China Renmin University Press, Beijing, 2012, Chinese
Nonfiction, Graphic Design; Nonfiction, Product/Industrial Design
ISBN: 9787300164311

From posters that criticize cultural politics to branding and artworks faithful to his own beliefs, Freeman Lau devoted his creativity to the marketplace and society for over 30 years, winning more than 300 awards. His unconventional approaches have included reshaping the Watsons Water bottle, giving it a streamlined shape and making the lid a cup, which won him the Bottled Water World Design Award; he rebranded Chinese companies such as Wing Wah Mooncake and Li-Ning. His series of sculptural chairs, “Chairplay” is a reflection on the man-woman relationship and the accompanying power struggle. He also initiated a 12-year-long project asking designers and artists to reinterpret the traditional 12 signs of the zodiac using contemporary design techniques and materials, which is another example of applying creativity to industry.

CMYK is a record of how Freeman Lau’s design has evolved over the past 30 years and how design has transformed in Hong Kong during the period. It also describes how Freeman Lau, together with Xin Jiqiang and Gao Shaokang, have worked to push design culture forward in Asia. The title “CMYK,” which refers to the era of four-color printing in which Freeman Lau grew up (C, Cyan; M, Magenta; Y, Yellow; K, Black), has been given new meaning by Lau, who titles his chapters “C" for “Culture"; “M" for “Market"; “Y" for “Youth" and “K" for “Key" (the “creative core").

With an exciting future on the horizon, designers and practitioners will need to broaden their vision. As Freeman Lau says, design is not a way of expression, but also a way of thinking.






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