In modern design practice there is a tendency to over-complicate solutions, create solutions to problems that don’t exist, and to value peer respect over that of the end user. The numerous social media channels provide all the evidence you need in this respect. There is also a tendency to infantalise solutions; soundbite storytelling and child-like imagery as communication norms, requiring little effort, engagement or learning.

Less is More

Jason’s approach to design is based upon reducing noise, clutter and complexity; an ideology focused upon simplicity and clarity of communication—minimalism, even.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to takeaway.”

/ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

International Style

Dieter Rams, the influential 20th century German designer, states that Good design is as little design as possible. Less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects [focus], and the products are not burdened with non-essentials [noise]. In fact, his ten principles for good design remain highly relevant in all design fields today.

Dieter Rams, and many other influential 20th century design greats such as Paul Rand and Tom Eckersley, as well as the International Style movement, still have a significant influence on Jason’s approach to design. But then, he is a child of the 60s!


Jason is very much process and research driven in his methodology, letting the results of which inform the design direction.

Form follows Function

A clear methodology and process will direct you to a successful solution; and form usually does follow function. As such, never make assumptions, but make clear the design path and thinking that will lead to the solution.

“When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go where we’ve already been. If the process drives the outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.”

/ Bruce Mau

Visual Thinking

Despite the plethora of modern and enabling tools, Jason always starts a project with pencil and paper. Drawing connects directly with the thinking process, translating thought to graphic language and creating an environment of exploration through the fluid act of drawing, seeing and imagining states.


This is paramount, at all stages of design, and particularly so listening. All projects should start with listening, to gain empathy for the project and the client needs. Every design stage needs to be communicated in full—the what, the how and the why, at all times.


This list highlights the essential tasks as applied to a theoretical brief for cartography to support a city wayfinding project:

  1. Discover
    • Data and information gathering
    • Desktop research and review
    • Understanding context
    • Analysis of urban structure(s)
    • Brand values and vision
    • Brief scope and development.
  2. Define
    • User base and understanding
    • Accessibility requirements
    • Spatial framework(s)
    • Movement network(s)
    • Information architecture
    • Media specifications
    • Asset definition.
  3. Develop
    • Audience definition and scenarios
    • Concepts and wireframing
    • Themes and narratives
    • Identity development
    • Information design
    • System development
    • Design direction
    • Supporting art assets
    • Draft artwork(s).
  4. Refine
    • Stakeholder consultation
    • Design review
    • Final artwork(s).
  5. Deliver
    • Output to required formats
    • Design and artwork guidance
    • Post-project evaluation.

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