Jacob Cass is a 21 years old student currently studying visual communication (Majoring in Graphic Design) based in Newcastle, Sydney, Australia and also the founder of ‘Just Creative Design’..
He Loves to travel, already visited 32 countries so far.
I am self-employed as a graphic designer, specialising in the fields of corporate identity (logo) design, web design, print design and branding with the majority of my time spent designing and implementing marketing promotions for small businesses such as logos, websites, brochures, letterhead, business cards and more.
1. Passionate (I absolutely love what I do)
2. Enthusiastic (I want to learn)
3. Sceptical (I think critically)
4. Focused (I have the right attitude)
Jacob, how are you doing? It’s great to have you here on YHP. You’ve done some great stuff here, just looking at your online portfolio, it’s great!
Thanks for the opportunity, it’s a pleasure and thank you for your kind words.
I can see you travel a lot; you said you’ve been to 32 countries, which country have you had the best experience so far and why? Would you retire there?
Every country has had its own perks & pitfalls. I couldn’t really compare all of the countries at once as each one I stayed in for different amounts of time and did different activities in each so it wouldn’t be doing each country justice - each country offers so much. As for the “best experience”, I would probably say Australia has the most to offer in terms of variety but that is extremely biased as I have lived here for 21 years.
As for retirement, somewhere on the French Riviera would be ideal though I can’t seem to stay in one place for too long.
What inspired you to start designing? To start designing as a job?
As like many designers’ tales, it was just a natural progression. I’ve always leaned towards the artier subjects at school and it was just a natural profession to fall into.
You would be moving to New York in 2010? How excited are you? Have you got an apartment? How far is the planning gone?
I will be moving to New York in January 2010 though before the move I’ve got a trip planned for November / December across 22 states of USA, going on a road trip from LA to NYC. After this trip, I come home to Australia for two weeks and then fly back to NYC again early January for the big move. I haven’t really had much time to get excited yet, nor have I found accommodation - at the moment I am trying to get all of my client and university work done before I leave.
Why have you decided to work for another company within 1-2 years rather than developing your business?
For experience and progression. As I’ve been freelancing my whole (short) career, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to work in a team or studio environment. As much as I love freelancing, I think to grow as a designer you really do need this experience under your belt.
Another reason was the temptation of moving half way across the world to live in New York and work for a fun, relaxed and leading digital design agency that focuses on my areas of interest: branding, social media and user experience design.
How do you define success?
Success is what you make of it. Have you read the story of the Mexican fisherman? I highly recommend reading it, it really makes you think about your life goals. I also recommend the book ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris which is where I originally read that story.
How do you build a successful customer base?
I’ve been lucky in this respect as my clients have always come to me. This has been achieved by running three highly trafficked blogs by constant work over the past two years.
What are the fundamentals in becoming a successful graphic designer?
Making sure you’re not in it for the money. If you have a passion for it, the fundamentals will fall into place by your desire to learn.
What’s the worst place you’ve ever visited?
There is no one particular place however there was one guesthouse we stayed in for a night in Thailand that will never get off my mind. My friend and I ended up in this guesthouse that was above a back street Indian restaurant – to get to our rooms we had to go through the kitchen and then up a narrow, dark and dirty stairwell to finally arrive in our rooms.
We then soon came to realise that the bed hadn’t been cleaned in what I say would have been months (years?) – there was no shortage of visible bed bugs, toenail clippings, rat droppings or ants on the blanket-less bed. We then came to realise that our toilet flushes out water rather than in and a cockroach infestation lives down the shower drain pipe.
Although, this is hardly anything to what some less privileged have to endure, it’s really not what you want to experience when vacationing in a far away land. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had no other place to stay and we toughed it out and the outward flushing toilet is now permanently scared on my mind.
What’s the one thing people wouldn’t believe you do?
A lot of people are surprised that I sleep which leads me onto the next question...
How many hours do you work a day on average?
People usually don’t believe that I work only 4-5 days a week. Although these are long days, usually 8-12 hours a day, they are quite productive. It’s surprising to see how much you can fit in if you put your mind to it.
Who is your favourite entrepreneur of all-time?
Richard Branson and Collis Ta’eed. They’ve both followed their passion and built empires from the ground up. If I wore a hat, I’d take it off for them.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs starting their own business in graphics design?
When this question about advice comes up, I usually give the same reply… the biggest piece of advice that I would give an upcoming designer comes in a ‘package’ based from the little things that I have learned over my short career as a designer. Don’t undervalue your work. Seek criticism, not praise. Always keep learning & don’t be a static learner - do this by reading books, magazines, blogs and by practicing. Collect & share things. Teach others. Never give up. Keep practicing. Again, keep practicing. For more friendly advice see
what other designers have shared on my blog.