Jean Pongsai is the heart and soul of Studio DBJ, lending her creative mind and listening ear to anybody who has something to say. Her passion for helping people realize their dreams has let her wear many hats having worked in jewelry design, environmental design and mobile game design, in addition to her main bread-and-butter, graphic design. She started Studio DBJ in 2019 as a way to be closer to clients in order to be a better advocate for their needs through her work. Since then, Studio DBJ has worked with a number of global clientele in the digital space, leading advocacy organizations, institutions and our soul — small business owners. The studio is committed to a collaborative approach with clients and, says Jean, Studio DBJ has an emphasis in branding, graphic design and listening. For the community, Jean is currently the AIGA LA 2021-2023 Membership Director. Previously, she organized Portfolio Day for Los Angeles from 2019-2021. To continue uplifting creatives in her community, Jean offers free “Office Hours” for people to meet for advice, portfolio reviews or just to ask questions. Jean graduated from USC Roski School of Art and Design in 2015.
Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business and society?
As more and more people use visual communication to identify themselves with their values, the role of graphic design is definitely changing. Graphic design is becoming a field where we as designers should push boundaries and speak up about our responsibility in culture and the creative industry rather than just follow a creative brief.
Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?
In the past two years, we’ve been more aware of our role as community leaders in our industry. While we might not have the biggest name as other companies, to better our own community, Studio DBJ has been proactive in uplifting our upcoming generation of designers and clientele. We’re learning that we don’t need to have that project or client in our portfolio and sometimes it can better serve another designer or team. It can be scary to say no to a potential client or project, but we understand that there is more than enough work and success to go around the world so we should prioritize sharing and uplifting our creative peers.
JEAN PONGSAI SHOWN HERE WITH STUDIO DBJ OPERATIONS MANAGER CALVIN LY