the Industry : Kim Ji-hwan

This week for the Industry, we talk with ZERO PER ZERO, a design duo of two graphic designers (Jin Sol and AKim Ji-Hwan) in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Specializing mainly in the field of graphic, information design as well as in illustration. Currently they are focused on their City Railway System series. Enjoy the interview!

What is your interest with line map design?

Current railway map system has been developed on the basis of system made by Herrybeck of England. Our design also does not stray a lot from his influence. It’s just that we are finding it really interesting to take the official railway map that is a little bit stern and make it more interesting and charming. We consider the railway map not just as a guide to using the railway but as a cultural merchandise of the city.

You have interpreted the railway systems of New York City, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Barcelona and Hokkaido- what has been the most challenging city to design?

Tokyo was the most challenging one. Japanese railway system is more unique and complicated that that of any other place in the world. It was very difficult to effectively organize more than 1500 stations and over 100 lines. It went through several editions before we settled on the current design.

What makes your interpretations of subway maps unique?

City Railway System is a new approach of projecting the identity of a city onto its subway map. Whereas standard subway maps are aimed at conveying information as clearly and concisely as possible, City Railway System by Zeroperzero is distinguished by grafting symbolic elements of each city on to the map while preserving clarity. Targeting specifically tourists, we also marked major landmarks and attractions on the subway map, making it convenient for the tourists to figure out the fastest way to get to the destination just by taking a glance. The railway map itself is also good for souvenir.

You have chosen to graft symbolic elements of different cities onto the map- how do you choose what is iconic?

The symbolic element cannot be something notably commercial and it has to be something everybody agrees on. Also, it needs to have a simple and clear image so that it transforms into an icon easily. For these reasons, we are often inspired by the national flags when designing for the nationa capitals. The idea comes to us more easily if we have lived in the city or have travelled through the city and got to know the characteristics of the railway system.

How do you package the maps?AWhat type of experience do you want to give to the reader?

Our maps is good for practical use and for interior decor. For Mini Maps, we minimize the packaging so that it can be carried in a wallet or scheduler easily. City Maps come with separate cover so that it is a bit fancier and it is also great to hang on a wall. Additionally, we apply our design to everyday commodities such as mouse pads, folders, notebooks, etc. to answer diverse needs of diverse buyers.

What awards and recognitions have you recieved for your work? What has been the most important?

We won various international awards with our City Railway System: iF Communication Gold, ADC-Silver, IDEA-Silver, etc. Among these, we are most attached to the iF Award because it was the first big award that we were recognized with. We definitely worked with more confidence after winning it.

Are you open to collaboration?

We have done collaborations with companies such as 10 Corso Como or SK Telecom of Korea. We always welcome collaborations.

What challenges do you face on a day to day basis working in graphic design?

We would like to make more profits off of our own contents rather than client jobs, however, in reality, client jobs are more profitable currently. If it continues like this we won’t have much to our name at the end, so we are always thinking about ways to make profits using our own contents.

How do you see zeroperzero’s place in design world in the next 5 years?

In 5 years, City Railway System series should be near completion. We expect there to be more variety of work forms, collaborations and commissions going off of the cities we would have worked on. Also, we will be coming up with and working on new contents other than the map series.


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Posted: July 22nd, 2010
at 9:30am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: design,the industry,maps

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