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Interview with Xi Alice Zong

Home > Designer Interviews > Xi Alice Zong

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Xi Alice Zong (XAZ) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Xi Alice Zong by clicking here.

Interview with Xi Alice Zong at Saturday 1st of June 2019

FS: 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?
XAZ: Growing up I always wanted to be a designer. My parents are both artists and they gave me the great influence of the arts. I was very lucky to have their support learning design. After graduate from Nanjing Arts Institute, I came to the U.S. and get my Master degree of Arts at RIT. I am passionate about design, present and support creative concepts. Proficient with Adobe Creative Creative Suite. Worked in a very systematic and diligent manner, and proved to be an independent thinker, a faster learner and a great team-worker.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
XAZ: Being an award-winning visual designer, I am dedicated to developing designs and branding with a conviction to quality. With MFA degree, AIGA member and member of China Designers Association, I am focusing on Graphic design, Digital design and Branding, Typography, Packaging, Web and App Design.

FS: What is "design" for you?
XAZ: Design is thinking about making a better future.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
XAZ: I enjoy working on posters and ads for non-profit organizations such as pets adoptions shelters most.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
XAZ: My favorite design is the New York wayfinding system designed by the Italian designer Massimo Vignelli. I lived in New York for 4 years, walking by and seeing the wayfinding design on the street every day in NYC, the incredible design makes me realize how a great design would approve people’s lives.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
XAZ: My first project for a company is the poster and branding design for a non-profit organization, a pet shelter located in Rochester, Scottsville Veterinary Adoptions.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
XAZ: My favorite technology is VR and AR. It is a really functional and helpful technology not only in design field but also in lots of fields.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
XAZ: When I am inspired and lots of ideas came to me, that is the time when I feel the most creative.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
XAZ: I focus more on the aesthetic and function of my design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
XAZ: When I am designing I am usually in the flow. And I always feel very delightful and excited when I am designing.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
XAZ: I feel very proud when my design works are realized.

FS: What makes a design successful?
XAZ: A successful design is clear, timeless and efficient.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
XAZ: I would consider whether this design is functional and visual-friendly first. A great design will always make sense and easy to understand for the audience.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
XAZ: A designer would always think about people's future life, good design will improve our lives. That is the responsibility of a designer for society and the environment.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
XAZ: I think the "design field" is constantly improving all over the world. There are so many talented designers each year and so many amazing ideas. So many more amazing skills and techniques are helping with design nowadays. I'm sure there will be a bright future of design and our world.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
XAZ: My last exhibition “Here There” - 2019 New Year Exhibition was held in February 2019, at OCULUS Center, World Trade Center in New York, sponsored by Asian Culture Center.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
XAZ: I got inspired by a lot of people and things around me. I love to talk to other people and learn about different lifestyles. I also love to go out and explore, these are all my sources of inspiration.

FS: 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?
XAZ: Alice Zong is dedicated to developing designs and branding with a conviction to quality.

FS: 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?
XAZ: I used to live in New York City for 4 years and I am now living in California. There's so much art impact from living in both cities. I love the dynamic cultural heritage of both cities and I got a lot of inspiration from all the nice design and arts all over the place.

FS: How do you work with companies?
XAZ: I work at Apple.Inc now as a graphic designer. I love the culture and design of Apple. All designer team members are super talented. Working at Apple is such an exciting and challenging experience. I get to work on lots of great projects with great designers and illustrators.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
XAZ: Always select a designer who is really passionate about designing and treat design projects as their babies.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
XAZ: My design usually starts from a simple inspiration and develops to a couple of ideas. I will then do research on the target audience to the project. After creating several draft ideas, I will focus on them and continue working on it until finished. After one project finished, I will usually make a customer survey to get feedback from my target audience.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
XAZ: HEKTAR floor lamp, VEDBO armchair, SMEG espresso machine, Lumio book lamp, and Polaroid OneStep+ Camera.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
XAZ: My day usually starts with a nice cup of coffee. I usually read my favorite of the book in the morning and take photos of my cat. When I am feeling very inspired, I would start designing right away with my cat around.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
XAZ: Always get inspired, and always thinking about the future of design.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
XAZ: There are lots of positives of being a designer. It is such a great experience expressing our creativity as designers. Good designs make our future life so much better. However, being a designer will work in a constantly changing field, the finish line is always moving so we will need to constantly learn and improving.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
XAZ: Be visually powerful, and intellectually elegant.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
XAZ: The skills of aesthetic and functional are the most important for a designer.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
XAZ: Adobe Creative Suite is my favorite tool, especially Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. I also use Sketch and Corel Painter. When I am working on videos I use After Effect and Photoshop, LightRoom, etc. I usually go to some very nice design websites such as Designspiration to get some ideas and inspiration.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
XAZ: I will always think ahead and do the background and research ahead of time. Good time management is also a great skill that a great designer needs to have.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
XAZ: It depends on the project. Some design projects could be going pretty fast and smooth. Some of the projects would take lots of amounts of research and learning, it would take longer to make it a nice design.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
XAZ: "How can it be even better?"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
XAZ: My most important job expereince is working on my project Chinese paper-cutting Typeface. The idea of the project began to conceive in early 2017, with all the traveling and researching back at Asia China, the typeface element in the pattern, and the finished production including book design in early February 2018, at New York, US.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
XAZ: I worked with Ralph Lauren, Gap Inc, Tom Ford International, Ann Inc, and Apple Inc.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
XAZ: I enjoy digital/visual design most because it's amazed to see how much huge potential of the digital and visual design in the future.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
XAZ: I will continue exploring the world and nice designs all over the world. I will never stop imporving my skills and aesthetic.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
XAZ: I work on design projects on my own most of the time. I also like to work as a team and I am also a great team worker. My published book "Human Health Book" which is featured in The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology, is done by group designers. It was a great experience working in a team full of talented designers.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
XAZ: One of my works-in-progress now is a branding project extension of my Chinese Paper-cutting typeface. The Chinese paper-cutting Typeface design is a start point and there will be lots of potential for more related visual design such as branding design, advertising design, and poster, etc.

FS: How can people contact you?
XAZ: Contact me through my email and personal portfolio website.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
XAZ: I am passionate of design, present and support creative concepts. Proficient with Adobe Creative Creative Suite. Worked in a very systematic and diligent manner, and proved to be an independent thinker, a faster learner and a great team-worker. Being a graphic designer, I am dedicated to developing designs and branding with a conviction to quality.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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