Zipeng Zhu: Garage Magazine Typeface

By Brett McKenzie Posted on Sep 14, 2018

YG13 winner makes Rihanna look even better with a custom typeface

The latest issue of Vice's haute couture mag GARAGE is out, and while all eyes are on the cover shot of Rihanna, we're checking out the beautiful typeface, created by New York-based designer, Young Guns 13 winner and self-appointed Dazzle Queen Zipeng Zhu.

We snagged Zipeng for a few minutes to give his elevator pitch on the typeface.

This looks like a fun project. How did this come about?

My dear friend Jeremy Mickel from the LA-based type foundry MCKL reached out to me about the project. They were looking for expressive custom type and Jeremy thought I would be a good fit for the project.

What did you want to convey with this type design?

The theme of the magazine is The Human Future, and the client wanted something that felt fresh and even a little bit weird. And since Rihanna is on the cover, I wanted to make the type bold and soft at the same time. I also wanted type that’s not the most legible so it would take a second for you to process the title.

You have a few notable custom typefaces under your belt. How do you get into the mindset of designing a typeface, versus an illustration or some other graphic element?

To be more specific I design a lot of custom display fonts. Structure and system are the most important things to me — the formal quality of the type and how the letters relate to each other.

What’s been the response to this project so far?

Super positive! I wish Rihanna tagged us, but we will get it next time, right Riri?


Young Guns winners and One Club for Creativity Members get featured here on the One Club website and across our social media channels. Have a new project you'd love to share? An upcoming exhibition and you'd like us to help spread the word? Drop us a line at Not yet a Member? Join today!



Share To


On Holiday with Mathery
Tu & Lebassis Show Their True COLORS
Strokes, Serifs & Sports: A Lesson in Athletic Lettering
Tools that Sing







Follow Us