Meet Designer of the Week Jonathan Lawrence of branding firm Matchstic, and hear his thoughts on one of his first rebranding projects at Matchstic, on what designers today should keep in mind, and on what makes for powerful design.
Name: Jonathan Lawrence
Name of Firm: Matchstic
Location: Atlanta, GA
Design school attended: Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL
How would you describe your work?
I believe good design requires simplicity, thoughtfulness and consistency. If the design is focused, communicating one big idea, and it’s done in an intelligent way, time and time again, then in my eyes, its powerful stuff. I hope that comes across in my work.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love old stuff. Stuff that lasts. I run a blog (typehunting.com) and catalog a lot of my inspiration there. The way I see it, if I find something that’s 50 years old and is still appealing to me today, and I can channel some of that “lasting” inspiration into my work, then that work might be appealing 50 years from now.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
Oh man, its a long list, but I suppose Paul Rand, Tom Geismar, Michael Bierut, Aaron Draplin and Mike Rigby are at the top.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
Richard Photo Lab was one of my first rebranding projects at Matchstic. With most of the photo industry moving to digital, the big idea was to refresh Richard’s identity in a warm, personal, retro-film-revival sort of way. It was just one of those projects where everything went right, and we couldn’t have asked for a better client.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Our rebrand with Arthritis Foundation was challenging. We were evolving a brand that had a lot of history and emotional connection at play, and those are both big X-factors when it comes to leading the client well, aligning their team and organization, both internally and externally, with the rebrand.
[Curious about a brand-new way of thinking about branding? The Physics of Brand is an exploration of how brands evolve in time and space.]
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
To continue to learn and grow, really solving clients problems, and developing and refining what I described before as “good design.” I hope that one day, 50 years from now, some kid stumbles across something I made and is inspired by it.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
You don’t have to be good at everything, just be good at something. Figure out your strengths and make those stronger. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’m just not a good illustrator, and that’s okay—that’s what illustrators are for.