Tracing Shanghai: a graphic heritage and creative industry education collaboration

Tracing Shanghai is a collaborative educational initiative between Loughborough University School of Design and Creative Arts, and Tongji University College of Design and Innovation.  As part of the collaborative creative industries dimension of the Repositioning Graphic Heritage research project, the initiative encourages designers to be inspired and look at the city as a source of visual-aesthetic inspiration by translating research into graphic design concepts for the heritage sector.

The Tracing Shanghai project introduces ways to study urban heritage systematically and challenges designers to examine how urban heritage is communicated through graphic objects. It encourages designers to grapple with heritage interpretation, presentation and representation, and apply existing skills and knowledge to the heritage experience, bringing together interdisciplinary approaches.

The examples featured below by Tongji University design students explore urban graphic heritage in Shanghai through an understanding of language, typography, illustration, and photography. Exploratory interpretations and distinctive graphic communication explore and propose new opportunities for creative industry practitioners working in city branding, cultural promotion and place identity.


See exploratory research and applied design concepts

Shanghai Architectural Heritage / Graphic Redesign of Shikumen by Huiqi Yang 

Shanghai Language Heritage: Huxiaoyan Branding Design by Beijia Zhu 



Tracing Shanghai Participatory Design workshop


Project coordinators: Dr Johnny Xu, Dr Zhang Xueqing, Dr Robert Harland


Tracing Shanghai : City branding project. Huiqi Yang, 2020