Banruo Chen

Da Vinci Notebooks

A redesign of selected texts from Da Vinci’s actual notebooks. While the design elements generated from Da Vinci’s life works, I put special focus on reorganizing the complicated types of information in order to make Da Vinci’s notebooks more readable and easier to follow. The hand stitched book is held in an acrylic case, bringing the sense of archive and history when readers pull out the book and start reading.


2019 · 6 in × 9 in · Pamphlet stitched book


Designers Timeline

A timeline design project on two designers: Cipe Pineless and Koichi Sato. The two designers have very different styles and subjects, therefore I used color to separate information of each designer. A pastel pink is used for Cipe Pineless to celebrate her legacy as one of the first female art directors. I chose a neutral dark grey for Koichi Sato as a response to his exploration of Zen Buddhism in graphic design.

2018 · 8 in × 8 in · Accordion book

Silk Labels

A web archive for a set of 18th century silk labels from the Providence Public Library collection. Lacking historical information about the collection except for images and texts printed on the labels, I categorized the silk label collection based on regional, imagery, typographic, and color keywords. I emphasized the sense of story and history of silk’s role as the media for global communication for thousands of years through the ragged edges of the silk labels.


2019 · Responsive web design 


Spectacle of Perfection

A persuasive visual system that addresses the issue of the performance of ‘perfection’ on social media. Instead of designing a branded campaign, the way I approached the problem was to create a set of visual languages that counters the act of building perfection. A neat array of circles breaking into chaos, mechanism designed for precise construction segmenting into pieces, and perfectly drawn out typography becoming eligible forms. I also invite the audience to break down “perfection” through tearing perforated posters and rearranging into new forms.

2019 · Branding


Zombie Modernism

This handmade publication is a novel presentation of discourse on modernism and postmodernism. The book juxtaposes the views of Massimo Vignelli, Katherine McCoy, Paul Stiff, and Jeffery Keedy in a nonlinear way and merges conflicting texts together through the combination of transparent and opaque paper. It reveals the coexisted and inseparable nature of modernism and postmodernism.

2019/8 in × 10 in book


My Name Is

Link to full video

This is a video installation that explores international students’ connection and disconnection from their native culture after coming to the United States. Along with the disjointed video clips of my journey leaving home, I recorded audio of other Chinese students explaining the meaning of their Chinese names. I wish to tell an authentic story of this community through amplifying our almost invisible Chinese names inside the English dominated language environment.


2019 · Video Installation


Typographer Postcard Series

A visual research on German typographer Erik Spiekermann transformed into a series of postcards and posters.

2018 · Postcards, posters

Banruo Chen