10th Sep

EXCLUSIVE: JON HICKS, creator of the FIREFOX logo interview

1. Jon, thanks for putting some time aside to answer a few questions. I’ve been a big fan of your work and style for years now, but for our readers who have never heard of you could you tell us a little about yourself and your company?

Hicksdesign is just myself and my wife Leigh, based in Witney, Oxfordshire. Started in 2002, we’ve become most known for the FIREFOX LOGO, but we work on a wide variety of design mediums, from web to print.

2. You’re best known for the FIREFOX LOGO and branding, can you tell us more about that?

http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/branding-firefox ;o)

3. What have you been involved with recently that you want to shout about?

I’m working on some great projects that will hopefully see the light of day soon. New logo for Mailchimp, a Darwin Centenary project for the University of Reading and a large icon project for the next version of LINOTYPE FONTEXPLORER. I’ve also been working on an updated, detailed version of the Firefox logo, but that won’t be seen any time soon sadly!

4. My first job was a Saturday cleaner at a local Butchers for £2 an hour, what was your first job and what did you gain from it?

A paper round, delivering free papers every Thursday during holidays. I gained enough money to eventually buy my first walkman, and a better understanding of the local area. Can’t remember what the pay was though!

5. I never went to university after college, opting to learn the trade hands on. What route did you take before starting out on your successful career.

I left school at 16, avoided Sixth Form, and went straight to art college to do a BTEC ND in Technical Illustration for 2 years. That was followed by 3 years studying wildlife illustration at HND level (Flickr link ). I’d planned to spend the rest of my life as a wildlife (and in particular, bird) illustrator, but I found it a hard market to break into.

I worked as a designer for 8 years, with charities and finally an educational publisher, before going freelance in 2002. Hicksdesign then became a partnership in 2007, and finally a Limited Company in 2008.

Instead I got my first job as a junior designer for Coventry City Council, where I learned the ropes of print design. I already had basic design skills, and good experience on Macs, but this was at a time when there was still paste-up artwork. I still miss those days, going home with the smell of spray mount in my nose, and cut up letters on my elbows.

6. Who would you say are your biggest influences in the industry, past and present.

In the 90′s I was first turned on to design by David Carson and Vaughn Oliver, then to web design by Pixelsurgeon. Since then, I’d count David Shigley, Joshua Davis, Brendan Dawes, Genevieve Gauckler and Jason Santa Maria.

7. Away from work what gets the blood rushing?

That’s between my wife and I! ;o)

Apart from that, Doctor Who and new Apple products. Hoping for a new MacBook Pro soon…

8. If you approached a step ladder on the street, would you walk around and under it?

Under it if there is space – not sure why though…

I think I like the feeling of being inside a triangle?

9. What gadget could you not live without?

My MacBook Pro, because it’s my work machine, newspaper, entertainment system – everything! It goes more or less everywhere with me. My iPhone would be second.

10. And finally, what has been the greatest achievement in your life so far?

Children! Granted, I had little to do with the process, but amazing nonetheless!

Final thoughts

You can read all about Jon, his work and read his rather excellent blog here.


Leave a reply below

  • September 6, 2008 at 7:43 pm // Reply

    First, thanks for the interview :)

    Second, my 2p! In the world of design & general geekery there seems to be a high proportion of people who didn’t go to university- yet there are loads of ‘design students’ hanging round street corners looking arty :) I always wondered if the really driven people actually got on and did stuff, whereas the people who just wanted to be talked about stayed in a safe environment with other arty people and…um…talked. At least if you’ve got a job you’re making a difference somehow whereas all your student work is just going to end up in the bin.

  • September 6, 2008 at 10:28 pm // Reply

    Having a job doesn’t enable you to make a difference, but it does give you money and enables you to chase projects that generate more money.

    Going to university allows you to be a little more esoteric and try out projects that are tangential to that mercenary norm… before realising that it’s all bollocks and you actually do need to get a job.

  • September 8, 2008 at 2:45 am // Reply

    I’m another fan of Jon’s.

    And although the FF logo is a winner, my total fav is The Rissington Podcast, where he pairs up with John Oxton.

    (Featured on DWB in April of this year).

    Jon and John are a hilarious duo!

  • September 9, 2008 at 12:26 am // Reply

    Wow, The Floating Frog has changed since I last stopped by. Looking good fellers!

    I remember showing you Jon’s website all those years ago Gary. I think we were marvelling at the semantics. Oh yes.

    Be good!

    • September 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm // Reply

      Glad you like it mate, hope your all good in that big London city town place!

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