5 minutes with… Mimi Seagar, Brand Designer.
Our 5 mins with series interviews designers around Aotearoa on how they got to where they are now and takes a look at their day-to-day lives in the studio.
This week we caught up with Mimi Seagar, a brand designer at Jasmax, who shares with us her career journey and what it’s like to work within the Brand Design team at Jasmax – from truffle fries to contemplative desk chats and all.
Can you tell us a bit about your career background and the path you’ve taken to get where you are now in your creative career?
I have a very creative family so the creative career was always on the cards for me. I don’t think I ever considered anything else. I studied Visual Communications at Massey in Wellington. At the end of my 4th year I was offered a position as Graphic Designer at Moochi’s head office, where I had worked in retail since my last year at high school. While it felt like a big responsibility for a fresh grad, I was confident I had a good understanding of the product and the customers. I quickly grew autonomy to make decisions in the very fast paced fashion environment!
After a couple of years there, my current manager Clem Devine (Jasmax Brand Design Lead, best in the biz!) found me through my Best Awards Gold submission, for my major project at Massey. He was looking for a new designer to join the Jasmax Brand Design Team, to grow the team and get a little more female energy going! Clem’s done some extremely memorable projects in his time and I had known of Jasmax having visited during high school. Since I have an underlying passion for Architecture, this really felt like the perfect fit for me and I absolutely love it. I’m coming up to 2 years here in November.
What is the day-to-day of a Brand Designer at Jasmax like?
Where do I begin! There’s a steady flow on the to do list that’s for sure. There’s 7 of us in Brand Design – I hear we’re deemed the “most fun” practice group at Jasmax – proudly. It is lovely when Architects sleuth past to look at new work pinned up on the walls or just add their 2 cents to our .. very ‘contemplative’ desk chat. Our projects have a much shorter lifespan than the rest of the practice so things are always moving along and looking fresh in the Brand Design team.
Property marketing is a big part of our day to day. It depends where we are in a project – early stages there’s a lot of research and talk – lots of post it notes, mess and illegible scribblings. Once we get into the guts of the project and the identity is established there’s weeks of intricate detailed design like floor plans, web design, brochures or sales books.. But it’s all quite therapeutic so we like the opportunity to zone in and churn through it.
Between times, I double as the inhouse photographer for Jasmax, shooting our staff headshots which roll around every few months and any other quick documentation the practice requires!
Other general Brand Design Team activities include; parmesan truffle fries at 46&york, fruit bursts, smarties, lunch in the park, Friday staff drinks, regular intermissions to visit Dan the barista at reception and dodging the parking warden.
What are your favourite types of projects to work on?
Property marketing projects, absolutely. My mum, Adrienne, is an Interior Designer and has been for almost 30 years, now joined by my sister Natalie – so it’s an industry I know well, mostly through osmosis haha. Property projects have a breadth of outputs, from the website design and marketing messaging, to the printed collateral, the renders and the display suite – we can really show the brand in many facets and stretch all of those skills. The opportunity to grow in the interior space and use my connections there is a highlight for me. These projects go quickly but they’re so rewarding.
How did you end up working at Jasmax and what do you enjoy most about your role?
Since Clem found me through the best awards, it really proved the importance of getting involved in the design community, meeting new faces and sharing your work. What I enjoy most is designing for new people with each project that comes along. Through our teams’ processes we really focus on who the audience is and what world they live in. Our project outputs are so unique and interesting because of the dedication to the audience, they’re the fuel for all of our discussions, ideas and visual explorations. This is something I really value, particularly coming from the fashion industry when you’re more or less marketing the same product to the same customer base. Essentially, I really enjoy the versatility of each project.
Is there a notable project you’re especially proud of?
We’ve recently finished The Domain Collection – A set of luxury apartments on Carlton Gore Road, the collateral is really sleek and we’re all proud of that one!
Have to mention the uni major project too. Uni projects are so indulgent and such a marker of who you were at the time. Will always be proud of that one, we had a lot of fun doing it!
And The Onehunga Mall Club was my first project at Jasmax, I still love the bold colour palette and “the coffee news” vibe – it felt very authentic to the place and the Workingman’s Club history of the site.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
From our project workshops! That’s where the magic happens. In terms of style though, it’s always good to have a wee trawl of The Brand Identity or The Essential Design, various instagram feeds to see what’s happening in the design world – what new typefaces are out there etc. Other inspirations would be getting back to basics – mid-century graphic design and simple rules that just make sense. Fashion, film, galleries, my family.. I guess that’s the thing about inspiration; it comes in all forms and you never know what you’ll stumble across next that feels relevant for a project you’re working on.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
Over lockdown my partner Michael and I did pick up sewing as a new hobby – thanks Covid! It started out when we bought a shirt pattern to support a close friend’s business ventures, and we got very into it! It’s nice to “make things”, really rewarding and it’s been a cool skill to learn together. I did sew a little in high school and I’m good with intricate details and making sense of things – so I think I can claim ‘leader of the sewing duo’. Also great to be able to mend things when needed.
Other than that, long drives and fresh air. Family time of course and catching up with friends. And I have a large blank canvas sitting in the garage that looks at me every time I hang out the washing.. It’s been a few years since I’ve been behind the paint brush but drawing and painting have always been a huge passion of mine so it will be interesting to see what comes out of my brain now that I’ve evolved a bit!
Lastly, what advice can you share with any young designers or career changers looking to break into their first design role?
My biggest piece of advice would be to get involved. Attend industry events, go to talks, lectures, openings, exhibitions. You never know who you’ll meet, eventually the familiar faces could be new collaborators or colleagues!