Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Xulei Li ("XL") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

XL : I achieve both my undergrad and master degree in visual art design from Shanghai University.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

XL : I become a designer because I like it.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

XL : I made my choice.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

XL : Branding design, visual design in exhibition, book design, signage system design, VI system design, etc. I wish to design more motion designs.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

XL : Through continuous learning to discover your own design superiority and design style.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

XL : Based on the difference in overall strength, a great designer know how to work every resource he has and can tell a good design story.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

XL : A great design should both creates social and commercial value and touches people.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

XL : Improve the quality of life.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

XL : I want to build up a designer community platform. The platform's goal is to help designers build up their design teams for different projects efficiently.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

XL : Continue to delve into the urban regeneration of Chinese paper-cutting.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

XL : Live a life. Learn how to notice a problem, then solve it.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

XL : Yansong Ma, Stephen Webster, Thomas Heatherwick.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

XL : Kulachek, the visual language of her works is simple, but the design style is vivid and has strong recognition.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

XL : Vi system design for a kindergarten. It is practical and interesting, which makes children more willing to live in this space.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

XL : Get an overall understanding of design knowledge. Paying attention to the current design trends and keep up with it. Go to see the design works of your favorite designers to improve design aesthetics, and do not stop to practice.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

XL : Maybe become a lawyer.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

XL : Design is a way to make life more efficient.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

XL : My colleagues and peers.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

XL : Keep learning and improve your design ability by accomplished different projects.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

XL : I feel that I am staying in a comfortable zone. I want to work with more great designers and organizations.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

XL : Build up their websites. Post and communicate with other designers on designer platforms.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

XL : It is unclear because of the epidemic situation.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

XL : I didn't think that far away, live in the present. My goal for the next couple of years is to allow more people to see my design works and find possibilities for cooperation with different platforms.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

XL : I hope I can not only produce good works but also wish to set a positive example for younger designers.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

XL : Design provides convenience for people's lives.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

XL : Because where I work is project-based, I will continue to meet different people and industries, and broaden my cognitive field.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

XL : The next project. Never stop.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

XL : The Chinese market can pay less attention to efficiency, but more attention to the design quality. Give designers more respect, and improve the protection of intellectual property rights.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

XL : More humanized and more dynamic.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

XL : It depends on project. It can be from one month up to a year.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

XL : Communicate with clients and project research.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

XL : A person's life has an end, but their soul does not.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

XL : It is hard to say. Design and trend is an interactive relation.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

XL : It is a tool and an excellent helper to achieve design ideas.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

XL : Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop、C4D, AE

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

XL : The use of colors and materials will change the mood and feeling of the work, and the ambient will affect the atmosphere that the audient gets from the design products.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

XL : Design ideas.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

XL : I will think about its design logic and methodology.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

XL : I am still looking for this ideal partner. I hope my partner has a background in business management and will give more opinions from the market and application. I believe in cooperative operations.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

XL : My graduate tutor.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

XL : 《Grid systems》

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

XL : Keep observing, Keep practicing.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

XL : Thomas Heatherwick

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

XL : I will feel that my work is rewarding and valuable, and it is a kind of affirmation to me. Being famous is not only about being professional, but also depending on opportunities, it can be very difficult.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

XL : Color: White and black Place: My hometown(Hunan) Food: Spicy food Season: Autumn.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

XL : Participate in traditional Chinese paper-cut projects and visit traditional paper-cut artists.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

XL : Live every day practically, and treat life well. I often put myself in contact with various projects, and the pressure stimulates me to move forward.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

XL : With artificial intelligence; everything becomes faster.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

XL : In the next few years, I want to collaborate with more industry expertise and bring more diversities to my work.

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