Like brewing, design is not an exact science when creating something for the first time. The science comes later – only after careful planning and experimentation can a brand design or beer style be perfected and crafted for consistency.

Mistakes are encouraged in the early phases. Discussions alter between cheerful and heated as brewer and designer share pints of the selected beer, both artists seeking to crown the brew with its own unique identity. Not every Great Leap brew boasts its own brand. Beers must first stand the test of time and prove consistently popular amongst drinkers before being bestowed with a design.

Great Leap founders Carl and Liu Fang create names for the beers, with unique meanings in both Chinese and English. Our series of General IPAs are named after famous military personnel, both those sanctioned by formal governments and warlord states alike. Other beer names are derived from traditional folklore, local history or their unique Chinese ingredients. The stories behind the brands are as rich as the flavors and ingredients contained within the beer they represent.

Both the custom English typeface and the Chinese character design are rooted in the robust and formidable typography used in mid 20th century propaganda posters. Each element of the design is cut from paper, leading to the “woodcut” style of the illustration. We then scan and vectorize the images so we can use the identities at any size and on any surface.

Our design process combines the craftsmanship of ancient Chinese and Western methods with the latest technology in design software – much in the same way that Great Leap incorporates traditional ingredients and innovative brewing techniques as they strive to brew world-class brands of beer.

Simply put, it’s hand-crafted Chinese design for hand-crafted Chinese beer – with a Western twist here and there. This philosophy is simple but fundamental to everything that is created for the brand.