We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Haolai Francis Zhou ("HFZ").
Creative designer, AIGA member. Currently, work as a Graphic Design Specialist in San Francisco Ballet, and the lead designer in H.Design Studio. Personally worked in a very diligent manner, and proved to be a critiqued person, a speeding learner, and an experienced team-worker. Passionate about design, sketching, observation, and solving problems.
Haolai Francis Zhou Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Haolai Francis Zhou.
Designer Interview of Haolai Francis Zhou:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
HFZ : I had totally 10 years graphic designer experience, and I love the fine art as well, especially Illustration, Sketch, Oil painting and so on. Never thought about a graphic designer until move to college. I found out that there is another simple, straight forward art language to do storytelling, and voice out for people, and World—Graphic Design.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
HFZ : A brand laboratory focus on presenting love and ideas on the critique. Creating design brands, products and experiences for community and cities. Taking care of the public issues around the world, and presenting visual voice is to develop solutions for a better tomorrow.
DI: What is "design" for you?
HFZ : The powerful visual language.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
HFZ : Brand Identity System, and Illustrated visual communication
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
HFZ : Paul Rand's Poster design is my favorite. Powerful language is leading to the core message, and affectively convey the voice to public or business-wise.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
HFZ : A poster design for a special event.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
HFZ : Brand Magazine, and Pinterest.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
HFZ : At night, and the day I may not have a good mood.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
HFZ : Visual language & Graphics
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
HFZ : Passion, Chaos, and need to calm down a bit.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
HFZ : Appreciated, thankful, and happy
DI: What makes a design successful?
HFZ : Critique, and Just do it!
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
HFZ : 3-seconds rule—understand the core message of the design in 3 second.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
HFZ : Find a way to convey the hidden voice, and please a good/beautiful communication.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
HFZ : Diversity, Cooperation. Always finding the needs for society, and people.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
HFZ : Next one will be on end of 2020.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
HFZ : Multiple art formats, Reading, and put an eye on the details.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
HFZ : Iconic, Straight forward, Powerful, and visualization.
DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
HFZ : San Francisco, and Nanjing, China. The difference of culture, the contrast of the language. It affects me a lot on design thinking.
DI: How do you work with companies?
HFZ : Creative, no boundary, and open for different voice
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
HFZ : Better to know what's the advantages and disadvantages of the designer, and always put your trust on designer.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
HFZ : Sketching, and thinking is always my first step.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
HFZ : Cat toy, apple keyboard, table desk, pencil, and sketch book
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
HFZ : Chaos
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
HFZ : Stay thinking, stay drawing, and free up your deep thoughts.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
HFZ : Help and communicate for clients, public and world, but not only for themself(designers).
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
HFZ : Design, and speak a needed idea. Not about what's your thoughts.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
HFZ : Sketching.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
HFZ : Adobe Creative, iPad Pro, sketch book.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
HFZ : keep thinking and critiquing everywhere, anytime so that you can save time to sitting down for blank idea sheet.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
HFZ : It depends on the requirements and topic.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
HFZ : Do you love design, and do you think designer is so tired?
DI: What was your most important job experience?
HFZ : San Francisco Ballet. Knows better for learning marketing.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
HFZ : Jins, San Francisco Ballet, Kolmostar, PBlock, etc.
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
HFZ : Logo design.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
HFZ : Keep working, keep thinking, keep finding the way lead to the answer of my life.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
HFZ : For sure, team is always the best, but you have to be able to make your own part as basic skill.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
HFZ : I'm working on developing the idea of Chaos. It could be more artistic project.
DI: How can people contact you?
HFZ : email@example.com
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
HFZ : Everything is good to me, many thanks!