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Advertising instructor showcases poster designs in China

Aug 9, 2018

Posted in: News

By Marcus Messner, Ph.D., Associate Director, and Joshua Smith, Coordinator of the Public Relations Sequence

Advertising instructor Bizhan Khodabandeh will showcase four of his poster designs at the China Printing Design Biennale in Beijing this fall. Khodabandeh has built a relationship with various poster and design events in China thanks to Li Xu, a design professor in Beijing.

"I love doing international exhibits. I often am unable to attend them, but I get to vicariously live through my work being able to travel to these locations," said Khodabandeh, who has been a full-time faculty member in the Robertson School since 2015.

"It's always an enjoyable experience to tackle a new problem that encourages an unfamiliar use of software that you've been using for years," he added. Khodabandeh said that he is particularly fascinated by how art and design can be a catalyst for social change.

Xu noticed Khodabandeh's work in an international traveling exhibition dealing with social issues, Poster For Tomorrow. This led to an invite to his curated exhibition about imagining a "green city," highlighting laser cutting technology. The two designers then co-curated a cross-cultural typographic poster exhibit showing Chinese and US designers in both China and the States. Since then Xu has invited Khodabandeh to various other events like the China Printing Design Biennale at the Beijing Etrong International Exhibition & Convention Center in September. 

"Thanks to my participation in his exhibitions, I also regularly get invited to the Shenzhen International Poster Festival. This will be their third festival and my third time participating in it," said Khodabandeh. "This year I have been invited to a special part of the festival titled '100 Posters_Hakka Impression International Poster Invitation Exhibition.'" It is an invitation-only exhibit of 100 designers from around the world.

"The exhibited posters must deal with Hakka Culture - ideally in the Longgang District of Shenzhen City. I chose to focus on their famous architecture, 'earth buildings.' This was a bit difficult for me as we were asked to avoid certain topics, so an aesthetic translation of the architecture and florals seemed to be the best approach to a solution," he added.  

The final poster that Khodabandeh submitted is entirely done using vector illustration. "It was a fun experiment to figure out the best ways to efficiently execute it. This was the first time I found a use for creating custom border swatches in illustrator. I used this technique for the roof tiling of the building which made for a much faster solution than placing each tile individually. Each one of the visible rings are separate strokes with one of two border patterns applied to it. I then expanded the rings to isolate the individual tiles and manually changed their colors to imply wear on the building," Khodabandeh said.