Designing in and for China


The promising and profitable Chinese market remains mysterious and puzzling to many Western design studios. Only a few have made the big step into this unknown culture, survived, and succeeded.

Since this is currently a topic of much interest, the print magazine Design Report chose “German design offices in China” as its principal topic for the summer issue.

In addition to other key leaders in some of the largest German design firms, CRE8 DESIGN’s Georg Todtenbier revealed first-hand information about the scenario foreign designers face when working for Chinese clients or with local manufacturers.

Not surprisingly, these designers have encountered similar experiences and challenges with regards to Chinese culture. But not all envision the future of western design in China as positively as CRE8 does. Some feel that they operate from overseas and therefore don’t share the same deep cultural connection; others can’t offer as high level of service, since they are not like CRE8, located in the center of Asia. 

Simultaneously with the Design Report article, the German local Wuppertal TOP Magazine dedicated a three-page story to “emigrant” Georg: his work at CRE8 DESIGN, leisure activities in Taiwan, and how the German handles tempting offerings like pizza topped with pork knuckle and sauerkraut.9