I was born in Hong Kong in 1972. Initially my father was self-employed, but when Nixon pulled the troops out of Vietnam, his client base for his mail order business, which he ran with a USAF doctor, vanished. My mother was a nurse.
My father retrained in his 30s to become an electronic technician. He already had three siblings who had emigrated to New Zealand and one day, my mother and I went to the New Zealand High Commission in Connaught Tower to get the application forms for immigration.
We could have gone to Tennessee, where my father’s business partner’s stepfather owned hospitals, but through a series of events we wound up in Aotearoa New Zealand, where I did virtually all my schooling, at St Mark’s Church School, Rongotai College, Scots College, and Victoria University of Wellington.
My father wound up back in self-employment when I was a teenager and my mother eventually became a contract midwife. I caught the self-employment bug myself, and started doing some work for print agencies.
A lot of what happened next is on this website’s home page. Essentially my work has been with three organizations: Jack Yan & Associates, which was the trading name for my original self-employment including my typeface design and branding; Lucire, the magazine I founded in 1997 which was spun off into its own company; and Medinge Group, a think-tank that I joined in 2002 and was one of its original directors when we incorporated. I began mentoring businesses in 2006, and have served every year in Victoria University of Wellington’s Alumni as Mentors programme since its inception in 2013.
Rather than repeat a lot of the introduction, you can read these interviews with me.
S. Giardina: ‘Interview with Jack Yan on global sustainable fashion’, Komoneed, May 30, 2022
Wide-ranging Q&A with Sharon Giardina on my work at Medinge Group and Lucire, including Lucire’s focus on ethical and sustainable fashion. The interview is also available in German.
Grow Your Influence Tree, VoiceAmerica, October 14, 2021 (audio)
I appeared on Leonard Kim’s show about marketing, but we decided to focus on publishing. Because Leonard’s audience is professional, I didn’t need to start from the basics. We discuss how great articles can establish trust in a brand and falling in love with the content you consume (paraphrasing Leonard’s words), among many other topics.
D. Dunkley: ‘Jack Yan: digital publishing pioneer’, Business Desk, August 14, 2021 (paywalled)
An excellent story from Daniel Dunkley, focusing on my publishing and licensing work with Lucire.
S. Engeseth: ‘Swedenization of branding föreslår Nya Zeeländare, Quo Vadis, nos. 38–9, August 2003, p. 6
My friend and colleague Stefan Engeseth interviews me after I do my second speech at the Stockholm Marketing Association (MIS) on ethical branding and corporate social responsibility.
J.-C. Loubet del Bayle: ‘Jack Yan’, The Typographic Times, October 2000
Interviewed by Jean-Christophe Loubet del Bayle on my early typeface design work. You can read this article in French, in Les temps typographiques.
There is a legacy media coverage page here (from 2013, with some old links).
Shot for Te Papa Tongarewa’s Chinese Languages in Aotearoa project. I’m proud of my roots and this video, directed by Yong-Le Chong, highlight them.
You can download my résumé here (PDF).
Here’s a list of my books, selected articles and speeches, and you can find testimonials here.