Say hello to …Jon Harvey from BigJon
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
I had been an art director working in advertising and marketing for many years but fancied a change. I've always had an eye on stationery and paper based products – which is no surprise given my old day job. BigJon meant I could move sideways so to speak in terms of applying my design skills but at the same time learning about a whole new industry.
Describe your typical working day …
No two days are the same, which suits the Gemini in me. But you can bet that most days will involve a computer screen, music no one else cares for, 1.5 litres of water (still) and an unhealthy amount of looking at everything and everyone.
What is the best thing about your job?
That I make a living from something I absolutely love doing (and always have done)
Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment to create your products?
Yes, one very full brain, 3 felt tips, one MAC and and an overactive imagination.
Your products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
At the moment it's the new alphabet range 'Capital City' (shown at the top of the post and below)
What are the most popular products in your range?
There are two designs from one of my best selling ranges (Mirror Mirror) which continue to be best sellers.
What are you working on at the moment?
Apart from getting my head around having a brand new e-commerce website - www.bigjon.co.uk which I'm extremely proud of - I am fiddling with a new illustrated dog range, 'Woof'.
What product or business plans do you hope to achieve in the next year?
I am keen to expand into other products but want to make sure it's the right fit for the BigJon brand. It's too easy to just stick everything on a tea towel or mug, so you won't be washing up one of my mugs with a BigJon tea towel anytime soon, sorry. In addition I will be working hard to gain more brilliant UK agents and I will continue to expand overseas mainly through distributors and licensing.
Your inspiration …
What inspires your products?
So many things. I can get inspiration just by sitting on a bus (it's better if I'm not driving it), art galleries, mincing around shops, Pinterest, grilling a tomato. “The world is an inspiration!” (rolls eyes) (tuts). It helps living in the best City in the World – Norwich, I mean London. “SO MUCH TO SEE.”
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
I especially like: Mr Boddington, Present and Correct, John Derian, Jack Spade, Conran and Ben Pentreath.
What current or upcoming trend are you're coveting?
Neon and also 'Tropical Urban' and I didn't even make that up.
Quick questions ...
What is your favourite book?
Anything with more pictures than words
What is your favourite film?
Too many to mention – I go every week – I'm the Mark Kermode of stationery.
What is your favourite album / band or song? All 3 if you want!
Again an eclectic mix here, but anything by Tracey Thorn, Agnes Obel, Kate Bush, Pet Shop Boys (showing my age) will get me hand jiving.
What is your favourite card or gift brand?
Can't pick one – but any of the ones mentioned above could win.
What is your favourite website or blog?
Pinterest – I'm addicted. Also in my favourites are: www.androphilia.tumblr.com, http://www.justunfollow.com, www.ulvehund.tumblr.com, and www.benpentreath.com/inspiration/
What can't you live without?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Nothing that gives me pleasure gives me guilt
Thank you Jon! Visit the BigJon website now.