2014 Jun. 23
Medal Design Finalist: Harry Williamson


On the obverse side, the shape is divided to allow sufficient presence for the calligraphic Tang Prize logotype, and together with the traditional Tang and Chinese patterns that frame it, stamp the medal‘ origins. As well, the patterns chosen for historic links and three-dimensionality bring a strong tactile quality to the presentation. The different and contrasting textures, the play of light and shade and the qualities of the graphic and typographic elements, project the multi-faceted, confident and exuberant qualities of the Tang Dynasty and through that, the spirit of the Tang Prize that the Dynasty inspires. The engraved names, on the encircling edge of the medal listing the Dynasty‘s emperors, subtly underscore the significance of the Tang influence. The engraved names of the winner is to be placed at the foot of the logo and following, anticlockwise, the upward curve of the medallion‘s rim.

The composition of the reverse sides echoes the obverse side and visually unites both sides. The lineal edge of the curved shape separates the different elements of word and image information and, to enhance the effects of light and shade, the different priorities of illustrative information are allocated to the different depths of the engraved strata. The left side of the design restates the title of the prize and enriches the textural mix of the design and reconfirms the significance of the work that the prizewinner has produced.

The radiating pattern adds another visual link to the obverse side and symbolizes the rippling, outgoing reach and influence of the prize‘s work.

To attend to the size, shape, material and methods of fabrication, the visual elements are kept to the boldest and most straightforward methods of graphic description. And to project a more contemporary visual expression and create a more defined shadow to the drawing, a sharper edge to the engraved elements has been intentionally preferred to the more rounded shapes traditionally associated with bas-relief modeling.

Each reverse side graphically and typographically describes the core content of the prize; at times as a reference to the history of the endeavor, at times through elements and issues inherent in each prize:

Medal Design: Harry Williamson
Sinology encapsulates the Chinese experience; from sophisticated, artistic detail through the symbol of the dragon, the historic and continuing commitment to infrastructure programs through the image of the Great Wall of China to the metaphoric, cosmological reference to ongoing aspiration.

Sustainable Development is concerned to safeguard and co-exist with delicate natural environments, and balance the intervention of human habitation and industry, (the dragonfly is a powerful indicator to the health of ecosystems).

Rule of Law relates to the continuing development and refinement of the making of law through the historic example of Hammurabi and the records of historic and contemporary texts.

Biopharmaceutical Science reflects the macro to micro development and  the  historic  and  constant  concern  to  find  ways  to  improve human health.


 A single, slim, black lacquered box with the Tang Prize logotype and the radiating pattern reproduced on the cover in matte black has been designed to present all the medals.

Medal Design: Harry Williamson