Ginger beer label designed by Jacquie Moon for Plump Design
If you’re like me you probably know there’s a lot of work that goes into bringing beautiful, functional graphic design into the world but perhaps less aware of the ‘why’ that sits behind the designer who creates the end product. My next profile of graphic designer, Jacquie Moon, from Plump Design, will shed some light on her design values and beliefs. Having known Jacquie and her design skills magic for more than a decade I was as interested as anyone to know more about her thoughts on why design matters.
Jacquie is a graphic designer based in Melbourne, Australia. She studied graphic design in her early 20’s and has been freelancing as a designer for roughly 10 years. Over this time Jacquie has worked mainly for not for profit organisations and smaller businesses. In 2011 she started freelancing for a Melbourne based sleepwear company producing textile designs and all sorts of illustrations. This position heavily influenced her design practice and developed Jacquie’s skills to confidently apply illustration into her design work.
Jacquie says her approach has always been influenced by the idea that design can be used to create change, to influence emotion and involve people in an idea, and most importantly, empower people. She was inspired by the work of Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer when she was a design student. Graphic design (and the profile of significant designers) is still a very male dominated industry, and Jacquie found Barbara and Jenny’s work particularly inspiring as women taking up space with bold ideas that are often quite controversial and challenging.
Why does art/design matter?
Design influences the way we see the world, and connect. Design is constantly evolving, pushing boundaries and shaping the way we see things and appreciate life. Design is about telling a story that can bring us together. It helps us look for the unknown in our life, as well as creating a constant feeling of comfort.
Tell us about your design practice. What does it consist of now? How has it evolved?
In my design practice, I’ve always come in and out of working for design studios. I love the process of working with other designers, however I’ve always preferred freelancing over working in a fulltime studio.
This has meant there’s been periods where I’ve had to supplement my income through other projects and part time work. My design style has quite a creative approach, and I’ve often found that I start to pick up bad habits or feel quite stifled when I’m put in a studio where I’m producing work that I can’t fall in love with the process, or appreciate the end result.
I want my design work to tell a story, or evoke an idea, or just be something that is going to make people feel good. I think strong design can bring this to people. I decided early in my career that I would rather make coffee to pay the rent (which I still do) than stifle my design style through something that wasn’t bringing myself happiness.
These days, I work for a water organisation and I’m involved in the internal communications. I’m particularly interested in sustainability, and I’m inspired by some of the projects they’re involved in. I also work as a freelance designer on other small projects and using this practice to keep evolving my design style and strengths.
What ideas are at the heart of your work?
I’m interested in progressive design that can be used to facilitate meaningful communication, open dialogue, and create change. At the heart of my work is trying to create human connection through design that is accessible and can spark an idea or tell a story, and most of all, empower and inspire people. I think design has the ability to speak to people, and can be a tool used to connect us. I think it’s up to us as designers in how we choose to use this tool and bring it into other people’s lives.
What motivates you to create?
I’m motivated by the way that design makes me feel, and the way I see people respond to it.
I prefer printed design over working with digital design, although this is becoming more and more limited these days. I love watching people respond to my design work, and knowing that all of the small detail and the effort, is what brings the design together.
I’m motivated by still feeling excited about designing, and know that I’m on the right track when an idea just clicks – and I still get butterflies in my stomach like a child. I’m motivated by chasing this feeling.
What advice would you provide for someone who told you they really don’t know how to go about understanding art/design?
For design, I’d say don’t let it intimidate you. Design is everywhere, we just don’t really notice it. With all things that we don’t understand, we have to reconsider what mental boundaries we are putting in place. Everywhere we look we are appreciating great design.
What are your top tips for getting into the creative zone?
As a graphic designer, I would always say – get off the screen. I think it’s too easy for us to always look to solve a design problem through the computer and the internet. My key things to move into a creative space are drawing, allowing the time to go for a walk and just look at the world, or otherwise listening to podcasts and music. I constantly remind myself that these aren’t luxuries; they’re important parts of my design process.
Thanks for sharing Jaquie!
It’s always fascinating to hear what motivates other creatives and how they push themselves to produce important work. And Jacquie makes it clear – design absolutely matters.