20 August 2020

Interview with a Designer - Jay Bates

After graduating from Sheffield Hallam, Jay spent a number of years working at various design agencies in London before making the move back up north to join Brandon three years ago.

What made you want to be a designer?

Curiosity. I’ve always liked to question things and explore why they’re done in a certain way; but then look to how they can be improved.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Like my strange and eclectic Spotify playlists, I’ve always had quite a varied interest in different subjects. I think being open to lots of different subject matters helps you draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources.

What piece of work at Brandon are you most proud of and why?

Having visited Italy every year for the last four years, I felt it was a great opportunity to work with Napolina. It’s such an iconic brand in UK homes and has a really rich Italian heritage to work with. The effortless simplicity of Italian style, as well as the passion and love that goes into Italian food, provided a rich pool of inspiration from which to start.

Working with such a large range of products across multiple categories also gave a self-confessed brand architecture nerd a chance to ensure it all held together as a complete brand identity.

What category would you love to work on that you have yet to do?

Anything containing alcohol. I’ve only ever dipped my toe in the world of whiskeys and beers. However, I’d love the opportunity to work on either a high-end whiskey, with a bottomless pit of budget for beautiful finishes and structures, or a challenger beer brand with plenty of license to push the boundaries.

Just for fun questions

Guilty pleasure: Having an early morning airport beer

Fave movie: Snatch

Fave brand in the world: Brewdog.

This may be becoming a cliché answer to this question as they become more and more prominent on supermarket shelves, however, I have been a huge fan of the brand for a number of years. Ever since seeing their brand charter (which includes lines such as ‘we blow shit up’ and ‘learn obsessively, share evangelically’) they have managed to change a whole category with their brand. The continual growth of the brand has led them to also question and push the boundaries in other categories, which I think is really important for brands to do.

You can take 3 things (not people) with you to a desert island what would they be:

  1. Coffee. Got to start the day right on a desert island.
  2. An IPod for music and podcasts
  3. Gin. To signal the end of the day.