71, and help to promote his online print shop in aid of Royal Manchester’s cancer charity then that would be brilliant, thanks.

As he is the actual originator of this image please support Raid71’s online store » http://www.raid71.bigcartel.com

jmak:

Thanks, Steve.

Posting designs like this one makes me paranoid, because I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not original. I enjoyed the process regardless, but please let me know if somebody else beat me to the idea!

Thoughts?



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Mid-Autumn Festival — A Time for Reunion
Hope everyone had a good day!
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Mid-Autumn Festival — A Time for Reunion

Hope everyone had a good day!

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Hope — 10 years later
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Hope — 10 years later

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