I was asked the other day how long I had been a designer (over 14 years by the way) and it also occurred to me that JSD turned 6 in June. I thought it was a great time to give a background into JSD as well as myself.
I started studying architectural drafting and when I moved to London in 1996, worked as an in-house designer for two architectural firms, ORMS and Grimshaw Architects. During this period my design approach was minimal and fairly rigid. Most of my initial design experience was at these two practices and I learnt a lot about design from the architects. In particular two inspirational people who fostered my design skills, Marc Williams (an architect) and Nick Hockley (a graphic designer).
When I arrived back in Sydney in 2002, I continued to study and worked freelance before joining UDAS (NSW Dept of Planning). My aim was to change my design approach and learn more about project and client management. I’d say the biggest change in my design skills has come from my collaboration with other designers, friends and my clients. Constantly being pushed, challenged, debated for the best outcome.
I started the business in 2004, the focus was primarily print design.
JSD’s first client was Habitation (an architectural and planning practice) and we still work with Peter Smith and Andrew Tzannes, who we are currently re-branding as Smith & Tzannes. These ongoing working relationships are ones which I particularly value and really enjoy.
In terms of the design changes and areas of work we deliver, JSD has changed significantly, especially over the last three years. From primarily designing quite structured, minimal identity and print design to a more organic, flexible form with more colour. Our design has also become more varied and there is no house style, as we respond to our clients with a design solution that answers their brief.
We continue to increase the scope of our services to include (as part of our existing identity design services) the digital side of business. This includes HTML and Flash websites with Content Management Systems (CMS), Electronic Direct Mail (EDM), Search Engine Optimistation (SEO), and Social media strategy. This has been the biggest change in the design industry and is applicable to all of our clients.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank some important people that have helped developed JSD and inspired and mentored me throughout my career. These people are: Jeff Lim, Richard Scenna, Jason Barry, Michael Spencer, Ben Carew, Jacqui Laurenson and Tara Madden. I would like to thank all my clients whom have remained loyal to JSD over the years and the suppliers who have consistently supported us. We will continue with our aim… to produce truly outstanding work for all our clients.