Qiuwen Li

Santa Clara, CA

Qiuwen Li is a graphic designer and an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Santa Clara University. Born in China, she received her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and her MFA in Visual Studies focusing in Graphic Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In Qiuwen’s designs, graphic elements (shapes, color, pattern, type) are constructed, deconstructed and then reconstructed in order to create a richer experience and extend their meaning. As a designer, she understands the need for legibility, but she is more concerned with communicating something more visceral, expressive, and imaginative. Her work engages viewers in a way that evokes playing games and figuring out puzzles; they simply can’t get enough of it, and that’s a good thing, because that’s the key to engagement. As a Chinese woman living in the US, Qiuwen is in an in-between position, which also brings a distinctive perspective for her thinking, being and making.

With the development of the Internet, new requirements are proposed for design. Qiuwen views design as a process of self-improvement, which emphasizes interaction between different media, different cultures, and different concepts. She designs her work as a system to be used across various media. Each medium follows specific rules based on the design limitations of that medium. These rules not only give her a direction, but more importantly, they work around the constraints of a given medium, such as the screen size and format on an I-Pad.