For those of us who have looked at something we love and thought “I want to get paid to do that for a living”, Jordanne Chant is a definite inspiration. A music devotee who has also always enjoyed design, she combines the two on the side of her full time job, coding course and handful of other creative ventures. Here she lets us into how…
What led you into Design?
I suppose I’ve always been interested in design. I did a TVET course in Design Fundamentals when I was in year ten, which I really enjoyed. After school, I studied Fashion Design and interned at a couple of places including a leatherwork studio in London… I then worked as a fashion copywriter while feeling pretty aimless. At the time, my then-boyfriend was making posters for local venues and I thought ‘I want to get paid to do that!’. Shortly after, I applied to study Graphic Design at Design Centre Enmore… I wish I’d thought to study design years ago, but it’s so good to be finally putting my time into something that really drives me and excites me. At times the industry can lead you to feel a little cynical but really, it is such a rewarding career.
If there was ever such a thing, what would a typical working day look like?
What pieces of work are you most proud of? And why?
I’m most proud of the work I’ve produced independently, including a handful of posters I designed for BIGSOUND, and a poster I just made for my friends in Big White. Maybe a t-shirt I designed for my friend’s band, Phanosland, too. I was just mucking around when I had some free time at work and sent it to him. He liked it enough to make it into a t-shirt, and people liked the t-shirt enough to buy it, so that’s cool.
What tools / techniques / approaches did you use to create these projects?
For the BIGSOUND posters, I incorporated film photos I’d taken on my trip in Japan. My shutter curtain was stuck, so sadly lots of the photos I took didn’t turn out, but as I cut, copied, manipulated, multiplied, etc. they ended up looking okay. It feels extra rewarding producing something and knowing every piece of it is yours – from the concept development to the photography, typography and design. For the t-shirt, I just drew it in Photoshop using my Wacom (less exciting).
What’s the best part about working with the team at David Jones?
My team! I feel lucky to work alongside incredibly intelligent and talented people who consistently produce inspiring, fun and relevant work.
What are the most common challenges you encounter in the job/industry?
Working in advertising can be pretty demanding and exhausting. Sometimes you’re briefed on jobs you love, sometimes you’re briefed on jobs you don’t love so much. On the bright side, there’s diversity in the work, which means one day you could be art directing a home shoot, and the next, designing an invite for a fashion event.
Are there recent examples you have seen where brands have used design in a unique way to sell their products?
Fiorucci re-launched earlier this year. Rizzoli released a book in October which draws from the label’s archives and it’s so good. Their branding is (and always has been) bold, confident, graphic and fun – unlike anything else. In fact, Fiorucci’s legacy is in its visuals more than it is the clothing. It’s iconic, original and not easy to imitate. I’m obsessed.
How do you keep evolving and growing as a designer?
The only way I feel I can evolve as a designer is by constantly seeking and pursuing projects that challenge me… and not settling for work that’s easy or comfortable. My biggest fear, career-wise is being stuck in a position that doesn’t push or encourage me to grow and produce my best work.
If you’re in a creative rut, do you have go-to places – either physical, virtual or both – where you go to get inspired?
Books and magazines! I recently got my hands on Reasons to be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles. His work was incredible and beyond its time. I always go to It’s Nice That for weekly inspiration, and now that I’m learning to code, I frequent brutalistwebsites.com and siteinspire.com. My workmate linked me to this incredible talk from Erik Kessels last week and it made me feel so happy and motivated. I find taking photos, attending exhibitions and listening to music helps too.
Any advice for aspiring designers?
Not sure how qualified I am to give this kind of advice, but I always think it’s good to put yourself out there as a designer and reach out to those whose work you admire. Really, what is there to lose? I also think it’s important to constantly update and edit your portfolio.
Any projects you’re involved in at present that you want more people to know about?
I co-operate an independent record label called Dinosaur City Records. It’s a big, long-term project that takes up almost all my spare time. We’re releasing a Christmas mixtape (made up of all original carols) in a few weeks. I’m very excited about it! I am actually procrastinating designing the cover for it by answering these questions.