John and Jane and George

by Sarah Burley on 10 March 2022

We’ve recently acquired an extra pair of hands at John&Jane in the form of Mr George Goldsmith. He’s got some great experience under his belt since we met whilst he was studying graphic design at Cardiff Met University a few years back, teaching himself to create beautiful hand rendered type, taking stunning film and photography and lots in between. To celebrate and welcome George into the fold we’ve been getting to know him a bit better.  

What has your path to John&Jane looked like?

It all started when I went to art college thinking I was going to do photography but once I was there I discovered graphic design and found that it brought together everything that I enjoyed. It was awesome to be able to build something from scratch using many different visual elements, whether it’s lettering, photography or illustration. The idea that you can add all the parts and build an effective visual system or identity really interested me. Then I headed to Cardiff Met where I met Sarah and Gareth and learned that you could specialise in any number of branding specialisms such as logo design, typography or whatever took your fancy. I remember speaking to them about the hand lettering that I was sharing on Instagram at the time and realising this was an actual marketable skill! 

I headed to Bristol to work as a designer for a while and picked up some agency experience and, eventually, people management skills. I also started learning some animation and motion graphics which I thoroughly enjoyed and ultimately got me my next job at a startup which specialised in performance creative. That was a huge learning curve but really exciting, helping build the business together, growing the team and helping attract large new clients. Then, when the opportunity came up to work with John&Jane I really liked the idea of refocussing on graphic design and branding but also seeing what I could bring to projects in terms of movement and animation. 

What do you love about working in branding?

I love collaborating with a wider team to create something special and the good thing about having worked across lots of mediums is that I can figure out what mix might work well. I enjoy bringing together a range of disciplines and coming up with something different. As well as working with John&Jane I’m planning on setting up my own business that caters to all sorts of creative content which I’m excited about.

In terms of creative work, what do you particularly enjoy working on?

I find that each discipline can bring its own satisfaction if done really well. Moving image can be massively satisfying. I think that if I hadn’t gained a base in traditional graphic design I would never have been able to translate brands and typography into the videos I’ve made over the years quite as well. I think it’s hard for people to learn those skills retrospectively once you get into film because there’s already so much to think about!

Is there one project that stands out as your favourite?

The film I created for Forestry England I think. I enjoyed the pre-production process, choosing locations in the Lake District was awesome. Then having the opportunity to tie that into the narrative and the interviews I took from the cyclists participating in the film was really satisfying. I like what Forestry England are trying to do in terms of sharing beautiful spaces and opening them up to all. The place sold itself to be honest! I would love to have known how it looked to see me frantically chasing after a bunch of cyclists with my Gimble! 

What do you think are the most interesting developments in the world of design at the moment?

With it having been so hard over the last couple of years to meet people and customers in person I think it’s more important than ever to get your branding right. You have to understand who you are, what you’re trying to say, who you’re trying to reach and make sure you’re open and honest about what your values are, not what you'd like them to be but what they actually are! A brand can't stand for everything so it has to stand for something, your brand has to speak for you authentically. Whether that’s via photography, graphic design, whatever, it has to be considered and coherent to stand out and be memorable. 

Do you have any hobbies or projects that you like to do outside of work?

Just a few! I play the guitar and I’m currently being persuaded to do the local open mic night by Gareth and Sarah! We’ll see about that one. Otherwise I love surfing and anything water based. I’ve bought a van which I have big plans for, once I can get it out of the garage! I love rock climbing and crossfit. Everyone always tells me that I have Spaniel level energy, I can’t argue with that. 

What’s the big idea?

The big dream is to live in a house by the sea or the mountains and surf everyday. Along the way I want to do some great work with John&Jane, hopefully bringing something new to the team with my moving image skills as well as learning from everyone as we go. I’m also looking forward to developing my own business and helping brands reach their audience in a sustainable and healthy way.

Quick Fire

Favourite brand 

Billabong sums me up nicely I think. It’s quite rough and ready and no nonsense. I love how they’ve built a community around their brand

Favourite band 

At the moment I would say Woodkid, I love his song Run Boy Run.

Favourite film 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, really imaginatively shot. 

Favourite instagram account for inspiration 

@Matvoyce, he does such cool motion graphic animations of type.

Favourite sport  

I did loads of sports growing up but Rugby is still my favourite!

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