“All new challenges are welcome.” That’s the invitation on Jon Contino’s website. His designs have been featured in magazines, on clothing lines and on advertisements. Chances are you have seen his team’s work. His designs reach a wide audience with classic taste and sleek style.
Contino comes from a family of artists. In an interview with The Great Discontent, he says he was surrounded by creative people. From a young age, he began sketching images and lettering. “Early on, my mother saw that I was into art, so she pushed and taught me,” Contino says. “She would go to the deli and get rolls of butcher paper and I’d draw on it like crazy. I learned calligraphy, cross-hatching, and other techniques from her.”
After college, Contino tried working as a freelance designer and struggled to get a substantial number of clients. He turned to agencies where he felt like his creativity was suppressed. “I ended up taking a job at a local agency that served only financial advisors and every client wanted the same thing done in the same way. It was very limiting and I was out of there after two months.” This lead Contino to open his own studio.
The 2008 recession took a toll on Contino’s studio. Many of the retailers he had designed clothing for shut down. “My comfort went out the window and I had to work a lot harder for the money and figure out how to get new clients. It was a struggle.” With the help of his business partner, Contino decided to open his own clothing line. By finding his audience, he was able to expand his business to a design studio.
Contino has found great success, securing deals with Nike, Diet Coke, Sports Illustrated, Miller High Life and more. “I’ve noticed that the more personality I put into my work, the more people respond to it,” says Contino. “I’ve realized that I don’t have to try to only do what others expect from me or what I expect to get paid for.” Great advice for any presentation design artists. By sticking to your passion and infusing your personality with your work, you will create impactful and unforgettable design.
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