Interview with Jansword Zhu, Founder & Art Director of Jansword Design, CN

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Jansword Zhu

Jansword is the Founder and Art Director of Jansword Design, which specializes in brand, package and product designs with evolutionary visuals.

Jansword Zhu | Jansword Design | Muse Awards

Interview with the 2019 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Jansword Zhu

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
JANSWORD DESIGN is a design company specializing in brand, package and product design with evolutionary visuals, especially focusing on food/alcohol, culture/art, fashion related cases that's based in Beijing and Tokyo.

As I shifted from Tokyo to Beijing in childhood and graduated from Musashino Art University (Tokyo), I have a trilingual communication ability and international understanding to face the variable needs from clients all over the world, such as GQ, Starbucks, Canon etc.

We have also won the Global Design Awards, Muse Awards, IF Awards, Red Dot Awards, A’Design Awards (including a Platinum award), H.A.C Artist Awards (Japan). Our works embodies in “Food Design(publishing of images)”, “Collage(Sendpoints)” and many design catalogues.

Due to the tremendous changes in Web world, we take the social media power as a vital role in design thinking. The three key values of my design methodology are brand positioning, aesthetic power and social media self-diffusing power.
2Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
It is definitely a great honor for us as all 4 of our entries won the Muse Awards, including one Platinum award. Everyone in my team are so passionate about our job and have been working really hard.

Winning the 2019 Muse Awards is a recognition of our style and hard work. It will also help our company to be well received in the industry. I think everything has formed a virtuous circle, from hard work to good design, to explosive market response, international exposure and other rewards.This allows me to invest more in our team and further improve our work. Eventually, it will help to attract more clients.
3Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
We have 4 winning entries this year. Kaishan provides evolutionary aesthetic possibility of Chinese Spirit; Ladypenguin P's wine package shows both visual and taste via fonts and illustration. Pavomea Crisp keeps balance between playfulness and gracefulness. For Musee, I thought It would be interesting if Musee won Muse award, and it did.
4What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Active, variables, mass market and essential cultural resources make Chinese creative industry exciting and unpredictable. It is like a huge unfinished collaged painting with touches from 4000 years ago with a contemporary digital glitch. Creators, keep clear, keep your instincts.
5Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
1. Media industry and Social media will continue to evolve, with the B2C brand winning online winning it all, mostly.

2. Design will become more about aesthetic and values, not separated elements. The internet spreading of the values of Anti-class and bravery will reflect in the design trend with super-flat, vivid and destructive design. The brand grasping the pulse of the Times wins.

3. The boundaries are becoming vague: Art vs. design, online vs. offline, eating/ relaxing place vs. working place. More possibilities can happen and unpredictable opponents will appear.
6Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist of the 20th century, has a great influence on me. I believe design is a process of transmitting energy via image. “Energy” is huge, more than only message, idea or emotion, but the spirit and soul of human being. Channeling the right part of energy of a designer and transform it into right forms makes what is the right design. It is a psychological and spiritual process indeed. Carl Jung’s opinion on image, which is “IMAGE is ENERGY” in my understanding, definitely changed my view of the world.

My Japanese Mentor, Yoshihisa Shirai and Mishima Tento, also inspired me greatly when I was studying in Tokyo. Mr Shirai taught me “What are the rules” and “How to break rules”. Mr. Mishima enlightened me with “Draw the wind and catch your heart“. Unfortunately, Mr. Mishima passed away with unfinished lessons. However, his voice, encouragement and spirit will forever echo in my heart.
7What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I believe that the three-key values to the Web 2.0+ Market are brand positioning, aesthetic power and self-diffusing(Social media communication) power. Every design is a communication process. Not only should a design be “beautiful”, it should also conquer the aesthetic highland, talk to the target audience and provoke them with the diffusing of social media. Good design is a reflection of Epoch. Socially active mass is vital nowadays due to the theory of “Spiral of Silence”

As I have a trilingual background and upbringing, I preserved a sensible reading on Chinese online culture, Neo-Chinese aesthetic and different appreciated values in Japan, Europe and America, which allows me to shift among different thinking modes for different design processes.
8Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
My new book “INVISIBLE Z AXIS: Art History Through the Lens of Astrology Archetype” will be published in about 2 months.

The book perceives art history with ten archetypes deprived from meaning of ten planets (both eastern & western astrology). The book reveals an invisible Z axis of archetypes , in additional to X axis(time) and Y axis(region) and has been endorsed by many great artists around the world. The first edition is in Chinese and hope it could be translated into English soon.

Winning Entries

KAISHAN Chinese Spirit | 2019

KAISHAN Chinese Spirit | Jansword Design | Muse Awards
KAISHAN 18 white spirit, allows the customer to drink a dream with the blue and tranquil mountain scene. The blue gradient on the shoulder would reflexing blue aura on the crystal mountain(Dragon mountain of China, Tianshan). (read more)

Typo-Wine Synaesthesia: LadyPenguin “P” Wine tasting set

Typo-Wine Synaesthesia: LadyPenguin “P” Wine tasting set | Jansword Design | Muse Awards
Different from western market, China consumer is still unfamiliar with wine. Most of the consumer don't even know the basic knowledge of wine species, not to tell the subtle flavor difference. (read more)

PavoMea Chickpea Crisp Package | 2019

PavoMea Chickpea Crisp Package | Jansword Design | Muse Awards
The packaging design for the new product Pavomea Chickpea Crisp picks up on the aesthetics of portrait painting by Leonardo da Vinci. (read more)

MUSEE Luxury retail branding | 2019

MUSEE Luxury retail branding | Jansword Design | Muse Awards
MUSEE is a Luxury Retail and Second-hand Luxury Retail brand. The Brand name originated from French. (read more)

Jansword Design

Jansword Design is a design company based in Beijing and Tokyo, specializing in brand, package and product design with evolutionary visuals.