Referral Brief- Jing Zhang


Zhang’s vector based drawing style is both cute and very interestingly presented. Her style is very distinctive as she uses both the concepts of 3D and 2D styled illustration. I especially like her city scenes as seen above. I like how they seem to communicate the idea of a map and of representing a place by boiling it down to its simplest form or both layout and architecture To give the viewer just the very essences of the city she is illustrating. 

Her use of colour makes her subjects which to some may seem dull and unimpressive burst to life, making them fun and making the viewer look closely at the individual and unique details that Zhang puts into very piece. She keeps her colour palette down to a set of complimentary colours which are a nice mixture of both highly saturated and muted tones with work together to make her pieces stand out but also make them appealing on the eye. 

Zhang lives in London and comments on how she finds London exciting and full of creativity. I find this shines through in her city illustrations as they seem to contain her enthusiasm and positive outlook on cities.

Zhang uses a variety of big curved shapes that look soft and pleasing to the eye when pleased together. In this piece you can see the underlying shapes break up the base of the city and almost create the look of levels or districts which make the illustration much more interesting than if it had just been a plain one colour and shape base. She also uses shapes underneath her objects to highlight certain address and bring your attention to them, for example the gray circle in the upper right segment lifts the piece it is under and gives the illustration the look of almost being 3D. This also helps to balance the image and prevent. That area from lookingy too sparse whilst leaving enough space to create a nice asymmetrical weighting. 

Zhang works in advertising and publishing and it shows through her attention grabbing style acheived through a mix if her shapes and coloured used and her very graphic approach to representing an idea. You see the city in its purest form without it being weighted down by any excess that is not needed. 

When asked about her design process Zhang has said “I do sketch first from time to time. It all depends on individual project and however the client wants to proceed. As I rely on 3D more and more, Cinema 4D has become my new sketch tool. I also got inspired a lot by IKEA manual books.” (

I found this very interesting as you can see her basic concepts at taken from sketch ideas and then by helping to expand her ideas through a 3D perspective and program shows a lot through her work as some pieces are eye poppingly 3D in a way in which you can’t help but study her work. I also think it’s obvious some of her inspiration comes from IKEA and swedish design, as her blocks of solid colour are very remisant of that particular style.


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