After Jobs tribute, HK designer wows Coke
The Hong Kong teenager who struck virtual gold overnight with his visual tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs last year has done it again - this time being tapped by another iconic brand.
Since 20-year-old Jonathan Mak Long (pictured) became an internet sensation in October for his twist on the Apple logo, international marketing companies have beaten a path to his door.
And in February, the second-year Polytechnic University design student received a request most designers could only dream of: design a Coca-Cola ad with the simple theme of 'sharing a Coke'.
The offer came after he was approached by Graham Fink, chief creative officer at ad firm Ogilvy & Mather China. 'I was already quite excited when the chief met me, but I didn't imagine the first job would be Coke,' Mak said.
The result is a design that merges the iconic ribbon feature of the Coca-Cola logo with a pair of arms exchanging a bottle.
'I like the viewer to have this 'aha!' moment, where it's fun and a puzzle to figure out,' Mak said. 'In general, when I do logo design, which combines imagery, I tend to sketch a lot. But for both Apple and Coke, there was a very clear idea in my head, so the execution was quick.'
The design is similar to Mak's tribute to Jobs - a black-and-white artwork placing Jobs' silhouette as the 'bite' in the Apple logo - made shortly after the IT firm founder died of pancreatic cancer at age 56. But Mak said he did not want to be pigeon-holed into a particular style.
'It does seem like I'm continuing this trend of two puns of an iconic brand, but I don't want to be limited by that,' he said. 'I don't want to be a victim of my own success. I like minimalism and simplicity, but I want to expand my repertoire.'
Mak's Coke design debuted on posters at several bus stops in Shanghai this month.
'There is the possibility that the poster might be introduced [to] Hong Kong,' Mak said, adding this would delight his parents.Mak said he felt a lot of pressure to deliver something as arresting as his Apple logo, though he was not directly employed by Coca-Cola. He could not disclose the amount he was paid for the design.
Last month, Mak began a six-month exchange programme at the Kolne International School of Design in Cologne, Germany. Marking his second time in Europe, Mak said he enjoyed learning a new language and meeting the local design community.