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Calligraphy inspires volunteers' logo

IT was when I was watching a friend write cursive calligraphy that the Expo volunteer design suddenly popped into my mind," says Li Xiaoli, a graphic designer from Ji'nan, Shandong Province.

And that was the winning idea for the logo of volunteers for World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The logo features the Chinese character for heart. It also looks like the letter "V," which means volunteer. The whole logo shapes like a dove of peace carrying an olive branch.

Cursive calligraphy is the core of the logo, says Li.

Expo organizers received more than 10,000 entries worldwide, picked the 10 most appealing and launched an online survey. Li's "heart" won the most votes.

Li says he began thinking about the design three months before the deadline. "But I became desperate because all my works looked like stereotypes."

He tried to include Chinese elements, but that just didn't work. Then, two weeks before the deadline, there came the inspiration.

"I suddenly realized that Chinese characters are the most direct elements," Li says. Then he was able to complete the design in five days.

"I never thought I would win. I even forgot the competition after I submitted the design," he says. Surprised and thrilled, he adds that he plans to visit the Expo.


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