Chapter 25: Che sarà, sarà

By Tim Langford-Smith in JAZ - 25 years

It all began  9,125 days, 1,300 weeks, 300 months, a quarter of a century ago when armed with a second hand Apple Ilcx Mac and a passion for design I started JAZ.  It was no easy feat, especially in the midst of the “recession we had to have” and in a city as isolated as Perth.

Little did I know back then that I would be sitting back some 25 years later reflecting on the journey and adventures I have experienced along the way. Over the last 25 weeks we have tried to capture and share these in our weekly blog so that, you too, can get to experience the journey.

There are so many people who have helped me along the way and the list of those to thank is endless.  We are a family business and without the support and encouragement of my family, in particular my wife Lisa, this achievement would not have been possible.

So what does the future hold for JAZ?

To answer that we need firstly to look at graphic design as that has been central to what we have done for the last 25 years. The world of graphic design has been and is a fascinating one, serving as both sponge and mirror to the world of technological and social change. The rate and amount of change is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

The lines of distinction between the different aspects in print production over the years have not just become blurred but disappeared altogether. Yet design has risen to the challenge and maintained it’s important role in communication as we move more and more away from the printers ink to digital pixels.

Today design is as important as ever and is entrenched in every aspect of the digital world. Google has replaced the encyclopaedia (remember these?) so web sites now serve up the information we are seeking. The design of these web sites, their user interface, responsiveness, typography and overall engagement is key to their success. The vast array of apps we use on a daily basis rely on design for their user interface and experience.

While design communicates a brand, marketing on the other hand creates interest in a brand. Marketers and designers have the same goals, they just have different tools to reach the same finish line. Clever marketing doesn’t work just because it’s clever, just as beautiful design doesn’t work just because it’s beautiful. It’s the collaboration of design and marketing that creates the success, something we have done for the last 25 years.

Coming back to the question of what the future holds for JAZ, the answer lies in the unity of purpose between design and marketing. We started off as a design and marketing company back in 1992 and we still see ourselves very much a design and marketing company, it’s just that the tools we use today are very different.

Someone once said business is simple, it consists of a two step process; get work in the door, then deliver on your promise. Marketing & design are critical in this first step to get work in the door, which can only be done if marketing and design embrace one another to communicate and create interest in the brand.

Over the years we have had to adapt and reinvent ourselves as dictated by market forces.  But change is healthy and each time it has provided an opportunity to look inward and re-exam our purpose and vision.

25 years ago I started this business with a dream and thanks to a lot of help and support from many different people along the way we have made it thus far. As Zoe, the next generation in this family business, looks to take over the reins, I am excited for the future and prospects of JAZ and look forward to the next 25 years.

As to what the future will hold personally for me – Che sarà, sarà.

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