Founded by international designers Jialun Wang and Hongjie Chen, Gallon Design is a design studio with a deep focus on typography and design research. With a rich cultural background and a shared passion for design, Jialun and Hongjie have brought their innovative work to the forefront of national art book fairs, such as the Boston Art Book Fair, New England Art Book Fair, RISD Unbound Art Book Fair, and Otis Art Book Fair, to name a few.
About the Founders
Jialun Wang and Hongjie Chen are the creative minds behind Gallon Design. Jialun, a recognized 2023 student-to-watch by USA graphic design, holds an MFA degree from Boston University and a BFA degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has made significant contributions to non-profit organizations such as Boston Children's Hospital, Fairfax Federal Court, and the Massachusetts Court System. On the other hand, Hongjie, with an MFA degree from Boston University and a BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York, has extensive experience working with diverse cultural content, having previously worked at Zhoushan Daily, Palmier Watch, and Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.
Founding of Gallon Design
The idea for Gallon Design sparked during their 2nd year of the MFA program at Boston University. As BIPOC individuals from China, Jialun Wang and Hongjie Chen shared a common cultural background and experiences of feeling different from the dominant Western culture. This revelation inspired them to establish a design studio that celebrates cultural minority pride and fosters a diverse perspective by incorporating cultural identities into both physical and digital design practices. Their work spans various mediums, including zines, publications, risographs, interactive installations, and small goods.
Services and Unique Approach
Gallon Design offers a comprehensive range of design services, encompassing branding, editorial design, typeface design, motion graphics, interactive design, and experience design. They also facilitate academic collaborations, workshops, presentations, and curate exhibitions. Their mission is to craft content that intricately weaves culture with contemporary topics, promoting a diverse cultural narrative accessible to a wider audience. They view design as a powerful language that allows them to illustrate the evolving landscape of multiculturalism, creating a more inclusive and diverse visual dialogue.
Innovation in Action: Caution! A Giant Flower
One of Gallon Design's most striking projects was 'Caution! A Giant Flower.' showcased at the 2022 Boston Art Book Fair. This AR interactive micro-exhibition integrated with risographs pushed the boundaries of remote art book fair experiences, inviting contemplation about what lies hidden and the importance of caution when addressing sensitive topics. This innovative AR exhibition challenged the conventional notion of physically presenting works at events, raising questions about the potential for digitally presenting and exchanging printed materials in the physical world. The project aimed to bring joy to people of all ages, genders, cultures, and religions while addressing significant, often difficult-to-discuss topics.
Influences and Competition
Gallon Design draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including other designers, design studios, technological advancements, and even their past projects. They take great pride in their distinct and unique design style, setting them apart from their competitors. As bilingual designers with a cultural background from Asia and education in the US, they continuously explore the possibilities of using two or more languages in a single project. This influence adds a unique touch to their work, enriching their creative approach.
Connecting with the Community
In their work, Gallon Design consistently embraces multiple languages and actively engages with communities. They immerse themselves in their experiences through their design practice and aspire to serve a broader range of communities, celebrating their unique backgrounds and fostering inclusive design solutions.
Challenges and Future Plans
Despite facing challenges in coordinating and fostering creativity in a fully remote setting, Gallon Design has overcome these obstacles by developing an asynchronous work methodology tailored to their needs. Their future plans entail forging partnerships with diverse cultural and commercial entities, aiming to expand their reach and impact. They aspire to establish offices in both the United States and China, fostering a global presence and enriching their cross-cultural engagements. The team is also exploring new design practices and services within Virtual experiences and gaming design, allowing them to cater to evolving demands. They look forward to showcasing their work at prestigious events like the upcoming London Design Festival and the 2024 Boston Art Book Fair.