Jess Joswick

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Jess Joswick

Graphic Designer + Content Strategist

Los Angeles, California

www.backbonecreative.co
instagram @backbonecreative
twitter @backbone_c
instagram @jesstjoswick
Dribble 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m the founder of Backbone Creative, a branding studio that works with startups, entrepreneurs, and founders to make brands that connect, convert, and delight.

I approach each project with a strategic eye and incorporate coaching into my work, particularly when I’m working with solo entrepreneurs. My goal is to create new expressions of your brand that are better looking and more effective than the old stuff.
 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

My path wasn’t a straight one. I’ve always loved learning ABOUT art and design, but I was never super into MAKING it. I was actually very serious about music growing up. In college, I studied Italian literature and then did fundraising at nonprofits for a few years. At my last job, we always needed more design work than our freelancer could do, so I downloaded the Adobe suite and realized I actually liked doing it. From there, I took classes and taught myself the right programs and what makes good design. I always thought you had to be pre-makeover Rachael Leigh Cook in “She’s All That” painting in her basement or like a really good doodler or something to be a “creative” person, so it’s still funny to me that I do what I do now (in a good way). 
 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

The business side of things–both managing yourself and clients. When you’re working alone, you have to learn to hear what your clients are and are NOT saying. You need to set realistic deadlines for the both of you, ask a lot of questions upfront, and manage up. I by no means have the perfect formula, but working with startups and other fast-moving organizations has made my working style direct, flexible, and responsive to my clients.
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I’m loving working with entrepreneurs right now. We work together over a few months to help them solidify and evolve their brands. They’re right in the weeds of the million things they need to do and they really value an outside perspective on their companies. I find that our conversations bleed into other areas of starting a business, and I love helping them figure it all out and helping them grow.
 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My style is good clean geometric fun. I’d say it teeters on the edge of minimal, but I can’t go all the way...I think that can get really boring. I love projects that call for an updated look from a certain time period. Using vintage typography as a jumping-off point is really inspiring.

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WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I wish I had more time to do analog projects away from the computer. I do collages and I never seem to have the energy for it at the end of the day.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Running out of time for fun side/personal projects! 

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Set up more automations, research and schedule Instagram posts and create social content, and help me find some more hiking trails!

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LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

When I began educating myself about all things design, I was overwhelmed with options and felt like I had to learn absolutely everything about everything. I know now that I don’t need to have ALL the slashes in my title–sometimes being a connector between two people looking for each other is just as valuable.
 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I’d love to know how virtual reality really is going to change the way we consume media and how designers fit into that future. 
 

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WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Building a brand from the beginning or rebranding is my jam. I’d also love to work on consumer goods and/or apparel!
 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

The ideal client loves the whole design process, not just the final deliverables, and participates actively throughout our work together. They also let us create something rather than expecting to execute specific ideas. I really think collaboration is critical and I’m not precious about my work. I value my client’s expertise and want to create things they’ll use and love.

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WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

This definitely depends on the project, but we probably have a solution for you! My studio offers branding packages that start with a more affordable DIY solution all the way up to a full-service package (new brand + content on all of  your channels).

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Emailing me a description of your idea, project, and/or vision, as well as a budget, is a great way to start. I also love a good GIF.
 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Creativity=Nature+Water-Phone


This member profile was originally published in February 2017.