▲ 2017金點概念設計獎徵件至 6 月 28 日截止
Award winning 90s-born duo make perfect partners
“I would like to thank my partner,” said Taiwanese designer Man-Lin Wang at the 2016 Golden Pin Concept Design Award ceremony. “Without you, we wouldn’t be here.” Man-Lin and her team mate Chieh-Ying Wang were on stage to receive a coveted Best Design trophy for their typography project, Lai Zi Na Li. The win was a dream come true for the 90s-born duo, which came with a hefty cash prize of TW$ 300,000, and on stage, the two designers showed a touching closeness as they bantered back and forth about their inspirations.
Disassembling, reassembling, and creating unique fonts
Man-Lin and Chieh-Ying graduated from the Department of Industrial and Commercial Design at the Oriental Institute of Technology in 2016. Believing each font represents a culture, they designed two fonts Fa-guang and Tou-ming for Lai Zi Na Li named, which were inspired by the sincere and friendly nature of Taiwanese people. In order to add some interactivity to their project, they came up with the idea of designing a set of movable type stamps. As the designers note: ”Our target users are primary school students and those who are just starting to learn Chinese. You can learn about Chinese characters as you create your own font styles using the stamps. We have received incredibly positive feedback.”
Design Is a calling and a destiny
Design is a calling for the dedicated duo. Chieh-Ying has lived nearby Fu-Hsin Trade & Arts School since she was a child. Watching the art students hefting around their bags of drawing tools motivated her to pursue a career inspired by her love of painting. Man-Lin has liked painting since childhood. With her family’s support and a wish to become the drive to become a designer in the future, she majored in art in junior high school and all way through college.
Lai Zi Na Li is the team-of-two’s Bachelor’s degree graduation project. When choosing a partner, outgoing Man-Lin intuitively asked quiet Chieh-Ying if she wanted to work together. Since then, through the process of idea generation to project completion, the two young designers have been inseparable and admit to never having had an argument. When they did not see eye-to-eye, they sought advice from their teachers and constantly improved on their best ideas.
These two polar opposites are strangely and uniquely matched. For example, Man-Lin admits that she is sometimes absentminded and often forgets her belongings. During university, Chieh-Ying would spot these items and thoughtfully pick them up. Without saying a word, she would give them back to Man-Lin when she discovered them missing. Lai Zi Na Li was first unveiled at YODEX (Young Designers’ Exhibition) 2016 in Taiwan. The designers made 100 sets of stamps for the event, all of which sold out. By close of year, their work had been recognized as Best of Golden Pin Concept Design Award, making both more confident than ever to pursue a career in design.
First giving back to society; onto fundraising and mass production
TW$ 300,000 is a lot of money for a recent graduate, most of whom have just entered the job market. How did Man-Lin and Chieh-Ying use their prize money? Surprisingly, the first thing they choose to do was to give back to society. “Shortly after receiving the award at the end of last year, we saw the news about the famine in South Sudan. We felt that we could offer some help, so we donated part of the money and saved the rest for our future projects," the generous pair recall.
Through love and goodwill they are made stronger. Man-Lin and Chieh-Ying are currently improving their products and their next step will be a fundraising campaign through a crowdfunding platform. In this way, the designers hope to achieve their goal of mass production of Lai Zi Na Li, in turn enabling more people to discover just how interesting, fun, and beautiful traditional Chinese characters can be.