What We Do

The Centre for Communication Design at Hong Kong Design Institute is an applied research and consultancy hub dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in all areas of graphic communication including typography, information design, advertising, user experience design, illustration, brand communications as well as printing and publishing. It acts as a knowledge exchange platform between staff, students as well as external organisations, tightly integrating practice, research, teaching and outreach activities. 

Applied research

We are interested in how people engage with graphic communications of all kinds: how they respond emotionally, how they search for information, how they interact with the (physical or digital) artefact, whether they understand the message, whether they are able to use the information to take relevant action.

We are interested in graphic communication as cultural production: how visual conventions and aesthetic preferences evolve, how communication happens within social, cultural and economic contexts, how communities identify themselves through visual expressions across time and geography.

We are interested in the production, distribution and consumption of printed and digital content: innovations in printing processes, imaging technology, content and workflow management, and hybrid publishing models.

Eye-tracking research

The human eye continuously scans our surrounding environment, objects and information for meaningful patterns in order to make sense of the world. In a world where information become ever more abundant and pervasive, we need to understand how to design communications in ways that will hold the attention of our intended users and help them more efficiently navigate and understand information. The Centre uses the Tobii eye-tracking system to understand how people visually engage with print communications, screen-based documents, videos and interfaces as well as physical environments.

Community engagement

We regularly hold events such as talks, workshops, exhibitions, as well as training courses related to different aspects of communication design.

Learning and teaching

All activities at the Centre for Communication Design will be fed into learning and teaching and will involve students at HKDI’s Department of Communication Design and beyond. The Centre’s research and engagement activities will enrich our curricula with new knowledge and industrial input.

Hong Kong Graphic Archive

A physical and digital reference library that preserves, records, and make available graphic design artefacts of historical significance for teaching and learning and research purposes. With an eventual collection of over 30,000 artefacts, the focus is Hong Kong’s rich visual culture and heritage. Generously provided by graphic design and collector Mr John Wu, this comprehensive collection of historically significant printed ephemera that traces the evolution of Hong Kong’s graphic design profession from the 1930s to the present day, ranging from early printed ephemera such as invoices, packaging, printed collaterals to comprehensive collections of items from the Festival of Hong Kong and such large corporations as HSBC, MTR and Hong Kong Telecom. The collection will be photographically documented, stored in an online database with metadata to facilitate searching, made accessible to the public.

Staff will engage in research that map the development of the communication design profession in Hong Kong, revealing the underlying patterns of the evolution of Hong Kong’s visual heritage, and reflecting many different aspects of commercial activities, ways of life, technological changes, as well as cultural and social shifts. The material will form a foundation for historical studies not only in the graphic design field but also from different perspectives such as Hong Kong history, visual and material culture, social science, printing history etc.

Rennie’s Mill Press

Rennie’s Mills Press is a future experimental printing and publishing workshop based at the Centre for Communication. We make use of inhouse printing equipment including letterpress, Risograph and screen printing to author, edit, design and produce niche publications on various topics. Watch this space for future publications. 

Collaborate with us

We are keen to work with private- and public-sector organisations from all disciplines to improve graphic communication and user experience for print, screen and environments. We can lend a research angle to your project, and can engage students and in-house expertise in its realisation. We would also be happy to collaborate with you on research and development projects.

We provide tailor-made training courses to organisations on a selection of topics:

  • Typography for complex publications
  • Designing usable print and digital documents
  • Designing Chinese–Latin bilingual documents
  • Information design
  • Western calligraphy and lettering
  • Chinese lettering and type anatomy fundamentals
Our team

We are a team of professionally-trained communication designers and tertiary-level academics who are knowledgeable and experienced in design practice, teaching, research and curriculum development.

Keith Tam, Director

Head of Department and Principal Lecturer, Communication Design. Specialises in typography and information design, in particular complex documents, multilingual typography, wayfinding and information architecture. www.keithtam.net

Eddie Lau, Associate Director

Programme Leader and Lecturer in Advertising Design. Specialises in advertising design and illustration. LinkedIn

Perry Leung, Associate Director

Stream Leader and Lecturer in Brand Design. Specialises in brand experience and graphic design.

Cherine Wong, Project Manager

Lecturer in Visual Communication, WorldSkills Expert in Graphic Design Technology. Specialises in graphic design technologies, image processing and print media production.

Billy Chan, Communication Designer

Teaching Associate, WorldSkills coach for Graphic Design Technology. Specialises in graphic design and print media production.