We had the good fortune of connecting with Gunter Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gunter, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own company stemmed from wanting to be able to utilize my personal design stye for a variety of brands, as well as become more of a hybrid specialist rather than a generalist. Working in roles such as Graphic Designer / Art Director / Creative Director, I was at the mercy of whatever company or brand I worked for at the time, their brand standards, and what they needed creatively. This lends itself to falling into a particular workflow and style of design work catered to the business. Coupled with the fact that you need to make a huge variety of work — logos, flyers, merch, banner ads, marketing materials, etc etc — this led to me being unsatisfied with creating for others vs. creating for myself, especially as my design work led more and more to marketing.
Naturally, having clients now means that I still create for others, but it’s on my terms and my expertise of the style and type of work I want to do — i.e. brand identity systems, illustrations, and lettering — and nothing I don’t want to make (i.e. banner ads, email campaigns, and marketing materials). This freedom to create something new for every client allows more creativity for me to conjure up awesome brand ideas for a multitude of different businesses instead of focusing on marketing materials for one company. I can offer my services to their full potential without sacrificing quality in order to get the next line item crossed off the list.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I own and run the creative design studio Goat Eye Design as well as work with Creative Butter in Denver. My focus is on branding, illustration, and lettering. The road to where I am today was built from doing continuous freelance work and burning the candle at both ends while working at FREESKIER Magazine, and then Gravity Haus — always being involved in the ski and outdoor community.
I’m certainly proud of what I built with Goat Eye, it’s taken a long time to get where I am today and I still have very far to go. Some of the work that I’m most proud of are the collaboration skis I did with Folsom Skis, as well as all the various companies I’ve helped brand over the years.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As far as Denver goes, RiNo is where it’s at. I would definitely take anyone visiting down there and show them around the art district. Probably start at our offices at Creative Butter then walk around checking out art, grab a lunch sandwich at Curtis Park Delicatessen, a beer at Finn’s Manor, and then dinner at Hop Alley. After that would probably shoot some pool at Gerard’s or go check out a show at Larimer Lounge before grabbing a night cap at Meadowlark.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d say obviously I need to shoutout my parents. They are very helpful and thoughtful when figuring out something as ambitious as starting your own company.
I’d also need to shoutout all the boys at Creative Butter. It’s a small collection of fellow creatives all banding together to make something really radical. Serious motivation and inspiration coming from this bunch and I’m honored and stoked to be involved.
And lastly, fellow Denver designer Adam Vicarel deserves a little credit — I witnessed a talk of his and met him a few years ago. His concept of “Chasing the Fog” is wonderfully inspirational, he’s been an influence and a great resource to hit up with any questions.