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Jon Jackson

Executive Creative Director / Huge

 

Jon is responsible for the creative direction and execution of large-scale initiatives at Huge. In his role, Jon collaborates closely with the Visual and Interaction Design teams to develop concepts and strategies for some of Huge’s largest clients including Target and Gucci. Specializing in building well-known, consumer-facing brands and extending engagement through traditional and digital media, Jon has over 14 years of experience in art direction.

Jon lives, eats and breathes design, and over the years has taught design and motion at Art Center College of Design, illustrated for publications like Anthem and Arkitip, and even won a How International Design Award for his wedding invitation. Jon holds a BFA in Graphic Design from California State University, Fullerton.

Q: How did you start in advertising?

I started in design and it took me a good five years to realize I was in advertising. I just wanted to make well-designed things that would make people happy. When I stepped back and realized that I was creating those well-designed things for brands, there came the moment of, “Oh shit, I am in advertising.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job? What drives you to work every day?

I enjoy making things with the talented designers and writers at Huge. The insane conversations that come up during the process of concept through to creation are what get me to work each day. If I get stuck traveling or sitting in too many meetings that take me away from the work, it gets me down. I initially started as a designer to create things – which is very different from creating PowerPoint presentations and writing emails.

Q: Looking back, is there anything you’d change?

It’s hard to say because I am extremely happy with where I am today. But, I could (and should) continue to take more risks in my career; from a creative standpoint, I think it’s rewarding to go out on a limb more – even if there’s a possibility that something could blow up in your face. At the very least, it would make things more exciting.

Q: How do you stay creative?

I stay creative with new experiences, traveling, taking photos and listening to music. Well-designed things always make me want to push harder in my own work, so I like to surround myself with them.

Q: What's the best advice you've ever been given?

That “design is never done.” You can always make things better and well-spent time will always improve your work. So, put that version aside and try something else.

Q: What advice would you give someone starting now?

In creative disciplines, it can be easy to get a big head. At an agency, the creative team is the group that everyone wants to be a part of, and non-creative disciplines will tell you how amazing your work is, because to them, it is something of a mystery. So, stay humble and hungry.

Q: Do you have a set of rules/principles that guide you?

I think so. Do great work and be nice to people while doing it. I think that creating great things is not entirely that difficult, but doing it while keeping your team motivated, happy and challenged, is.

Q: What are you looking for when hiring?

I am looking for people who are excited to create things and are not intimidated by not immediately knowing what those things might be. A great part about our industry is that you never really know what you are going to have to design or write about. The moment of having that blank canvas, whether it’s a Word document or Photoshop file, is the most exciting part. So the people who understand the mix of nerves and excitement at the same time, are what we look for.

Q: Why would anyone want to be part of Huge?

People want to work at (or with) Huge because we value what it takes to really create something different. There are a lot of challenges in doing work for clients, and we have tried to create an environment that makes it as easy as possible for creative people to do really compelling work.

Q: If not advertising, what else?

I am interested in physical product design; in crafting the things that we use each and every day. I also love silkscreen and classic printmaking, and I memorized the California Job Case way back when, so that seems like a solid fallback career.

Q: What's the best thing that ever happened to you because of advertising?

Besides getting to do timesheets, the best part is all the people whom I’ve met along the way – and all the things I have learned from them. I have a motorcycle license because of a project I did with Forum snowboards, I met my wife at an agency event and my musical taste would be an aberration if not for all the people who I have worked with over the years. 

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