Ahn Sang-Soo

Ahn Sang-Soo has long been one of the most influential designers in East Asia. His typographical development work in his native Korea has almost made him a household name. He can justifiably claim to have master-minded and supervised a revolutionary transition of the traditional Hangul, the Korean alphabet, into a functional medium for today, with all its digital demands and interpretations.

Born in Chungju in 1952, he has enjoyed a long career as a designer and educator. A graduate of Seoul’s Hongik University, where he is now a Professor in the College of Fine Arts and Head of the School of Graphic Design, his early works in industry served to fire his enthusiasm for visual communication across many disciplines. He has fifteen books on design-related subjects to his credit and copious essays and papers. He is also responsible for translating seminal works on typography by Jan Tschichold and Emil Ruder. He holds a number of awards and prizes including a commendation by the Korean Language Academy for meritorious contribution to the advancement of Hangul (he has four major Korean fonts to his credit). As early as 1983, he was selected as Designer of the Year by Design magazine. His list of design achievements, both in Korea and abroad, is indeed comprehensive. It includes the design and production of many major international exhibitions and over forty shows in which his work has featured. He regularly travels abroad to lecture on his projects and to promote Asian design developments and ideas.

From 1997 to 2001, Ahn was made Vice President of Icograda, the International Council of Graphic Design Associations. In this role he has been responsible for establishing a number of international workshops and has served on several International Competition juries. In 2000 October, he chaired Icograda’s prestigious Millenium Congress ‘Oullim 2000′ held in Seoul. Also in 2001, he organized TypoJanchi, a international typography biennale held in Seoul. The event attracted designers from all parts of the world and culminated with the publication of a collaborative graphic design education manifesto for designers in the new century.