Designers:how to promote yourself in China

There are five basic design brochure principles that we would like you to remember:

  1. It needs to be .pdf or .pps format. Do not send us a bunch of photos.
  2. The pictures need to be clear, not blurring. Under every project’s pictures, explain why you believe the project is appealing to Chinese client. The style? the effective costs? it indicates a new trend? sustainability? Please write down your thoughts as if you are meeting with our clients and you want to convince them face in face. What will you be saying when you in the same room with them? Write them down. All the specials…
  3. Make it clear what kind of services you provided on each project, for example, if you are an interior designer but you didn’t design the cabinetry, please make it clear.
  4. Your brochure needs to be translated.
  5. On each slide or page, there should be one major photo which size is large enough to see details even the reader is a senior citizen. Such major picture should be at least 600 x 400. If you believe your parents will complain the pictures are too small on your brochure, then please do it again.

Take a look at this e-Brochure that we think the best.
Remember that, in most cases, the Chinese decision makers are senior, and they will make decisions based on your brochure, and the interview. None of them speaks English.

Have you revised your brochure according to the four requirements above?

Yes but it is not translated yet. | Yes we have.


Obviously your office do not have anyone who speaks Chinese. Please click brochure translation to read about our translation services. If you cannot afford that, you will read instructions of how to have your company profile page translated, for free. After that please come back and click “translated brochure.”

You have already translated your brochure into Chinese? Great! Before you send it to us, please take a look at these new luxury houses built in China in recent years to understand what kind of styles/design Chinese clients believe are high quality and nice; things are so different here, Chinese have different taste. You really need to understand what typical Chinese clients like before you introduce yourself to this market. If you believe your design brochure meets the taste of Chinese clients, please upload your brochure to your website and give us the link. Click here to send the download link.

Are you already working in China? Click here. Otherwise please keep reading.


We have worked as a facilitator/translator on many projects in China. Most of international designers and architects were having a hard time trying to understand what the Chinese clients really want. It was very time consuming and almost exhausting at the beginning of each project. In some cases the client just fired the designer because they were running out of time and patience.

One big difference is: Almost all Chinese clients would like to have their projects/homes feel like a luxury hotel, especially those top brands like Ritz Carlton which is more classic feeling than W hotel, etc. While in the western world, private homes/spaces are definitely very different in terms of feeling.

In cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc, people like these kinds of architectural styles: barns …they are not considered pretty in China. They reminds us of cheap industrial buildings, workshops, etc. So do not include this type of works in your presentation. When you include some particular styles that you designed, ask yourself: do Chinese like this kind of thing? We do also love to keep our own history when we develop a new project, and there are also many traditional Chinese architectural styles that we are now trying to rebuild, like these: 1 | …what I am saying is, before you send us anything, think hard and figure our what would be appealing to your future clients, and choose those pictures to include in your brochure, which represents you in the first meeting with each potential Chinese client.
Most international architects’ design consists of 100% straight lines, 90 degree corners, hard edges/surfaces. We do not like that. We like your works showing a balance of straight lines and curves. So please pick pictures of your works appropriately.

  • If you are sure no Five Star hotel brand would accept your design/style, then most likely we will not like it either.
    If you have never worked on any project that has the quality of a Five Star hotel, then you need to team up with someone else because most Chinese clients will not accept your portfolio. This is tricky we know. Click here to find our more about our advice regarding teaming up with other talented designers.

Ok, next

  • Do not try to include different styles in your presentation showing that you have the ability to design many different styles, only include those that you are really good at.
  • Focus on your experience working on Chinese projects if any.
  • If you have designed any luxury projects, please include them and explain what services you provided in more details. Try to find some recent photos from the official websites of those projects.
  • If have some good designer friends who are talented and easy to work with, call them and see if you can include their portfolio.

Okay I get it, next.

Appropriate size of pictures in your brochure

  • Some featured images should cover the entire page, and they should have high resolution. Do not include a lot of pictures in one page, readers will get confused and distracted. Every page should have a large photo.
    Not over 5 pictures on one page. Click here for a good example.

Okay I just improved it, next.

  • When you include the resumes of the designers, no need to say a lot about his/her educational background, or which companies he/she worked in, list all the projects he/she was involved, and what he/she was doing on those projects. We only care about his/her working experience…the type of projects he/she was working on is more important.

Teaming up for success

Okay I just improved it, next.


A tailored brochure always work better than a general brochure of your company when we have a project for you, unless you are working in a small design studio with a very limited portfolio. Some of the successful large international design firms have already been doing this. They have multiple brochures for different types of projects, for example, a brochure of master planning works plus one for interior design projects, plus one for hotel projects, etc.
At least prepare a carefully tailored brochure specially edited for the China market. Do not use the same brochure that you show to your local clients. If you do not know what the differences are, well you have so work to do, please more articles posted on this website. We will help you.

I have already done that. | I have sent you our brochure and apparently it was accepted by you. [hide-this-part morelink=”Click here to send us your brochure”][contact-form-7 id=”822″ title=””][/hide-this-part]

If you are looking for a full time job in China, then it’s fine that you do not need a translated brochure of your works. Otherwise we cannot promote your service here as we cannot send a designer’s brochure to a client which cannot be understood. It will make us unprofessional.
2. You need a really impressive digital brochure for us to show to our potential clients. Sadly most of the international design firms do not have one. Only those mid-large firms have enough experience and portfolio to make an impressive/professional presentation of the company. Yes we know that most designers have a brochure but they are not impressive enough for Chinese clients. Here in China the clients only hire large design firms who look strong and experienced. If you have a small firm, only you and your assistant work in the office, then try to team up with other small firms so that the team looks strong. We can put you together with other smaller international design studios if you feel comfortable. We know this does not sound pleasant but that’s why you need a consultant and representative because here in China everything is different. Being uncomfortable working here is normal. If you hire us to be your representative, then we will do this for you, just send us all your works and we will handle everything else. Pls click membership above to find our more about our services and how we charge for our time.
3. Your brochure needs to be in Chinese/Mandarin. If you do not have an in-house translator, then we can do that for you. In most cases our translation is better than those you can find in the translation agencies, etc because we understand the terminologies and know what’s important, what’s not for marketing purpose. Typically we charge …
4. If your marketing people is not very good at making presentation, then we can also do that for you, we charge $25/hour and normally it would be $100 for us to make a presentation for you. Again, our marketing people know what’s important, which picture should be emphasized, which one should be moved away, etc.
5. We want to build long term relationship with all our business partners. And we hope you do too. Which means we will need to show understanding to each other when things are not moving forward as we expect. Also, we need to be flexible enough to establish your company in this country.