Jason Andrews Winner Interview From United States

Win Your Battles by The Devil’s Rules with Your Rogue Lords!
April 27, 2022
Interview With Susanne Middelberg From Netherlands
April 28, 2022

Jason Andrews

Jason Andrews is the Studio Director for the Arketi Group, and has captured multiple awards in the MUSE Creative Awards, including a NYX Platinum Winner with Qrails!

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Jason Andrews

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

Jason Andrews, Studio Director for Arketi Group, has more than 13 years of experience helping organizations conceptualize and activate communications through design. He is a master at executing comprehensive visual campaigns that encompass both print and interactive solutions with a focus on strong user interface.

His experience includes working for large traditional advertising agencies and public relations firms specializing in internal communications and B2B technology. Along with launching internal communications campaigns for several Fortune 500 companies, he has received multiple MarCom, MUSE, W3, Ragan and Communicator Awards recognizing excellence in strategic marketing and communication across digital, video, print and more.

Jason graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, focusing on graphic design and interactive media studies, from Miami University.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

Early on in my studies, I aspired to be an animator. During my time at Miami University, however, my perspective shifted, and I found myself drawn more towards graphic design.

That was one of the reasons I majored in interactive media and graphic design. I viewed it as a pathway to further my interests through a similar medium, while expanding into a broader skillset.

Over time, and especially after my senior thesis, I concluded that creative design was where I wanted to focus my attention. Translating others’ goals and needs into a creative perspective or format quickly became a passion.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

In my position as Studio Director, I oversee Arketi’s creative process from concept to completion, working with the firm’s clients to translate marketing objectives into engaging creative strategies and assets. My role is to manage day-to-day Studio processes and scheduling, while also providing print and digital design consultation with a strong focus on user experience and interface.

Arketi Group is a digital marketing and public relations firm that helps business-to-business technology organizations accelerate growth and generate revenue through intelligent strategy, public relations, messaging, branding and demand generation. Consistently recognized by Chief Marketer magazine as one of the nation’s “B2B Top Shops” and a “Chief Marketer 200” firm, Arketi helps its clients use marketing to generate revenue. Companies benefiting from this approach to B2B marketing include Cox, CHEP, DefenseStorm, FLEETCOR, Iron Mountain, Körber, NCR and Zyxel. For more information, visit www.arketi.com.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

Creativity, in my view, is the visualization of a concept or idea. It is the ability or process of taking a message and elevating it beyond just talking about it to showing.

I like to think of the saying: “In a crowded market, the solution to getting attention cannot be to shout louder…you have to shout smarter.” Creativity is figuring out how to shout smarter so that someone takes note and stops to look.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

At the core of any creative idea or design is a reason or purpose. Those reasons are varied, but in my work, they generally come down to specific objectives around increasing revenue, driving audience attention or capturing share of voice.

Truly creative ideas take those objectives and translate them into a visual format. Some may work, some may not. Still, the creative process is all about figuring out how to at least attempt to advance those goals through a visual medium. And, once it is out there for the world to see, adjustments can be made based on your audience’s response.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

For me, it’s all about the framework of the idea or concept. Brainstorms, conversations with others and creative briefs provide a lot of the direction and content behind a project, but it’s the process of sitting down, sketching it out, taking it to digital and then trying a few different paths to find the best creative representation possible.

Other than that, I’d say I work best in the morning and with a deadline or timeframe in mind. I’m very methodical, so being able to schedule out time for deep work is critical.

I also like to challenge others and show them creative that they might not necessarily select but are willing and interested in exploring. This provides an opportunity for more conversation and ideas to be shared, which elevates our work as creatives.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

My favorite part of the creative process is the challenge – or the process of taking a specific objective (think: revenue growth, audience growth, brand awareness, etc.), and figuring out how to accomplish that goal through a creative medium.

I would say some of my best work and biggest accomplishments are from opportunities where someone presented a problem that we then took and were able to provide a solution through creative.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

I would describe my creative style as logical, process-driven and structured but adaptable. Any decision I make throughout the design or creative process is informed by a specific reasoning or idea. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement – rational, functional design aesthetic that takes a form follows function, less is more, approach – my aesthetic tends to be more methodical and calculated at its core.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Being born and living in the United States, you’re exposed to a melting pot of mindsets. This informs your ability to design within different styles and offers broader exposure compared to some other areas or places, which is by no means a negative!

There is also a lot of investment behind design in the United States, and companies tend to put a great deal of money into advertising and branding. This exposes us all to new ideas and inspiration.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

My first thought when we received this recognition was how proud I am of the team we’ve built in Arketi. Our firm has both an in-house studio team and robust account team who work directly with clients, and it’s only through our collaboration and teamwork that we’re able to produce award-winning creative. There are no big egos or barriers between teams – we discuss, debate and share ideas because we know that’s how we create the best work possible for our clients.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

One of the reasons we entered for a 2022 MUSE Creative Award was to shine a light on the creative we produce for clients and our organization. We’re a relatively small firm – about 25 people total – but we work with some of the world’s leading B2B brands, and there’s a reason for that. Our MUSE recognition makes that case front and center.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Our biggest challenge with QRail’s brand guidelines was embracing and adopting a more consumer-focused design for a B2B client. Through our research, planning and discussions with QRails, we knew that this was a direction we wanted to pursue, and the result was a much more organic, energetic brand, like something you would see on a consumer billboard.

The team and I had to come out of our comfort zone for this, but that’s exactly one of the reasons why I love this work so much. It’s the challenge that inspires me and keeps me coming back for more every time.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

I wouldn’t say an award or recognition alone has developed my career, but it has served as a powerful reminder that the creative we produce matters. That we are making a difference in our world, industry or community by putting ourselves out there and taking a risk, pushing for new ideas and concepts. Award-winning work such as this is a team-effort and, frankly, it’s amazing to be able to share in the celebration and excitement.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

#1 The freedom of expression. Good, bad or in-between, whatever creative we produce, it’s out there, and even if we move in a different direction or make changes, we are able to express our creativity in a way that’s meaningful for us.

#2 Definitely the people – there are simply so many cool and inspiring characters in our industry that it’s almost hard to be bored when you’re thinking about an upcoming project or the next step of a design.

#3 Honestly? I really enjoy looking at beautiful creative. Viewing compelling, interesting creative is just as awesome as pulling it all together. Keeping up with what others are executing, and drawing inspiration from their ideas, is a never-ending quest.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

Two factors make the U.S. unique:

#1 The amount of funding going into branding and creative work. It’s unparalleled the world over.

#2 A melting pot of ideas, trends, styles and approaches. From the west coast to the east, you can get exposure to almost any style imaginable, which creates an interesting dynamic for those of us in the creative field.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

It can feel cliché to say, but I continue to believe that digital will dominate our work. Print as a medium will be used less and less, however, I do believe it could see an uptick as more of a nostalgic format for us creatives. I think we’ll see print used in interesting ways, but we will see less of it in our day-to-day lives.

There are also so many factors that dictate creative, it can be hard to make an accurate prediction. World events, social issues, movements and everything in between can reimagine today’s creative norm overnight. I doubt a fortune teller could get it right.

I will say: I expect our industry will continue to get leaner due to the sheer number of programs and tools that enable us to execute creative. This will lead to a smaller workforce of more talented individuals capable of using a variety of skills, whether that’s coding, design, animation or whatever else.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

The best advice I can offer is to be able and ready to take criticism and build upon it. You’re never going to put out a perfect design the first try, so you need to learn how to leverage the review process and discussion to further your skills and craft. You’ll never be done learning, and whether it’s programs or trends, you must be ready and able to adapt.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Taking part in global forums like Creative Mornings or creative conferences like Adobe Max and Creative South can allow creatives to gain a different vantage point and remain aware of new trends and programs in the industry.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

Our Studio has a secret Spotify playlist that we share. We like to call them ‘earworms,’ or songs that we simply can’t get out of our heads. From the recognizable to the obscure, it includes almost ever genre imaginable.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

I would say all my past creative directors and mentors have inspired and molded me in some form or fashion. One that stands out to me is Rory Carlton, Arketi’s Chief Creative Officer. My creative style draws a lot of inspiration from his methodical approach to design – of course, he’s from Scotland, so he has a bit more of that European-centric or minimalist mindset (which is just one example of the U.S. melting pot in action).

We also have access to so many creatives on social media that it can be hard not to have a constant influx of new inspiration and ideas. B2B is not the most free-form environment, but the more we can draw from other industries and creatives, the more we expand our frame of reference and create new opportunities for creative genius.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

My biggest piece of advice is to always be willing to learn and grow. This is a field where you cannot be complacent – your next big idea is just around the corner. All it takes is pushing yourself to reach it, whether that’s through feedback, conversations with others, practice and (also important) rest and meditation. Take the time to understand your creative process and the reasoning behind your work. It will make it all the better, and more fulfilling as well.

22Which THREE (3) friends/peers would you nominate to participate in the next MUSE Creative Awards?

Katie Bryl, Senior Designer – Arketi Group

Adam Garner, Developer – Arketi Group

Charles Askew, Interactive Director – Arketi Group

23Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Not to belabor the point, but it’s worth noting that our firm is strictly business-to-business. We are not representing consumer-facing brands selling beverages or the latest and greatest fashion. Our team works with organizations from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations who are not just trying to grab attention. They have very specific problems to solve and goals to achieve.

Winning Entries

QRails Defines Formal Brand Guidelines | 2022


QRails launched in 2016 as a cloud-based issuer processor. The company soon expanded to provide innovative digital payment solutions, including earned wage access, to, corporations…
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Jason Andrews

Jason Andrews is the Studio Director for the Arketi Group, and has captured multiple awards in the MUSE Creative Awards, including a NYX Platinum Winner with Qrails!

Searching for more creative designs and the storyline that encircles them? Read more about innovation through this interview with Maud Passini from Manureva Studio, United States.