Artist Interview: Ran Zheng Shares Her Stories On Her Journey of Playing An Irreplaceable Role On Various Projects

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Artist Interview: Ran Zheng Shares Her Stories On Her Journey of Playing An Irreplaceable Role On Various Projects
By: Editorial Team

Ran Zheng, the young Chinese artist, has been working at Pentagram since 2017, during which she has proven her design talent by presenting lots of wonderful projects. As a well-known design company in the world, Pentagram has provided Ran with a platform that has tons of great opportunities of working with a brunch of excellent brands. As a result, this sophisticated artist has established lots of expertise in the design industry and successfully brought tons of artwork to the society.

Q: What do you think has been your biggest gain in your career path on becoming a senior designer since you’ve started working at Pentagram in 2017?

A: My biggest gain since working at Pentagram is being able to work on a large number of excellent design projects and seeing these designs on the streets of New York with my name on it. From the New York Book Fair Event Identity to the rebanding of Waze, I’m very proud of myself every time I see the app icon that’s designed by me. I feel very honored to be able to contribute to these great projects, the success of which has also boosted my confidence in the field of design and inspired me to become a better designer.

Q: What was your most important project when you first joined Pentagram? How do you feel about it?

A: Definitely the motion graphic design for the Spring 2017 Benefit of The Storefront for Art and Architecture. The graphics explore the notion of division and discord, emphasizing the dialectical struggle between facts and "alternative facts”. This project gave me the opportunity to use my expertise in motion graphic design and I made a one-minute animation over the weekend. It was presented on a huge projection screen at Federal Hall in New York, which was also the inspiration of this design because Federal Hall is an artifact itself, and the home of many foundational institutions of U.S. democracy. It has been a hub of debate and dialogue throughout the evolution of U.S. political history.

(Artifact, Identity Design for Spring 2017 Benefit, Work at Pentagram Design)

Q: That’s very impressive indeed. Were you in charge of the identity for the Spring 2018 Benefit as well?

A: Yes. The identity and motion graphics for the event centered on the theme “LIT,” a play on the abbreviation for “literature” and the slang for “intoxicated” or “exciting”. This idea was actually inspired by books because architects love books. In this design, kinetic fields of black-and-white typography move through a bright red line that suggests the gutter of a book. Arcing on page-like curves, the type creates an illusion of dimensional depth and is set spinning in motion graphics.

(LIT, Identity Design for Spring 2018 Benefit, Work at Pentagram Design)

Q: When did you first get into art? How did you establish a place for yourself in the design industry?

A: I’ve been studying art since high school because I've been a big fan of art and visual design since I was a kid. I really enjoyed learning new visual methods like hand-drawn techniques and computer design software to create my own style. Now I’ve been working at Pentagram for five years, in which I gained actual experience on graphics, typography and display type design, as well as creating consistent visual systems for rebranding. In the process of working with different brands, I’ve been constantly pushing myself to find the perfect solution that best fits the brand's requirements to get where I am today. I have to say that this process was not always easy and I did a lot of learning and communication.

Q: In your opinion, what is the secret of being successful in the design industry?

A: The accumulation of learning and exercising plays the key role here. This is a mutual process because good concepts don’t just come from graphic design, they come from everywhere—movies, art, architecture and other areas in life. You will not be creative until you are able to understand the creativity in life. On the other hand, working on various projects to perfect your designing skills and presenting skills is also vital here. Designers need to have their professional skills developed before seizing great opportunities and always be confident about their own work.

Q: In what ways do you think the importance of a good design is shown to a brand?

A: A good design makes a strong impression and is thus more likely to attract more consumers. For example, after the rebranding of Waze, the project got a lot of media attention. The increasing exposure and positive consumer feedback created more users worldwide. And Waze now has 140 million monthly active users. In addition, a good packaging design can set brands apart from the crowd, helping them stand out among competitors. For instance, our team redesigned the packaging of the Van Leeuwen ice cream, increasing sales by 50%, which is why I also worked on their new ice cream bar packaging design last year. Standing out in the supermarket freezer brings more consumer value and thus makes their products more memorable.

The great contribution of Ran has not only brought a variety of brands back to life, but also established a good reputation for Pentagram. Both her design concept and professional skills have proved success and are recognized by the society. In the future, this young artist will continue to shine in the design industry.

To learn more about Ran’s information and artwork, please visit

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