China inspired

China is credited with two mainstays of graphic design - paper and movable type - yet the concept of 'graphic design' barely existed there 30 years ago. With China's government beginning to replace the insular thinking of old with a more outward-reaching approach, and the Olympics making the country the focus of global attention, a new generation of Chinese creative talent has emerged, marrying traditional Oriental aesthetics with contemporary methodology and style. An entire nation's design industry is being forged, and there's the potential to tap into a massive and lucrative new market. But beware: many Chinese designers are starting to look outwards and thinking exactly the same thing.

Independent thinking
The West's rich background in design stretches back many decades. So it's hard to imagine a country where graphic design barely existed a generation ago. But in China, the words for 'design' or 'designer' only started being used in the early 1990s, and creative graphic design didn't exist at all before the 1980s. Although the country has a strong history in calligraphy, its long period of being a centrally planned economy meant there was little demand for truly creative design. Output was generally functional, aiming to advertise products in the most basic and brutal sense. Even during periods of great political reform, craftsmanship prevailed over creativity, and only recently has this started to change.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.