Designer Ken-Tsai Lee, featured in Journal #365, was born in Taipei, Taiwan and founded the Ken-Tsai Lee Design Studio in 1996. Lee is currently an associate professor at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and his work has won numerous awards such as the DA&D Award, iF Design Award (2015, 2016, and 2017), New York Type Director Club Annual Award, and the One Shoe Design Award. Additionally, his work has been internationally recognized by several different publications and collected by museums such as the Taiwan Museum of Art, Kaohusiung Museum of Fine Arts, and the Beijing Museum of Design. As Ben Chiu, the executive director of Taiwan Designers’ Web, says, “Every time Lee presents his work, he delivers incredible quality designs and items. He never ceases to amaze the design community in Taiwan and always raises the bar with the best designs.”
His works “Taipei South Town Art Festival 2014” (above, left) and “2011 China and Taiwan, Chinese Character Arts Festival” (above, right) illustrate his ability to easily incorporate text and image. Additionally, these two posters demonstrate his wide range of skills and his ability to balance both minimalist and abstract design techniques. “Type For Wearing” (below, right) is yet another example of Lee’s range; this stunning photograph perfectly captures the subject, juxtaposing the model’s pose with the vibrant colors of the background and fabric.
Here is a quick excerpt of our Q&A with Lee from Journal #365:
How do you define success?
When design becomes a movement that also can influence society. To change people’s behavior and change the concept of generations. If I can do that, I think I would say it’s a success.
Who among your contemporaries today do you most admire?
Design is not just a design on paper, but more importantly, design is life planning and design path planning. A designer who can break everyone’s perception of the design path and open up new ideas; this is what I admire most. If I need to name a name I most admire, I would name Shepard Fairey, from the wrestler poster he posted on streets when he studied at RSID. He then became a trendy brand, through the “Hope” poster designed for the Obama election.
To learn more about Lee and his studio, order Journal #365 here. and if you want to preorder our latest Journal, #368, click here!