Can you give us a brief intro on who you are and what you do?
I'm Junki Hong who is a graphic designer working in Seoul and New York. As a designer, I'm really into experimenting with newly drawing, distorting, and transforming the form of letters. Testing the relationship between the level of distortion and the degree of readability, I expand it to use for lettering, type design, and typography work. In addition, I am interested in understanding and capturing the visual context in which abstract forms have meaning under the open interpretability of geometry. Based on this point of view, I'm trying to apply all these interests to commercial works, and currently designing several typography-based branding projects.
What type of project do you enjoy working on the most?
What I can enjoy is projects related to typography. I think it is one of the scopes that I can do well on my way. Like jun.playlist, which I recently published as a personal project, it was the most fun project to do. In other words, whenever I work on a project that starts with my desire for expression or personal interest, I do enjoy a lot. Even though the process of making decisions based on my thoughts and thinking about what is the most appropriate form is challenging and difficult, however, when I finally communicate with people as planned, I feel very rewarding and interesting.
How would you describe your design style?
I think it's hard to define my design style as one answer. And I don't want to stay in just one style. While trying various styles, my method is to find the right one that conveys what I want to say. I want to be versatile depending on projects, however, my expression always results in boldness. Bold expressions with typography help me to deliver a powerful message and the energy within typography makes my work distinctive.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from everyday things. I am easily influenced by where I stay so the surrounding environment around me is important. To explain this in more detail, both Seoul and New York cities are my favorite places since they are dense megacities. I have been grown up and living in urban environments and in the case of Seoul, you can see signages when you walk around the streets and various letterforms on the road. I also find interesting graphic elements in advertisements and street electronic boards. In New York City, you can see more free handwriting forms, such as graffiti and murals, and it is very inspiring to observe both textures and various graphics based on different cultures.
What are you currently fascinated by and how does it flow into your work?
I became interested in space and interior design including furniture and props. This is because of the desire to have my own space and to decorate it. As the time at home has been long due to COVID-19, it seems that I started to have a desire to improve my experience at home in a better way. Also, this led to thinking about the scale of my work in three-dimensional physical space. I realized again that flat graphics can also have three-dimensionality through interests in space and interior design. When I work in front of a laptop, I often forget the physicality, however, now I imagined that the flat graphics of my work could live with a scale in space.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
This is one of the pieces that I had received in my grad school. It was feedback to try and not get caught up in perfection and pretty-looking things. In other words, don't try to organize it beautifully and present it energetically even if it's rough. After adopting the advice, more expressive and active image making could be made without thinking aesthetic standards and clear ideas were communicated. Therefore, I was able to think more freely about design expressions and make the process more enjoyable and fun by dealing with subjects and ideas that I had never thought of before.
Where else can we find you?