I recently had a logo designed for my website. This article is all about that logo and the man that made it. And for no other reason than I was missing being creative and going a little insane in the four walls of lockdown, I am going to use Lego as an analogy, and you’re probably going to get very sick of it… I know I did!
Lego’s name derives from the Danish words ‘leg godt’ meaning ‘play well’. I initially intended to simply use the Lego pun in my title of this article, but why stop there? I feel the metaphor can be extended to my entire brand. The foundational meaning behind Lego feels incredibly apt for the brand I am attempting to create for myself too.
Being creative is about play. Play is about experimenting, pushing limits, making mistakes, and more than anything, taking part until we are bored. For me, writing and creating good television is so vast in scope that one never gets bored. And if you do, then you were never truly interested in the first place.
My career seems to imitate the ideology behind Lego: find the blocks that fit together to create something exciting. I've worked in television for just over two years and my Lego collection has only just begun. I have run into the sparkly shopping centre and b-lined for the magical Lego store. The colourful possibilities have attracted me there, but the tricks learnt along the way have made me stay.
The reason I originally brought up Lego was, in fact, to talk about my LOGO. I recently did a call out on Instagram for graphic designers that could fashion me a logo for my website and, what I now like to call, my ‘brand’. Quite a few lovely people got back to me and, after investigating their work, I decided upon Jack Jenkins.
Jack happens to be a friend of, Ned Caderni, one of my good mates from uni. I had apparently met Jack at one of my performances of Uncle Vanya and at one of Ned’s birthday parties. It seemed Mr Bombay and Mrs Fever-Tree had taken my memory on a much-needed holiday on both of those occasions…
After just a moment of trawling Jack’s website his style reminded me of something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. After further research, I realised I had probably been thinking of cyriac and 918. But Jack’s work was still so different, so mesmerising.
I decided, almost immediately, that Jack’s style had the perfect balance of precision craftmanship and quirk. Like Lego: he would maintain my colourful and child-like excitement for creating. I had to have him design my logo.
Jack Jenkins Q&A
1. Can you explain to me what you do for a living?
I’m a motion graphic designer and until last week, I was working mainly on freelance projects and worked part time as a Sales Executive, or a plant-based food start up in London for most of 2020.
2. When did you first try graphic design?
I first started graphic design back on my art & design foundation at Oxford Brookes Uni in 2015 and decided to switch from fine art into a graphic design pathway.
3. What did you study at university?
After Brookes I studied a graphic design degree at Kingston University where I graduated in 2019.
4. Did you find university propelled you forward in your career? Could you be where you are today if you hadn't gone to university?
Kingston University had a very well-structured course for graphic design and had a good set of resources for learning from it print press and screen print room to its 3D workshop facilities and I was able to find a love for 3D/ motion graphics within the degree which has obvious had an effect on where I am now as I’ve just taken up a new role as a junior motion designer.
5. What is your favourite part of your job?
With my new role my favourite part of my job is being able to interact and work with artist and artist management for a record label I’ve listened to as a fan since I was a young teenager.
6. What do you hope to do with graphic design in the future?
I’m hoping to take my motion graphics skills into an AR an VR environment where I hope to end up working down the line as a creative technologist (but I’m always openminded to other possibilities within my practice).
7. What would be your biggest advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in graphic design?
Good luck and don’t fuck it up as Ru always says… nah just kidding. But really, never be afraid to reach out and ask people in this practice questions you think are silly or not relevant as it will always give you insight and that may be your starting point. Also buy a comfy chair if you are going to learn and make it your work, as your back is going to need it. And make sure and when using software for graphic design like Photoshop look online for help. Skillshare is a great platform to use.
8. What is in your graphic design 'backpack'? What are the essential tools, be it software or hardware, to begin experimenting with graphic design? What software would you recommend beginners to try? What is the industry standard software?
For anyone looking to study graphic design I would say that the software to learn is Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator (this one I use a lot), InDesign, After Effects and Premiere Pro. In terms of what I’d have in my design backpack, I would say that Cinema 4D and Blender would be in there. They are both 3D software that I use to make CGI artwork and good for beginners to learn 3D software and if you are at uni you can get free educational licenses. The other software I’d have in the backpack are Spark AR and Unity which are 3D AR (augmented reality) software.
9. Can you see yourself applying your graphic design in the TV world?
I’m always open to working in film with my motion skills, I’d be happy to work as a videographer if that opportunity arose.
10. Promote yourself, go!
So, I’m currently into making AR filters. So, if anyone had any idea/projects where you wanted to collaborate and needed a filter HIT ME UP with an email at Jackapjenkins@gmail.com and I’d be happy to chat through it! Also feel free to check my Instagram out and give me a cheeky follow at Jack.jenkins_.
Ideas for the logo
I wanted something that could be used on a number of different platforms. I also knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate my name, which had now incidentally become my ‘brand’. It was to be written in T-Line shorthand, the ‘language’ both my parents used when they were journalists. As a child I would have my mum teach me secret codes in T-Line and my parents would pass notes between each other that they didn’t want other people to read. These made writing exciting, just like Lego made puzzle-solving stimulating. It felt like our own little language, even though thousands of people across the world use it, and I knew very little of it myself. Shorthand was the foundational building blocks to my love for writing. Ultimately, having my brand name written in shorthand symbolised what inspired me to write: my parents. Growing up with journalists as parents meant I was always encouraged to read both books and newspapers. I was similarly given the tools to foster a love for writing. That is where this all began. Those are my roots.
Jack and I chatted about colours and styles. I wanted something a little quirky, but it needed to be clear that I worked in TV. The colours of my website had originated from a picture my boyfriend took of me on a walk in the park last Spring. I was wearing mustard yellow and a sort of dull fuchsia.
Jack went away to incorporate these ideas into a logo. He had three versions of the same idea:
1. the colourful 2D television
2. a 3D rotating model
3. the signature in black by itself.
This opened up options for me. I could use the 3D version on my website, as the ‘mother logo’ rotating in the corner forever. The black signature would be used to sign off my emails. And, finally, the 2D ‘original’ provided possibilities for merchandise in the future. The design was complete.
The 3D model has been so intricately made, from the piece of bacon on that back to the ‘BACON’ at the front as the TV’s own little logo (a logo within a logo ahhhh).
What is true for Lego is true for me too: only the best is good enough for me and that, certainly in this case, is Jack Jenkins.