In an effort to introduce the Exponent cadre to our clients and the world, we thought it would be fun, and insightful, to interview each other. Jon Bradie is a talented, Atlanta-based designer who has worked on Exponent projects for several years now. In Jon, I have found someone with enormous talent—and a true teammate.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
I knew early on that I would pursue the visual arts in some form, be it architecture, photography or design. As far back as high school art classes, I instinctively had a very linear, organized design sensibility. I didn’t become a “designer” until I became a one-person agency for a legal publication, mostly out of necessity. Collaborating with multiple department heads (advertising, editorial, circulation and new product development) on an ever-expanding range of projects, design took on a larger role and all concerned liked the results.
What’s the hardest work-related challenge you face, and how do you solve it?
Often, it’s a matter of communication. One of the most important roles of a designer is that of educator. The client is relying on you for design, for sure, but he or she is hiring you for your expertise. If you can’t justify–with confidence–the purpose of a particular design element, either for aesthetics or user functionality, lose it. Every element must have a reason for its existence, all in service of the client’s goals. You must be able to concisely explain these choices.