Designer of the Week: Johnross Post
[Call for entries: HOW Logo Design Awards]
Whether he’s pulling inspiration from Japanese candy packaging, executing fun side projects with friends or pondering his next “random” creative challenge, Designer of the Week Johnross Post certainly knows how to keep things interesting. Explore his bold work below.
Firm: art director at DDB Chicago
Design school attended: School of Visual Arts
How would you describe your work?
I’ve never made a deliberate effort to develop a specific style; I try to let the project dictate the approach I take, but I’d say my work tends to be bold, colorful and loud. I’ve always been more into things that are kinda chaotic versus things that are too clean or orderly. I also try to infuse humor in my work whenever I can.
Where do you find inspiration?
I try and allow myself to be inspired by as many different things as I can, specifically things outside the world of design and advertising. I love comic books; I think from a color and typographical standpoint there’s nothing more impressive. If you look back at the books from like the 60s and 70s, they were doing all that little dialog type by hand, which is just crazy.
Probably the most random place I recently started pulling inspiration from was Japanese candy packaging. I just bought a bunch of Japanese candy off eBay, and the typography is BONKERS. I don’t know if it’s because I can’t actually read it and because of that I’m just looking at the forms, but it’s just mind-blowing. And the colors, man, it’s crazy.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
So many. Mike McQuade is probably my favorite right now; his stuff is so good. I also like the work of Will Bryant, Neil Kellerhouse, Dark Igloo, Sagmeister & Walsh, Hort, Leta Sobierajskii, Paul Sahre, The Daniels, Dan Blackman, GrandArmy, Craig Ward, FAILE, Cody Hudson, Ryan Duggan, Alvin Diec, Oliver Munday, Jesse Draxler, Tadanori Yokoo. The list goes on. There are just so many people doing amazing work right now.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
I think one of my favorite projects is a project called Validation that I did with my buddy Hassan S. Ali, who is an amazing creative at The Onion. It came from the idea that at one point or another, everyone who works in the design, advertising and tech fields has felt underappreciated. We thought it would be funny to create something that could instantly deliver that feeling of validation. Not only did we set out to build a brand from scratch, but it was in a category that neither of us really knew anything about. We found a guy to make the fragrance for us, we designed packaging, collateral and a website all in like two months. It was crazy. It was such a good feeling to actually take a project from start to finish, and it taught me that if you have a good partner, focus, and you do your research you can basically make anything happen.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
They all present their own unique challenges. I think early on the work I did that was client-driven, like the Jack work that’s in my book, was really challenging because I was learning how to work in an agency environment and with a client. Now my self-initiated work is more challenging in a lot of ways because I think I set a pretty high bar for myself. I’m my own harshest critic most of the time.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
My main focus is always growing as a creative. I’d love to open my own shop, but I’d be happy if I could amass just an insanely eclectic body of work. I’d love to write a movie or tv show, get into directing music videos, brand and design restaurants and spaces, do packaging for hip-hop albums, design Hawaiian shirts, just all sorts of random things. I think by having such a broad range of interests and ambitions the future’s hopefully gonna be pretty interesting.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Make the logo bigger. JK, that’s terrible advice.
Be diverse with everything. Where you pull your inspiration from, the projects you choose, the mediums you work in. I think it makes you a more well-rounded designer.
Have an opinion, and let it guide your work.
Do projects that you want to do. No matter how silly, weird or irrelevant they seem. My friend Alf has a project where he Photoshop’s Blake Griffin dunking over random things. It’s called Blake Griffin Dunks. Every creative director who has looked at it thinks it’s amazing. Do weird stuff like that.
The best advice I ever received was to not be afraid to ask for things. Whether it’s a raise, a promotion or an opportunity. If you ask for something you might get it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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