Jonathan Isaacson balances design quirks with technical care

Despite already working as a senior designer in Wieden and Kennedy’s London office, art director and designer Jonathan Isaacson has been keeping busy on a range of freelance projects this past year. In fact, he’s actually always maintained a freelance practice alongside any full time work. At first this was to gain experience in new areas when entering the industry, but as his career developed ‘and the holes have been’ plugged ‘, it’s becoming about staying creatively challenged and engaged as much as I can, “he says. “As you might be able to tell, I’m very bad at switching off.”

An ongoing collaboration you may have spotted in this practice is Jonathan’s ongoing work with musician and artist Glor1a. Art directing for the artist alongside creative director Claire Arnold since 2018, the duo have continuously shaped Glor1a’s visual world. Initially, inspiration was led by graphic artefacts Claire had collected, from old techno and industrial flyers, but also the creative director’s previous work with the musician. Primarily this was in the photography used in early releases, as “the images [Claire] produced were so evocative that it made it easy to build visual worlds out of them, ”the designer explains. In doing so, Jonathan’s work mirrors Claire’s via bold typographic and color palette choices, particularly in his work for Glor1a’s dystopian futures concert series, as well as the custom drawn logo, numerous tour posters and six record sleeves he’s designed to date.

However, more recently, Jonathan has been concentrating on developing the visual language of London-based fashion designer, Bianca Saunders. More typographic in focus this time, the designer has created a bespoke drawn logo for the growing brand, taking its cues “from historic lettering, but rendered in a more modern style”.

Developing a logo which demonstrates confidence due to its craft, its design was led by a feeling that Bianca’s previous logo “wasn’t living up to the quality and energy that her brand was becoming synonymous with,” he says. In turn designing a logo which offered character and presence, it’s a wordmark that purposefully feels both masculine and feminine, connecting with Bianca’s own narrative as a female designer predominantly creating menswear. “Where we landed was a hand-drawn serif, both rough and angular as well as elegant and refined… making something that could have existed 400 years ago on the side of a building, as much as in ten years on the back of a jacket . ”

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