HKDI Gallery

Admission Registration

You are welcome to book a visiting session of the "Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner" exhibition via . We look forward to welcoming you at the HKDI Gallery!

For more details of the exhibition, please visit the website of Hong Kong Graphic Archive, HKDI

About the Exhibition

‘Looking is not seeing,’ said graphic designer Henry Steiner. To him, looking is an active quest for solutions. We look to uncover. Since Steiner’s arrival in Hong Kong in 1961, his keen eye for local visual language has opened a new horizon in the field of graphic communication, contributing to Hong Kong’s visual culture in transformative ways. 

Beyond clear communication of information, graphic language persuades. Steiner discovers concepts and develops rhetoric to influence the audience. Like speech, rhetoric can be used visually, through symbols, contrast, stories, appropriation, and systems. These approaches are not mutually exclusive, but are used in combination to bridge communications that are efficient and, in Steiner’s eyes, intelligent.

Looking is not only seeing, but also an active process of questioning. Throughout this exhibition, we pose questions through Henry Steiner’s work and ways of thinking, and provide opportunities to challenge assumptions in our everyday experiences with graphic language.


Registration for On-site Exhibition Visit: (Online pre-registration is required*)


About Henry Steiner

Austrian–Jewish by descent, Henry Steiner was born in Vienna, Austria in 1934. In 1939, Steiner and his family fled from Baden near Vienna to New York during the Anschluss. He studied painting at Hunter College in New York City, and later received a master’s degree in graphic design at Yale University studying under Paul Rand. In 1958, Steiner received a Fulbright fellowship to further his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. Upon his return to New York, Steiner began his career in advertising, and later as design director of The Asia Magazine. In 1961, Steiner accepted a nine-month contract to be posted in Hong Kong for the magazine’s launch. He has since made Hong Kong his home. 

In 1964, Steiner established Graphic Communication Limited, now Steiner&Co., a leading design consultancy that focuses on branding and corporate identity. He brought the Western notion of ‘graphic design’ as a profession to Hong Kong where, at the time, only ‘commercial art’ existed as a trade. Prolific and pioneering in his approach, Steiner has created some of the most iconic graphic designs that shaped Hong Kong’s visual landscape. His identity systems for corporations such as HSBC, Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, and Hong Kong Telephone Company communicate a no-nonsense pragmatism and refinement that is modern, efficient, and international during Hong Kong’s economic boom. His Standard Chartered banknotes pay homage to Hong Kong’s Chinese cultural heritage and at the same time present Hong Kong’s pole position as a progressive, global city. His witty, incisive graphic language combines a modern sensibility with keen observations of local culture, enriching his work with additional layers of meaning.  

Steiner received numerous accolades. In 2002, he was included in Icograda’s list of the Masters of the 20thCentury, and was named a World Master by Idea magazine. He was awarded the Golden Decoration of Honour of the Republic of Austria for design achievement and service to the Austrian community in Hong Kong in 2006 and the title of Professor by The Federal President of Austria in 2017. He received the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hong Kong Design Centre in 2012, and an honorary fellowship from the Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong in 2013. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Hong Kong Baptist University, and holds honorary professorships at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Hong Kong. He is a member and past-president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale(AGI), Fellow of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Chartered Society of Designers, and the Hong Kong Designers Association.

Exhibition Photos

Interview Videos

“Looking is not seeing”, said “Father of Hong Kong design” Henry Steiner. To him, looking is an active process of questioning. Only when we are mindful in our looking do we become aware of the visual elements around us.


What is Henry Steiner’s influence on designers today?


On borrowing other’s work to develop creative ideas


Interpreting the Design 98 poster


Steiner’s Morisawa poster: A tribute to the calligraphers?


Online Resources

Exhibition Guide (Download PDF)

Creative Commons (CC) copyright licensed sources (Download PDF)

Look Closer and Look Further: online resources (Download PDF)

Press Release

Press Release (Download PDF)

Events & Public Services

Curator-Led Tours


22 May 2021 (Saturday)


11am-12nn | Cantonese & 3pm-4pm | English


HKDI Gallery, Hong Kong Design Institute

(MTR Tiu Keng Leng Station Exit A2)

RSVP: / +852 3928 2566

*Free admission. Limited capacity on a first-come, first-served basis.


Public Guided Tours

Guided Tours can be arranged to schools and community groups by advanced booking. Registration and enquiries: / +852 3928 2566 

Visit Us

Exhibition Period  
10th April – 30th May 2021
(Closed on Tuesdays, 11 & 14 April) 

Opening Hours 
10:00 - 20:00 

HKDI Gallery, Hong Kong Design Institute 
3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O, NT 
(MTR Tiu Keng Leng Station Exit A2) 

Registration for On-site Exhibition Visit (Online pre-registration is required*)

Enquiries / +852 3928 2566 

*For everyone’s health and safety, capacity is limited, and an advance ticket is required for visitors.