Colorado Creative Series: Jonny Black, Cast Iron Design

Colorado Creatives Series

In support of #AIGAatHome, we have launched the Colorado Creatives Series, an opportunity to celebrate and showcase local creatives in our area. Our Colorado Creatives will share a little about their creative process, some of their most worthwhile investments, current reading lists and more. Enjoy!


Jonathan Black
Aliases: Jonny, JB


He, Him, His

Where can we find you?

Social Media: @castirondesign

What is one pice of advice you can offer to other designers right now?

Change your perspective to view this period as an opportunity, not a restraint. Also, put away your clothes and clean your damn bathroom—it’s starting to smell gross. That was technically three pieces of advice, and if I’m honest it’s really just advice for myself. Not the best start to the interview.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

There are many. Examples include cleaning my glasses, ironing handkerchiefs, catching and releasing spiders, enjoying a single house fly crawling on me in the summer (having no concern as to the fly’s constant vomiting and defecating), eating half-pickled pickles (where my half-sour stans at!?), doing unusual impressions (e.g. a text-to-speech voice and one of those anonymous interviewee/ransom voice filters that’s pitched way down), cleaning my glasses again, and trimming the eyebrows of my dog Fez (Bonsai-style).

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

My routine is simple, and it works every time: I start by cleaning my glasses (I always use a large microfiber cloth and homemade cleaning fluid mixture of 50% distilled water and 50% white vinegar), I have a little caffeine (usually in the form of dark chocolate or tea—or both), I do some stretching or a few jumping jacks, then I put on my headphones and listen to instrumental music (a couple favorites are Organ Works by Philip Glass and the Chrono Trigger soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda). Then I procrastinate for 2½ hours and hate myself. But THEN I really get shit done.

What are you working on next? What can we look forward to from Cast Iron?

There should be a few case studies coming out in the next couple of months including a brand for a video production studio, book design for an artist’s monograph, and a brand for a balayage studio. Currently, we have a branding and packaging redesign for a relatively large CPG client going into consumer testing—hopefully it’s well-received and rolls out in the near future. We’re also working on a brand for a boutique wine shop with an innovative approach to selling wine. The most exciting thing for us is that the wine brand is going to have a mascot, which is something we’ve been wanting an excuse to do for a while now. Finally, we’re working on a dual rebrand for SpaceX and Tesla. That last one is more of an aspirational project, not a real project, but you know what they say—write about the project you want, not the one you have.

By AIGA Colorado
Published April 13, 2020
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