Shanghai Biennale Rebranding

An Ever-Evolving Cultural Identity


Oct 2018


Independent project.
I was the designer and coder.


p5.js. Javascript. Photoshop.

The History

Previous Exhibition Themes

1996 - "Open Space"
1998 - "Inheritance and Exploration"
2000 - "Spirit of Shanghai"
2002 - "Urban Creation"
2004 - "Techniques of the Visible"
2006 - "Hyper Design"
2008 - "Translocalmotion"
2010 - "Rehearsal”
2012 - “Reactivation”
2014 - “Social Factory”
2016 - “Why Not Ask Again”
2018 - “Proregress”

First launched in 1996, the Shanghai Biennale has always taken Shanghai as its primary focus. It gathers the most talented international curators and artists from the industries to explore the ultimate connection between urban life, contemporary art and the public. It has also become a large-scale biennale platform in the city for the exchange and exhibition of contemporary art pieces.

Even though the biennale stands at the pinnacle of Asian contemporary arts, it has considerable problems in terms of its brand recognition. Every two years, Shanghai Biennale’s identity is changed dramatically. It is evidential that over the past twenty years, Shanghai Biennale did not have a recognizable and consistent identity.

The Challenge

Representing the progressiveness of Shanghai Biennale while keeping its identity consistent and recognizable

The Cultural Connection

The current Shanghai Biennale logo is originated from the Chinese character “双” (double, two, dual, bi).

I kept this localized element as part of my design, while adopting two other elements: geometric shapes and optical illusion, to best demonstrate the idea of postmodernism and progressiveness.

The Colors

Transform. Progress. Evolve.

This is a programmed system for Shanghai Biennale that creates generative identities that can be applied under different circumstances and themes yet compliant with a recognizable design rule. The identity is adaptive to merchandises, architectures, prints, as well as installations and sculptures in physical spaces.

Generated By Code

The design methodology itself is a representation of the progressiveness that Shanghai Biennale pursues. Adopting programming system, it is the merge of technological development and contemporary arts.
Instead of designing one specific identity, thousands of identities can be generated through the system with little time, making the identities dynamic yet compliant with one design rule. The generative system can be easily reprogrammed and revised for future use.

An Identity For Everyone

Merchandise - Name Tags
Merchandise - Tote Bags
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