Zipeng Zhu + Sharp Type Fonts

It's always flattering to see a designer use our fonts, but it's something more when someone steadily integrates our library into their work so that it becomes a part of their personal brand. Self-described as an artist, designer, art director, illustrator, and animator, ZipengZhu’s multi-hyphenate public identity embodies a breadth of work that feels inextricably tied to the artist’s own colorful persona. Zipeng is known for his exuberant and playful style, and as a queer-identified Chinese immigrant working in New York City, he is regarded for his outspoken support for the equity and visibility of underrepresented groups within the design community.

We're always curious to see how he'll apply our fonts in his work, especially since they're often the vehicle for communicating his beliefs. When asked how he first came across Sharp Type, Zipeng told us, "It's because of Sharp Sans. I'm a big Herb Lubalin fan and when I saw a new contemporary typeface that's inspired by Avant Garde, that got my interest, and I've been a fan of Sharp Type ever since." It's also always a relief when an artist knows how to customize our typefaces well. With trademark cheekiness, Zipeng says, "Customization of type is very important to me cuz I can't let the typeface do all the jobs for me, can I?" 


Zipeng's biography is well-known, and for good reason. His current success is preceded by a story that embodies the struggles and tensions of many immigrants who not only have to come to terms with the conflict between their own creative ambition and insecurity, but have the added pressure of having parents who hold different dreams for their children's future. The promising biochemistry high school student eventually made peace with himself and his parents before making his way to New York City to study at SVA. From there, Zipeng's resume reads like a who's who of the design world: he interned at Pentagram before being brought on as senior designer at Sagmeister and Walsh. During this time, he was also winning numerous design accolades including the Young Guns 13 award. Zipeng ventured out on his own in 2016 to start Dazzle, a design studio that, much like its founder, does it all. In addition to his work at Dazzle where he has worked with a myriad of global brands and companies, Zipeng is a sought-after speaker and presenter at design conferences and trade shows.


Zipeng recently spoke at HOW Design Live’s conference early in the summer of 2022 and made notable use of Sharp Grotesk throughout his presentation. "I have to say, when Sharp Grotesk was introduced I just simply lost it. I love BOLD AF type, and Sharp Grotesk Black is an answer to my prayers for years. There are 2 things I love about Sharp Grotesk, first I love how intense this type family is and second I love how flexible it is. Just like me ;-p" In addition to Sharp Grotesk, he has used BeatriceOgg, and Doyle, often making edits to further incorporate the fonts into his personal brand.




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