The 12th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI 2019)

Shanghai, China, 20-22 Sept. 2019
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Keynote speech 1

Stephen Zhang Worth a Thousand Words
Storytelling in Visual Communication
Prof. Stephen Zhang
(University of North Texas, US)


Storytelling is one of the most basic and effective means of human communication. It creates context thus deepens the understanding of abstract concepts. Storytelling generates empathy, provokes emotions, and triggers actions. In this presentation, the speaker will discuss the increasing impact of storytelling in today’s communication design and brand building. He will discuss different approaches to storytelling and explore their process, ideation and strategy in visual communication. He will present case-studies from his diverse professional experience and discuss how social media has affected storytelling today.

Short Bio

Stephen Zhang is a Dallas, Texas based creative director, design educator and artist. Born in China, Zhang studied at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, where he became a professor upon graduation. Later, Zhang received Master of Fine Art degree in Communication Design from University of North Texas in the United States. Zhang has had a distinguished career as a creative leader in branding and communication design. He was Vice President and Image Director at Fossil, a global fashion accessary company. In his tenure of nearly 20 years at Fossil, Zhang helped to build a unique and beloved modern vintage American brand. In addition, he has worked for a wide array of clients on projects such as rebranding of Filson, an American heritage brand. His work has been recognized by numerous design competitions such as Communication Arts, Graphis, HOW, Print, PIE Book, AR 100, Type Director’s Club, and Infiniti National Student Design Competition. Zhang is also an award-winning artist, internationally known for his largescale watercolor paintings that tell emotional stories of authentic individuals. Currently, Zhang is an assistant professor at University of North Texas, bringing his extensive professional experience back into the classrooms and expanding his work into academic research.

Teleborg Castle

Academic Exchange Center

ECNU Visual Computing Lab
East China Normal University
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
3663 North Zhongshan Road, Shanghai, China

Sponsored by:


Proceedings published by ACM: