Designer of the Week: Chungkong
[Call for entries: HOW Logo Design Awards]
If you enjoy a good movie poster, then you’re going to love Designer of the Week Chungkong’s work. Not only is his minimalistic movie poster side project ongoing (with 850+ titles thus far!), but he calls it his magnum opus, so you can bet he’s bringing his A game to every last piece he creates.
Design school attended: The Dutch Academy of Art and Design, The Gerrit Rietveld Academie
How would you describe your work?
Minimalistic. I love the simplicity of things. The directness of it. The fact that the essence is beautiful enough. In everything.
It is actually quite ironic that I work so minimalistically now. In my earlier days as a designer, I was not a big fan of minimal design. In fact “F**K those Swiss-school designers” was more my approach.
Now that’s clearly different. But that period has given me a little devil on my shoulder, which occasionally shouts, “less is a bore,” “less is a bore.” In hindsight, a blessing in disguise. It keeps me sharp, prevents me from laziness and helps me find the right balance. Less is only more if it’s done right.
Where do you find inspiration?
In one word, happiness. Although, inspiration is not really the starting point for me. I see creativity, in general, more like a craft. And for me personally even more as an addiction. I feel the need to make something every day. And I always try to do it as freely as possible. Like a child in a playground almost. If it’s not fun to do, I’ll do something different. And I really do only things that make me happy.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
My all-time favorite graphic designer is a dutch artist called Dick Bruna. He is a graphic designer who made Zwarte Beertjes (Black Bears) bookcovers in the 70s. They where cheap paperbacks about detectives and more. He made 1800(!) of those covers, most of them brilliant. A lot of people will know him for the world’s most popular children’s book about the rabbit Miffy (Nijntje in Dutch). And if you don’t know Miffy, you definitely know the Japanese rip-off (true fact), Hello Kitty.
Other designers that have influenced me include Neville Brody, Anton Beeke, Tibor Kalman, Swip Stolk.
And as artists goes, you should think of people like Gilbert and George, Warhol, Indiana, Haring, and nowadays Banksy. They have in common, I think, that they all have their own recognizable visual language in which they can tell their own stories. Love that very much.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve got one ongoing project—that is my minimal movie posters project. This my magnum opus. A neverending story (850+ titles so far). And for my other projects, I try to finish al my projects in a short period of time. Otherwise the fun of these projects fade.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
From the moment I chose to do only nice projects that make me smile, I did not really have that feeling anymore. It was a liberating choice. You could almost say that my biggest challenge was in that choice. I think that, like many others, I did not always dare to make that choice in the beginning.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I live and create according a few simple rules. One of them is “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.”
For me, it means the freedom to fail. Assume at the start that not everything works out like you want, and that eventually everything can always be better. But what you make today is good, and tomorrow there are new opportunities. I hope (and think so far) that will be a smart strategy to conquer my future.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Some Star Wars wisdom to live by:”Do or do not, there is no try.”
Just start making things. There is only one mistake you can make, and that is to keep an idea just an idea. Every step thereafter is always the right one.
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