I am very excited to be interviewing logopreneur Jacob Cass today.Yes, you got it right! Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design .. of the famous pencil sketch logo fame. A young Australian brand identity creator, blogger and travel enthusiast all rolled up into one honest, enthusiastic personality. He is meticulous in his work and shares his knowledge freely with anyone who is willing to listen and learn, a quality that has amassed him a large following on the internet. Amongst his most recent accolades are being named Best Of Continent and Best Of Australia in the 2008 Wolda Logo Design Awards. Jacob has been interviewed numerous times before, but today I hope to delve deeper and gain a perspective into what he thinks about the current eco trends, the consumerism that results from branding, his predictions for the future of logo design and his own aspirations.
Thank you for joining us today, Jacob.
Who is the real Jacob Cass? If you were to sum up your personality in just 10 words, what would they be?
People often say not to mix business and personal life and I believe that is quite true however I do try to share a bit of the real me sometimes to get a bit of my personality across… however, to answer your question, the real Jacob Cass – the non business minded one - is quite reserved, down to earth, honest and generally easy going. Hmm, bit more than 10 words but there you go.
Creative minds are brilliant and eccentric, they draw inspiration from all sorts of sources. Can you share with us the most absurd source of your inspiration? What resulted from that?
Absurd source of inspiration? I’ll have to take a look at my portfolio to jog my memory… Ok, it would have to be an advertisement for a newspaper I once did (link here) My inspiration was my dirty underwear and socks (they were clean for the photoshoot don’t worry). I also wrote about the process of this ad on my blog.
The Eco Trend is fast catching up in branding and logo design. Who makes these trends? The Designers or The Clients? Is this trend here to stay?
In the case of the eco trend that we are seeing now, I don’t think it has anything to do with the designers or clients, but rather the media. Consumers react to the messages they hear via the media and then make "educated" decisions on how they should react which obviously effects how designers work and operate. As designers we must allow for these new considerations and this is where the so called trend comes in. I also believe, like any trend, it will peak then gradually fade out, but not completely… it will always be there.
As designers, do you think we are responsible for fuelling excessive commercialism and in effect reversing the whole “go green, be responsible!” theory that we are trying to promote in the first place?
I recently wrote an article on design consumerism on my blog which discussed this topic (with some great discussion from the community too) and it is true, our capitalist society does fuel this excessive commercialism however I do not think it is wholly designers who are responsible, we are just the end dictators of the vicious cycle. This could be discussed for hours, so best leave it here.
What do you foresee to be the next big thing in logo design after the whole “watch you carbon imprint” thing dies down?
Let me get my DelOrean DMC-12 (I wonder how many of you are going to Google that) and let you know… With jokes aside, I would have to predict that the trend would be… that there is no trend. With the advance of better technology, the old "rules" of logo design will not be so enforced which will allow for more flexibility, which in turn will mean we will see more logos out of the "norm", which I think is a good thing.
In your opinion, what kind of logos perform the best? How far can marketing go to succeed a not so perfect brand?
Simple (huge emphasis on simple), strong concept based logos are by far the most effective logo designs. The logo is the symbol of the brand and company as a whole and is the one element of the business that is going to be seen everywhere – a logo, I believe, is the single most important aspect of a business’s identity.
What would happen in a world where there was no concept of logos? Do you have any theories on what people would use to brand themselves?
If you asked a non designer in this day and age, what a logo is and what it is for you would get many different replies, some right, some close, some very wrong however most do get the concept behind a logo – it identifies a business, product or service. Without logos, you would still "identify" these things… just via another way and with less ease.
Has there ever been a logo that you saw and thought “Wish I’d designed that!”?
Everyday. There are so many talented designers out there.
You know how when you are little, you say “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut!”. What was your line?
Well I actually made the Under 21′s Australian European Handball team and was pursuing that however I had a bad injury (before getting to play over in Sweden) and had to have a knee reconstruction. I think it was due to me playing too many sports at one time (Soccer, Rugby League, Handball and Ultimate Frisbee). I then moved house which meant training was 3 hours there and 3 hours back so I gave the sport route up and went and lived in Sweden for a year. So I guess… a sportsman?
Are you fulfilling your dreams? Where are you headed? Is there a field of creative process besides print and web design that is calling out to you .. like maybe animation, motion graphics, movies?
I never had any ‘real’ dreams or aspirations… I know I wanted to be a designer at around 16 and I know I wanted to travel alot and I am doing both so I guess yes? In the short future, I will probably be working at a studio while doing a bit of freelance on the side… I’ve just been offered a job in NYC too, so we will see how that turns out. I don’t think I will ever do animation or motion graphics, well in the short future anyway – it’s just not my thing.
What is the most useful piece of advice anyone has ever given you? How did it change your life?
What comes to mind is a fridge magnet that was on our fridge while I was in high school. It said "You only get out, what you put in." I think it is very inspirational and it is still my favourite quote today. Another thing that comes to mind was when I was younger, I was at a restaurant with my father and there was a glass of water that was half full… my father asked me if it was "half full" or "half empty". I looked at it for a about a minute and then said "half empty". After my father explained the meaning behind this (half empty suggests you are looking at things pessimistically) I decided I should always look at things from an optimistic point of view. A small but true story.
A word of wisdom for aspiring designers and fans of your work?
I often get asked this question, (well not the fans bit) mostly by design students so I ended up writing an article about it… Advice for graphic design students. My usual reply goes: "The biggest piece of advice that I would give an upcoming designer comes in a ‘package’ based from the little things that I have learned over my short career as a designer. These would be perfect for someone just starting out… Don’t undervalue your work. Seek criticism, not praise. Always keep learning & don’t be a static learner… do this by reading books, magazines, blogs and by practicing. Collect & share things. Teach others. Never give up. Keep practising. Again, keep practising."
Thanks for a wonderful insight into the world of logos and your personal domain as well. I wish you the very best for your future doing the things you are most passionate about. I am sure you will continue to inspire many more.
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