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Tiger Pan—A designer who practises craftsmanship of both aesthetic & commercial value
Author:Pan Jiachang  Date:2019-04-28  Clicks:

As a winner of the Red Dot Design Award, Product Design Award and The Interior Design Excellence Award (IDEA), Tiger Pan, WHU’s visiting professor in the School of Urban Design, is a well-known brand designer in China. Pan has established a visual marketing theory and acquired 18 years of dedicated, practical experience in the design industry. At the same time, with an eye on the experimental research of packaging design, he has been exploring and promoting design commercialization in the field of high-end packaging, for which Pan is recognized as a ‘craftsman’ of both aesthetic and commercial value.

Designer Tiger Pan

Pan is a Wuhan native. In March, he returned to Wuhan to participate in the invitational exhibition Art & Illustration held by WHU’s Wanlin Art Museum, where he delivered a lecture. “Ever since I was born, the long history and unique cultural qualities of Wuhan have greatly influenced me and served as a kind of spiritual nourishment”, said Pan, “A lot of my works tell brand stories using small details that can be traced back to Wuhan’s inspirational influence on me.”

Pan delivering a speech at WHU’s Wanlin Art Museum

Pan’s package design of Chu Orange, which is exhibited at Wanlin Art Museum draws much attention from students and visitors. In his lecture, he said that “it is one of my most satisfactory works. It’s not about how many international awards the design has won for me, but how it affects the audience and myself after so much effort,” In order to improve the user experience, Pan’s team uses a pull-out box to nest inside and outside. When the inner box is gently pulled out, the oranges can be easily taken out and displayed for sale.

Pan also shared his story concerning Mr. Chu Shijian, the creator of Chu Orange, a legendary figure who is crowned as ’China’s Orange King’. The conception of Chu Orange took a long time. In 2002, at the age of 74 Mr. Chu was released on bail for medical treatment (he had been involved in an economic case when he was young) and started his second venture in County Xinping, Yunnan Province. In 2012, 85-year-old Chu started to sell oranges through e-commerce. It was an instant hit, that earned him the name ’China’s Orange King’. Mr. Chu died on March 5, 2019. Pan said, “I have had a lot of admiration for Mr. Chu. The unique texture of woodblock prints signifies accumulation of a lifetime’s worth of experience, which symbolizes the extraordinary life of this old gentleman.”

 Pan’s package design of Chu Orange

Tiger Pan’s home-coming trip coincides with the time of WHU’s Cherry Blossom Festival. “At each sight of WHU’s cherry blossoms, I linger to cherish them and enjoy myself. Our strong feelings and love should be fused with beautiful things to bring us the vital inspiration needed for artistic expression through our design. When we design packaging for jasmine tea, the inspiration does not come from merely adding jasmine, which is directly related to the product. Each of our designers should experience some emotions and associations, such as occurs in Zhang Ailing's romantic fiction Jasmine Fragrance, which conjures images of Shanghai in a foregone era, with delicate women wearing cheongsams and drinking jasmine tea. Such images represent the story and aesthetic of an era. The soul endowed with our emotions is the greatest value we bring to the product.”

Pan’s package design for jasmine tea

Liu Xiaojing, a graphic communication major from the Printing and Packaging Department, asked Tiger Pan for vocational advice on being a package designer in the future. “Interest is the key”, answered Pan, “any achievement in the field of humanities and aesthetics can never be made without deep love and strong desire. So, for young people who are about to enter the workforce, I strongly recommend that you ask yourself the question: ‘Is design my true love? If your answer is yes, keep pursuing it and cherish your dream.”

Tiger Pan has always dedicated himself to introducing and spreading Chinese culture around the world, which is manifested in nearly all his works. In 2018, Pan designed commemorative stamps for the United Nations in celebration of the Year of the Dog. “Using the Chinese favorite colors of bright red and yellow, I applied the Chinese traditional paper-cutting style to this series as it asserts the UN’s respect and recognition towards traditional Chinese culture”, said Pan.

Pan’s design of commemorative stamps for the United Nations

“I am deeply passionate about design, even after 20 years. At the beginning of my career, my respected senior designers made an invaluable contribution to the early stage of design enlightenment in China. As time went by, some changes took place. Fortunately, the current era is an era in which people have overcome their survival needs and begun to they pursue a richer cultural and aesthetic life. It is also the best era for designers. I am so glad to be a ‘craftsman’: to design, to love, and to enjoy.”

Photo by Tiger Packing Design LAB

Edited by Zhou Siyan, Li Yushan, Shi Weiya & Hu Sijia

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