The Museum of Avant-garde

Henry Steiner

Austrian born and US raised, Steiner studied at Yale University with Paul Rand and later at the Sorbonne. Since the early days of his career as a Design director for The Asia Magazine to founding his own studio in 1964, Steiner is one of the most influential designers of our time, President of Alliance Graphique Internationale, listed amongst Masters of the 20th Century by Icograda, World Master by Idea magazine, awarded by professional associations across all continents, and dignified with many other life achievements and honorary recognitions from the academic world. Awarded the Golden Decoration of Honour of Republic of Austria. Awarded title of Professor by Federal President of Austria, in 2017.

His success is primarily linked to his corporate identity projects, such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hongkong Land, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. Steiner created several series of banknotes for Hong Kong since 1975, in 1993, 2003 and 2010 including a special commemorative denomination to mark Standard Chartered Bank’s 150th anniversary. The relentless creativity that is manifest from his portfolio of work demonstrates a consistent and acute observation and understanding of cultural differences, and an acute sensitivity in capturing the surrounding environment and context of his ideas. Courageously facing opposing outlooks and cultural expressions, Steiner’s design retains a dynamic tension through visual weights and celebrates it in a balanced sense of contrast.

His curiosity and the ability to read beyond words are noticeable in Steiner’s fresh take on Asian signs and visual references he draw inspiration from, and sits at the heart of his “Cross-cultural Design” approach, as described in his own book. After six decades of his career his work still follows the same ethos, and stays steadily anchored to the principle of designing appropriately to the client, the project and its commercial purpose. His work has been rendered in a solo exhibition at the Design Society, in Shenzhen, China in 2019. Recently, the ‘Look: The Graphic Language of Henry Steiner’ exhibition was held at the HKDI Gallery, Hong Kong Design Institute.