As we continue our series of interviews to find out more about the friendly faces behind LEAP, we present Creative Designer, Tom Jacobs.
Tom Jacobs is an award-winning graphic designer with accolades from the London Design Museum and the International Society of Typographic Design. An alumnus of Portsmouth University, he achieved a First-Class degree in Graphic Design. He is based at our LEAP Chichester offices where he has been working on employer branding projects and digital designs for clients across a range of industry sectors.
How do you express your creativity inside the workplace?
Creativity is an essential ingredient in graphic design. My aim is to deliver beautiful work that communicates the client’s messages clearly and engages the audience. Working within a team allows for ideas to be nurtured and pruned, resulting in stronger outcomes.
What are your creative tools?
I tend to start a project with a pen and a decent notebook. It’s a much more fluid way to initially generate and develop ideas. Once I’ve charged up my iMac, I work within the Adobe Creative Suite, primarily InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
Briefly describe your creative place.
I like a tidy desk, a comfy chair and a relentless supply of tea. Clutter bothers me, but I do like the odd plant to bring a piece of the natural world to the workspace.
How do you express your creativity outside the workplace?
I’m a fan of point and shoot photography, the brilliant thing about modern life is that we always have a camera to hand. It allows you to capture the unexpected. I find myself very mindful of the environments around me; I can’t help but notice beauty in the ordinary. I like to play around with 35mm film too. I have a nifty little Olympus XA2 camera that takes gorgeous photos.
What’s your hidden talent?
Illustration and painting have always been a retreat for me. I mainly work with pen and paper, sometimes creating patterns and backgrounds with watercolours before adding illustration on top. I like the simplicity of using a pen and paper, it feels therapeutic to be away from the computer, using your hands.
When does creative inspiration usually strike?
Inspiration can strike anywhere, at any time. After plugging away on a problem for a while, you’ve got to step away from it and allow some space for ideas to cultivate. That’s why a balanced lifestyle is important to me. It’s good to get away from screens and move your body, whether that’s in the gym or going for a hike in the countryside. Being in nature allows me to recharge and find some clarity. Equally, the abundance of visual stimuli in a city can work wonders for inspiration.
Who’s your inspiration?
I take inspiration from various sources. Blogs like The Brand Identity, Type Wolf and Branding Packaging and Opinion. There are some amazing designers out there and Instagram is a good place to follow their work. I’m particularly fond of the works of Wang Zhi-Hong, a graphic designer based in Taiwan, notable for his beautiful book cover designs that combine Asian and Western typography.
Do you do anything special to boost your creativity?
A diversity of experiences seems to be most beneficial to me. I aim to keep on the move, travelling, meeting different people and having new experiences. It all helps to keep things fresh and allows new possibilities to emerge. Despite the endless stream of inspiration online, I think there’s something lovely about flicking through a design book and having that tactile experience.
Find out more about the people of LEAP in earlier interviews with members of our team.