The star of today’s interview is Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST Creative. He’s also a blogger, author, entrepreneur and award-winning designer with a huge portfolio, which includes clients like Nintendo, Red Bull, Zynga and more. His work and writings can be found on leading websites and magazines, such as: Smashing Magazine, Design Graphics, HOW, Computer Arts, and many others.
He’s definitely someone you can learn a lot from, if you are a designer.
Q: You have an impressive portfolio! How important is it for a designer to work on his portfolio?
A: Thank you! A designer’s portfolio is the linchpin of their success as it shows potential clients what you’re capable of. A designer’s portfolio should be an evolution… growing, shrinking and transforming as the designer grows.
Q: How would you describe an ideal client?
A: An ideal client knows their business well and knows where they want to be. They can easily communicate this to a designer in a succinct manner, while providing detailed feedback along the process, with these goals in mind.
Q: What was your favorite project in 2016?
A: Although not a design project, I recently put together a fundraiser on Just Creative raising funds for a children’s orphanage in South Africa. We were able to raise US$2300 thanks to 100+ kind donations all over the world. This money went towards building a safe house for the kids and towards a teacher’s salary, to teach the kids.
Q: There are plenty design blogs out there. Why do you think that Just Creative has become so popular?
A: I got in to the blogging game early and have consistently posted every week since 2007 so there are tons of resources on there. SEO plays a big role and I also think it comes down to trust too. I always strive for quality over quantity, and I only ever recommend products I would personally use myself.
Q: What is the most challenging thing for you as a designer and as a blogger?
A: Time. Due to my ongoing travels and client work, I don’t have as much time to write and I would like to more. I also have to manage and edit guest author articles and there’s often a 3+ month backlog for these authors which is unfair to them. This is quite challenging.
Q: How do you stay focused while working on a project?
A: Staying focused stems from taking on the right projects, with the right clients. If you want to work on a project from the beginning, it will be much easier to stay focused. For longer projects, breaking it up into segments helps too.
Q: Are there any design books or magazines that you recommend?
A: As I’ve been on the road for nearly 2 years with just a backpack I’ve kept my books & magazine to a minimum however Offscreen, Lagom and Computer Arts are three magazines I have enjoyed in the past, as well as a large variety of logo design books tucked away in my book shelf. Three notables: Designing Brand Identity, The LogoLounge series and a book for beginner designers: The Non Designer’s Type Book.
Q: What was the last picture you took with your phone?
A: A sunrise photo overlooking 2200 temples in Bagan, Myanmar. Quite magical!
The photo looks magical, indeed. Thank you for sharing it with us, and thank you for the awesome interview, Jacob!
Check out this interview with Ian Paget, an influential graphic designer and the founder of LogoGeek, a very popular design blog.