Communing with 2022 Design Awards Community Winners

Q&A with talent designer, Jon Allison

September 16, 2022

Communing with 2022 Design Awards Community Winners

Jon Allison, RGD resides in Kingston, Ont. is an-award winning creative director and founder of Backcountry Branding, where he helps brands stand out through strategic positioning and memorable identity systems. While Jon has many awards under his belt, his latest achievement is a Community category (Community categories are a part of each Applied Arts professional categories, that help Canadian firms or artists working in smaller markets, clients, or budgets gain recognition they deserve) for the brand identity for Galloping Goose Coffee Roasters. We sat down with him to discuss his creative process and what keeps him inspired.

What is your creative process (from idea to finished product?)

My process is divided into four phases. First, I begin with Discovery to understand the current state of the brand before charting a proper path forward. I take a close look at the competitive landscape and target audience to provide clarity around the issues and opportunities surrounding the brand. Next, I move on to the Strategy Phase to establish a direction for the project, create a strong foundation for the brand and guide all design decisions. Then I proceed to the Design Phase, which is focused on making the brand memorable with a distinct look, feel and voice. This part of the process brings the strategy to life. This phase includes a progression from ideation to sketches to concepts to the final design. The final phase is Application. This is where I implement the design across various touch points.

Can you walk us through the specifics of creating this piece?

You can see this on my website

What is the hardest part when you are creating?

Personally, I find the hardest part of design is letting go of great ideas and concepts that strategically aren’t the best option for the client.

What do you think is an issue in the world of Design?

Too much focus on visual appeal over the quality of the concept. Visual style and technique is important, but without a quality idea it’s like putting lipstick on a pig.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in your field?

Be very intentional in your design. Have a reason for everything you do.

Who is your creative hero?

Michael Bierut.

If you could buy any work from any artist, who would it be?

Mountain Sketch VII by Lauren Harris.

How do you stay creative/inspired

Through adventure and also just being a fan of art and design.

Thank you Jon for participating in our Q&A and giving us that visual, that of putting lipstick on a pig!