Jay David is an interactive designer based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the interactive creative director at TOKY Branding + Design, with a passion for turning big communication complexities into smart and beautiful experiences online.
Some of the most respected organizations and companies in their class have hired TOKY to build inspiring brands, imagine new websites, design sophisticated publications, undertake strategic research and analysis and create large-scale marketing and communications plans. Jay's work has been recognized recently by the AIGA Design Archives, the Webby Awards, Communication Arts, The American Advertising Federation and HOW.
If you have a degree in what field is it? A BFA with an emphasis in graphic design.
Which design studio (or designer), other than yours, do you most admire? It’s hard to narrow this down, especially when it comes to interactive design since the landscape changes so fast. I admire any agency or individual that consistently puts out smart work that keeps everyone off-balance—any agency that makes me wonder how they did it (or how they got it past a client).
What’s the strangest request you’ve received from a client? It involved the Photoshop airbrush tool in neon green, on top of a series of JPGs.
If you weren’t working as a designer what would you be doing? Traveling to new places and trying to make a living out of it.
What well-known identity is most desperately in need of a redesign? GAP. After the backlash of the last redesign, it would be an incredible challenge for any agency to roll this out well.
From where do your best ideas originate? The more time spent deep-diving into research usually results in the best ideas, and also the least frustrating design experience.
How do you overcome a creative block? Ignore Twitter.
What’s your dream project (not client, but project)? I love most projects where I’m directly involved in defining the brand, rather than styling an already-established identity. It could be anything from helping build the identity and experience for a small museum or online art catalog to helping establish an entire city.
Do you have creative outlets other than graphic design? I go in-and-out of hobbies all the time: from film photography, to letterpress, to collecting historic photography, to rehabbing historic homes.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Surround yourself with trustworthy, passionate people who care about the same things you do... then, even when that line is a little blurry, life isn’t so bad.
What product/gadget can you not live without? Lately I’ve been emotionally tied to Clear for the iPhone. There’s something magical about hearing that sound when you complete a task.
What’s your favorite quote? “I think what I feel fortunate about is that I am still astonished—things still amaze me. And I think that’s a great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears; where you basically have to admit you never learn it.” —Milton Glaser
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Stay passionate about consuming as much information as you can throughout your entire career. Constantly evolve and challenge everything that starts to become routine.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? There are so many other complexities to this profession that take practice; simply designing something that looks good is just one small part. I wish I would have known what clients are really like (worst case scenarios included).