Who is Jack Oats?

Alex Nicholson
Jack Oats

I am a student at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, and about to go into my final Honours year of Graphic Design. Over the last few weeks I have been to several Art School degree shows, which have both inspired and scared me when thinking about my degree show next year. Seeing other student’s work has been a real inspiration to me and it is exciting to consider their prospects in the ‘real world’ of design. This week I have been fortunate enough to have some work experience at Elastic Creative. This has also been a real inspiration, seeing how a designer can operate within a design agency.  It was a completely new environment to me and was a good insight into the fast paced nature of a company. I really enjoyed working within the creative space at Elastic. The studio is a great environment; everyone there is good fun and really values hard work.

The theme of my project was ‘Your people are your brand’. I feel there is a strong unity between everyone working at Elastic, and their work ethic is what makes them so successful. Everyone there has a specialised skill set and brings something different to the company. A brand can only be as good as the people who represent it, and everyone that works at Elastic Creative are excellent representatives for the company. Not only do they produce high standards of work, their united team spirit is continually prevalent in the studio. This tight knit passion helps them truly grasp the needs of their clients and really engage on a personal level.

My job was to create the ‘face’ of Elastic Creative. Using photos of everyone in the in the studio I had to digitally create a merged face using pictures of everyone that works there. The result was Jack, a digital representation of the brand.  This demonstrated that all aspects of the company are equally as important to let it operate to its full potential. This representation illustrates that, like a face, without one feature it would be incomplete, and unable to properly function. Jack is a specialised creative in branding and web development based in Edinburgh, who is focused on providing a high quality service to please clients. The aim was to create a social media presence for Jack to spark online interest and debate. This was inspired by the James album cover ‘Pleased to meet you’, where images of the band members face’s were used to create a new person. A band only sounds good if all the members are playing well together. With a brand, it’s the same idea, everyone involved must perform to create good results.

Elastic Creative’s ethos is Target, load, launch. I feel like this approach is an excellent way to engage the client and demonstrate how a project is going to be tackled. Being at Elastic helped me understand the internal relationships of the company, and how they affect the external client contact. It is a very different way of working than I am used to at university, where nearly all my work is done individually. At Elastic, it’s all about collaboration, communication and combining everyone’s specialised skills. It was interesting to sit in on a project delegation meeting, and see how work for different companies is spread out and given to different people.

I was also lucky enough to get an insight into how projects are tackled and how the results are fed back to the clients. It is a very fast paced working environment with a lot of work being continually monitored.

This summer I hope to develop my skills in preparation for returning to Duncan of Jordanston in September. I am looking forward to the motion brief that Elastic will be setting our class in September. Unfortunately I did not get any insider information on what it might involve! Being at elastic has shown me the importance of surrounding yourself with creativity and continually growing and changing as a designer.  I learned the importance of being a well-rounded designer and to continually develop my skills and what I have to offer. It is also fundamental to keep up with developing software to prepare for the future of design in this ever-changing environment.

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