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Overcoming career challenges in the interest of design with Jamie Maunder

The key to art lies within its subjective nature. Take the age old saying, for instance, that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. A single image has the power to invoke entirely different emotions from any number of individuals. For this reason, art will never please everyone and for an artist like Jamie Maunder, this has been a career-long challenge. A challenge, however, that he has embraced with an open mind and a will to address wherever possible. He has an unprecedented resilience and in the field of design, this ability could not be rarer. It is with this resilience that he manages to take himself outside of his work and his own personal biases in order to craft designs that please his clients and keep them coming back for more.

“The main challenge in my design career has been trying to please everyone. There are always going to be people who love your designs, but there will also always be people who don’t. It took me a long time to accept that reality. If we all liked the same things, then the world would be a very boring place. The design world is extremely fast paced and with new trends emerging on a constant basis, it is challenging to continue evolving; however, I let this drive me to not only keep up, but to get a step ahead. In return, it allows me to act as a trend setter and inspire others around me. The hours can be long and grueling, but my passion has never wavered. It only makes me feel stronger. If you love what you do, it becomes less of a job and more of a way of life,” tells Maunder, 34.

With his combination of talent and business sense, Maunder has earned himself work with several prestigious companies and brands, such as Samurai Sports, and the International Olympic Committee. With each opportunity, Maunder makes a great effort to develop new skills, improve existing ones, and leave a lasting impression on consumers and clients alike. He is never satisfied with achieving a goal and stopping there. On the contrary, Maunder works himself to the bone for each project he accepts and he sees success as identifying further room for growth. Despite how well he has done thus far in his career, he is as determined now as he has ever been to take a step back from his designs of the past and let his mind bring new visions to life. It is safe to say that Maunder sees the world through a lens that others would struggle to comprehend. This is why, in 2010, when Loughborough University were looking for a company with a remarkable reputation in both strategy and design to help them rebrand themselves, they were adamant about having Maunder on their team.

The opportunity to work for Loughborough Sport came at a time when Maunder was working for the VT-3, a company that he and a colleague had founded early on in their careers. Specializing in sports innovation consultancy for sporting brands and organizations, VT-3 were the perfect match for Loughborough Sport’s visions. At VT-3, Maunder was responsible for handling all creative and visual language efforts for each client’s innovation and growth strategies, which included ideation, prototyping, product design, branding, online and social media marketing, as well as communication for global clients. In addition, he oversaw all sporting apparel design, production, and sourcing services that they offered to their clients. Imagine his thrill when he was approached about the chance to rebrand the world’s top sporting university. In addition, Maunder, having been born and raised in the United Kingdom, was buzzing about the prospect of having his country’s top athletes and coaches immersed into his design philosophy whilst using the University’s facilities in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Due to the fact that there were so many contributors and decision makers involved in the revamp of Loughborough Sport’s image, Maunder carefully devised a plan for himself and his team. He decided to lead his team members through three months of heavy immersion into the University’s history, culture, campus, and overall sporting life. Essentially, he wanted to find out what makes Loughborough Sport the success that it is and what sort of mood and ideology he wanted the rebrand to encapsulate. Once this step had come to an end, he and his team diligently prepared a portfolio of 6, high quality concepts that each presented a different vision and creative direction for the project. He knew this would be the best way to present the University with some options, but more importantly, to grasp which elements would be most important to his clients.

“We knew this was going to be our chance to get the University together and discuss which points they liked and disliked about each direction, giving us the information we needed to refine and build a concept which captured all the feedback. We then presented an all-encompassing option which spoke to everyone on different levels. We went into fine detail about each and every element to be involved in the re-brand, from messaging, history, colors, shapes to the roll out of the brand on multiple platforms. As we began to roll out this new brand, the project continued to grow larger and larger as clubs and groups became determined to take part as they saw our visions coming to life. It was humbling to say the least,” noted Maunder.

As the project’s lead creative designer, Maunder was fully immersed in the project from its inception to its successful conclusion. Given the sheer size of the project and number of individuals involved, rebranding Loughborough Sport was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding projects he had ever worked on. That size also presented new platforms for him to shine. It allowed him to create a hugely influential brand, redesign world-famous gymnasiums, conceptualize and create new sport’s complexes, design elite sports team’s apparel, and much more. Fortunately, Maunder was able to do so with diplomacy and tact to the advantage of his clients. He brought them a coherence that they had been lacking for years, one they didn’t even know they needed until he and his team members gave it to them. Unsurprisingly, Maunder’s efforts contributed to the generation of new lines of revenue for the University and still today, it only continues to grow.

Marketing manager, Richard Hall, witnessed first hand just how imperative Maunder was to the project. After working with him, he summed Maunder up perfectly as both a colleague and a designer as a whole in saying the following:

“Jamie demonstrated to us an exceptional ability to completely connect with the brief for the project, be totally immersed within it, and still manage to produce five distinctly different, yet credible brand options for us to consider. His creative experience ensured that whatever the challenge, and whatever the application he exceeded our expectations and delivered.”

Written by Sean Desouza

Overcoming career challenges in the interest of design with Jamie Maunder Reviewed by JaamZIN on 8:55:00 PM Rating: 5
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