It’s been a busy year for the Seoul-based design studio PangPangPang. Since we last covered the founding trio of Chaehyun Park, Hwara Jo and Naeun Han last year, the Korean graphic designers have continued to produce an innovative body of work in both print and digital since their dazzling debut on It’s Nice That last November. When we first featured them, we questioned whether interactive digital posters were set to overtake the printed poster, citing the studio’s designs for the 2018-19 International Typographic Biennale in Seoul Typojanchi as the key proponent.
Since then, the three animated posters have been nominated for Beazley Designs of the Year, “a glorious thing”, in the words of the studio. Thanking Typojanchi’s artistic director Jin&Park for successfully art directing the project, the founding designers then go on to discuss some further highlights from the past year. Amidst the design for a variety of products, including T-shirts, coasters and paper fans, the studio has also advanced its knowledge in emerging technologies such as VR while continuing to push print design in a style that is uniquely them.
“We wanted to do things that we haven’t made yet,” Chaehyun tells It’s Nice That on PangPangPang’s first foray into product design. In other work, the studio explored their unique collective mentality through a series of designs for Heavy magazine. Titled Project ‘P’, the project will be unveiled at Unlimited Edition Seoul 2019 and showcases how the “three members of PangPangPang live like one person (when it comes to work).”
Deciding to create a virtual character embodying all three of the founding designers’ personalities, Bat merges together Chaehyun’s, Hwara’s and Naeun’s faces and bodies into one character, P. The project, consisting of eight cut images, narrates the process of P coming into the world. “We created an identity card to synthesise the appearance of everyday life,” says Hwara, “we wanted to make P feel like a real person.”
Additionally, PangPangPang coins a new phrase for the poster design for this year’s BigRiver Poster Festival. Combining the Korean words for Saturday and Sunday – the Hangul translation of “Satunday” – the designers create a typographic design to celebrate that weekend feeling that we all know and love. “We placed an emphasis on the visual language of rock music and Korean entertainment in the poster,” Naeun adds, playing on the genie in the lamp motif and loosening up the Hangul calligraphy for the striking design.
In other projects, PangPangPang is collaborating with a watchmaker, a cutting mat company and implementing video and VR further in its work at the same time. Also open to any other kind of new collaborations which inspires synergy, Chaehyun adds: “We’re also looking into new ways of doing things on the web or through video, new ways of making installations and augmented realities. Ultimately, we’re in the process of finding new ways to express graphics in a different way.”
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.