Our Little Black Book —
Over the years, we’ve worked hard to build up and refine our supplier and resource list. Because we like sharing what we learn, and helping people who have helped us, we’re gifting it to you. Everything from suppliers, software and sites we use through to internal documents and spreadsheets.
Find the LBB spinning circle to access it, or just click here.
Creating better working relationships —
Something we take very seriously at JAC& is fit. We only take on projects when it’s right for both parties. Anything less leads to stress and disappointment, two things we don’t need in the studio and definitely don’t want for our clients.
Recently we had a client relationship take a bad turn. We didn’t manage expectations as well as we could have, bringing undue stress into the studio and resulting in an unhappy client. As upsetting as an experience like this can be, it’s also an opportunity to reflect, review and refine. Here’s what we learnt:
Ask simple questions
New processes can be confusing. Questions like ‘what are you expecting of X?’ or ‘are you clear on the next step?’ can save a lot of tension.
When you get the feeling a client is unhappy, they probably are. As soon as that feeling arises, ask the question. Vice versa for clients too. Professional relationships require transparent and open communication to work.
If a project has lost track – maybe the schedule has gone out the window, or communication is proving difficult – it’s okay to speak up. This doesn’t mean getting personal, it means being clear on what you need and why.
Our favourite newsletter (Smarter Living) sums it up really nicely in their article You’ve Made a Huge Mistake. What Now? when they say “the first step to correcting a monumental blunder is to be honest and critical with yourself”. Everybody makes mistakes, it’s what you do next that matters.
Meet our newest addition —
It’s been an eventful few months at JAC&. We’ve loved being a part of Sara’s journey into parenthood and have just been through a thorough and humbling hiring process. We’re now settling into a new pace and are excited to introduce the latest person to join JAC&. Meet Dom Platz!
Dom brings a wonderful new energy to the studio. He has comprehensive print and digital experience across branding, publications, campaigns, illustration, UI and web design. Having worked with small business and global organisations, he is passionate about communication and exploring new ways to tell a brand’s story.
What stood out to us about Dom – apart from his incredible design eye – was his warm, thoughtful and positive character. We know that our clients will enjoy working with him as much as we already do and are looking forward to the diversity and growth ahead.
Parental leave and small business —
We believe that small businesses have an opportunity to make a difference when it comes to equality. A lot of small business owners we meet have a really admirable mindset when it comes to social responsibility and want to create progressive working environments for their staff. The common hurdle many face is budget. There are some positives to a lacking budget though, the biggest one (we think) is resourceful thinking.
When developing our parental leave policy recently – with financial limitations – we got creative and found a few ways to help make the transition as smooth and enjoyable as possible. To help other small businesses, we thought we’d share what we came up with. In addition to the Government Paid Parental Leave Scheme, we are:
- Increasing superannuation for 12 months after returning to work
- Providing a learning and development budget to be spent on short courses, online learning, talks, seminars or even reading matter.
- Offering a flexible work arrangement when returning to work.
These are small gestures, but sometimes it’s the things that don’t cost a lot of money that make the biggest difference.
Sharing our insights on the hiring process —
We recently put a call out for a designer to join us at JAC& and were humbled to receive hundreds of applications. It was an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task to choose just one applicant. We’re looking forward to introducing you to the wonderful person joining us soon.
Having reviewed a large number of resumés and folios, we picked up on some common threads and, in an effort to help people improve for future applications either at JAC& or elsewhere, we held a review session at the studio to share our insights and knowledge. Here’s a summary of what we spoke about on the night:
Know who you’re talking to:
Research the studio before you apply and ask yourself if you’re the right fit for the job and (importantly) if the job is the right fit for you. If it feels right and you’re going to apply, try to pick up on the studio values through their site or social media then demonstrate you’ve paid attention to this in your application.
Do what’s asked:
This is a really easy win. Pay attention to what’s been asked and do it. For example, if you’re asked to upload a folio don’t send a link to your website. Doing anything other than what’s asked implies that you’re either not listening or don’t care.
- Make sure your name and contact details are on there!
- Substance over style, content is key
- Name your file logically (i.e. FULL NAME_CV_YEAR.PDF)
- Supply references
- PDF’s only (no other file type)
- Ensure text is accessible (not flattened or outlined)
- Don’t brand yourself as a studio if you’re going for a job in a studio
- Tailor your folio. If you don’t have suitable previous work, create it
- Full screen mode? Don’t
- Communicate your input. Were you the lead designer on the project or did you help roll out? Be honest and credit where appropriate
- Get feedback before submitting. Ask your peers, friends, teachers (anyone!) to provide some honest thoughts and impressions for you
A big thanks to everyone who showed an interest in working at JAC& and took the time to go through the application process.