Designer/Student/Blogger: An Interview with Jacob Cass

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview with Jacob Cass of Just Creative Design. JCD is a design blog that’s growing very quickly (7,000+ subscribers this year), and this was a very interesting interview for me. Jacob has a unique perspective in the design blog world because he is currently a student working towards a degree in Graphic Design. One of the things I love about Just Creative Design is that Jacob regularly shares what he is learning through his journey as a design student in addition to more typical blog posts. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Jacob.

Where are you currently studying and what degree are you working towards?

At the moment I am studying a course called Visual Communication majoring in Graphic Design at Newcastle University, Australia. The courses I am doing this semester are Design for Advertising, Multimedia and Animation, Graphic Design and Visual Communication Technology II.

So far I have studied these subjects: Design & Technology, Business Studies, Information Technology, Design Elements, Contexts of Design & Technology, Advanced English, The Design Process, Design Issues, Visual Communication Imaging, Media Production, Photomedia, Graphic Design, Studio Photography, Experimental Drawing, Photo Imaging, New Media, Audio and Video Production, Visual Communication Technology Principles 1 & 2, Typography, Design for Advertising, Animation and Multimedia.

What motivated you to start Just Creative Design while you’re still a student?

Up until November 2007 I never knew that blogs were more than just a personal diary so I did a lot of research into “blogging” and I came across a designer called David Airey who was getting clients through the use of his blog and I thought that I could do that too, and as it turned out I was right. 🙂

On your blog you write about a variety of different types of design – from web design to poster design to album cover design. Do you enjoy any type of design more than others?

I really enjoy branding things so things such as logo design and packaging design really appeal to me; however, I really love all types of design.

Do you have much time for client work while you’re still a student?

I would say that about 50% of my work is done on clients with the other 50% done at university. I am trying to make room for another 10% for my own personal projects.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I am really hooked on traveling, so I am probably going to go traveling once I graduate, but I am not sure for how long yet – I am thinking of doing a ski season in Canada as well. I have no plans set in concrete but it does sound appealing. (Anyone want to offer me a design job overseas for 2010?)

Where do you see the blog going after you graduate?

Depends where I am working I think, but I think I will be keeping it for a while; however, some people have emailed me telling me site could be worth anywhere between 8 and 12 thousand dollars, but that is not going to happen for a long while, if ever.

Is there a particular piece of work that you’re most proud of?

I am never 100% satisfied with any of my work, much alike all designers, but if I had to choose one it would be my own logo for my business / blog Just Creative Design. I spent a lot of time on this particular logo and every week I am complimented on the great design which gives me that tingly feeling inside (you know what I mean), oh and it has won awards too!

On a few different occasions you’ve posted examples of work you have done for campaigns to educate teens about the dangers of alcohol. Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement and your motivations?

I am subscribed to a number of newsletters that let me know of design competitions in my area and I usually enter ones that I believe are going to go do a good cause and do good for the community. For example, I have designed drink coasters with clever messages inside them educating people about the dangers of alcohol and I have also designed websites and temporary tattoos that get distributed right across our nation. These competitions really give us an opportunity to express our ideas and opinions, so I also must thank them for it!

In your recent trip to Europe, was there a particular place that stood out to you as a great spot for design inspiration?

To be honest, no. I was only in each country on average 2 to 3 days so I really didn’t get to experience the full scope of each of the 14 countries visited; however, what did blow me away were the massive cathedrals in each country, they were just amazing! Some of them took literally centuries to build!

Anyway, thank you Steven for putting this little interview together, it has been a pleasure.

If you’re not familiar with Just Creative Design, please take a few moments to browse through the site.

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design, a popular design blog.
  1. September 18, 2008

    It has been great to see the success of Jacob’s site, and quite flattering that inspiration was gained from my own.

  2. Steven Snell
    September 18, 2008

    I’m sure it’s nice to see yourself mentioned in the interview of an up-and-coming designer! Also, sorry for forgetting to link to your site when you were mentioned, I just added that now. My apologies.

  3. September 23, 2008

    Great read, always interested to hear what Jacob has to say. I can see why he’s most proud of that logo, it really is great and stands out well. All the best.

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