Jianping He

Jianping He is a Chinese designer based in Berlin. After studying graphic design at the China Academy of Art, He earned an MFA from the Berlin University of the Arts, and a PhD in cultural history from the Free University of Berlin. He has explained that the German emphasis on “independent thinking and play” has counterbalanced the academic discipline of his Chinese education, and his designs negotiate between these different intellectual traditions. In restrained color palettes, he executes bold poster designs with exacting precision, often incorporating both Chinese characters and Roman letters.

In 2002, he founded Hesign, a Berlin studio which designs not only posters, books, and corporate identities, but also curates exhibitions and organizes cultural events. Hesign has since added branches in Shanghai and Hanzhou. Through the studio, He has designed posters for clients like AIG, the Asian Culture and Arts Development Alliance, the Guangzhou Asian Games, and the China Academy of Art. He has also created promotional materials for contemporary artists like Keith Goddard and Yang Fudong, and curated shows for Niklaus Troxler, Xu Jiang, the Warsaw International Poster Biennale, and others. His work has appeared in solo shows in Tokyo, Nanjing, Ljubljana, Hong Kong, and Essen, many of which He curated himself. His designs have received a host of awards, including first place at the 2005 Lahti International Poster Biennial, a silver medal at the 2010 New York ADC, and awards for Typographic Excellence from the Type Directors Club in 2007 and 2010.

Works associated with this person or group

  • Poster, Jazz & Design- Niklaus Troxler, 2012

    An asymmetric collage of Niklaus Troxler’s portrait in front of a background of black blots in various sizes. Details of the exhibition are printed in diagonals at the lower left…

  • Poster, Detour Design Show, 2008

    “detour deSign Show of jianping he in hong kong” written with the ascenders and descenders of the letters elongated into long trailing curves. The date, venue, and sponsor of the…

  • Poster, Keith Godard, 2011

    An asymmetric collage of a portrait of designer Keith Godard. There are white s-curves on Godard’s face with details of the exhibition printed inside in lowercase letters.

  • Poster, Spirited, 2011

    A single chinese character in black calligraphy. Fine black lines connect the ends of the characters, forming a three-dimensional shape.

  • Poster, In Between He Jianping, 2012

    Poster reads, “In Between He Jianping 20.9 – 8.11 NLB Galerija Avla Lubljana.” There is a long caligraphic line between the first and the second letters of each word.

  • Poster, China Image, 2004

    Two Chinese characters spelling “China” and modelled in ceramic are placed in front of a background of white blossoms. Ceramic modelling fabricated by Sonny Kim.

  • Poster, AGI- To Kyo To, 2007

    “TokyoTo.” printed vertically in black, in front of a background of frenzied black lines. AGi, TokyoTo. written in upper left corner in unfilled block capital letters.