An Interview with Jason Cryer
By Jacob Chase
Alongside the launch of Yetee Station last week also came the debut of a secret little project in the form of a boutique retail location called Superjumbo. Located in the heart of downtown Aurora, Illinois, Superjumbo is designed to be a portal back in time to the founding years of The Yetee— a unique place for us to stretch our creative side and offer limited merch while we’re at it.
Doubling as a showcase for local artists’ work in a gallery-esque format under the same roof, Superjumbo is open now to the public and comes adorned with a brand new logo from our resident logo-smith Jason Cryer.
For those not in the know, Jason Cryer is an industry-renowned graphic designer based out of California with a knack for creating designs and iconography that embodies the pure nostalgic side of pop culture that, while simplistic in nature, have long-lasting appeal and recognition.
Being a member of the industry for the better part of the last two decades, Jason has run the literal gamut of graphic design projects. From work with politicians like Bernie Sanders to the top of the entertainment industry with Sony, Showtime, Crunchyroll, to name a few, Jason’s art has reached a myriad of audiences from across the globe.
To celebrate our ten-year anniversary, we commissioned Jason to come up with a brand logo for this cryptid occasion, and as always, he absolutely knocked it out of the park! So, since we are all in the celebratory mood, I thought it would be apropos to invite Jason onto the blog in order to lift the veil so-to-speak on his creative process surrounding his work with us here at The Yetee these past ten years and beyond. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Jacob: As someone who has become synonymous in the design scene I’m interested to know who or what have been some of the greatest influences on you in pursuing a life in graphic design?
Jason: The first time I remember knowing what ‘graphic design’ even is was seeing Rob Jones’s work with the White Stripes. That band’s ethos and image had a big impact on me. And the boring answer – another 30-year-old guy with a beard who loves Aaron Draplin – but c’mon. Such amazing economy in his designs. He is an absolute champ and he demystified a lot of the pretentiousness surrounding the industry for me.
Jacob: How long have you been making t-shirt designs and how did you end up getting connected with The Yetee as a brand in the first place?
Jason: My ‘professional’ design career and The Yetee both started around 10 years ago. I was right out of high school and making t-shirts in my spare time. One of my first printed designs was one of The Yetee’s early designs – and it sold pretty well too. It gave me an idea there could be a future in graphic design. I blame Mike and Glen for everything
Jacob: Being the person who has crafted multiple logos for us over the years, what's been your favorite design project that you've tackled with us?
Jason: Every project has been fun, I feel like the guys and I are always on the same page. But as a lifelong record collector, seeing the Yetee Records logo on an LP sleeve was a big highlight for me.
Jacob: During our brand redesign a couple of years ago what sort of goals did you have in mind for the project?
Jason: We explored all options during the redesign process, but ultimately we wanted to keep the logo recognizably Yetee – not just abandon everything and start from scratch. A ton of the new color scheme came about from working in tandem with the web team as they reworked the entire website, it was completely a joint effort. I was glad to incorporate a t-shirt shape as the Yetee’s face, giving the logo a tiny bit of extra depth.
Jacob: Was there a particular inspiration behind the designs and logos you've done for The Yetee?
Jason: I definitely approach the two kinds of projects differently – t-shirts are for me, the logos are for Glen and Mike, and The Yetee team overall. I try to separate myself from the design process when doing client work: what is going to work best for them in the end? In that way, doing a t-shirt is much more selfish because I’m only trying to get myself stoked on the result.
Jacob: What is your design setup like? What programs or tools do you utilize to come up with your unique style?
Jason: I have a tiny little desk in the corner of a room, a nice iMac, and recently upgraded to a Logitech MX Master mouse. Huge upgrade over the default Apple mouse (which I’d used for almost a decade). Almost everything I do is completed in Photoshop and Illustrator, although I have a half-broken $60 Canon printer I use when I want to give a design a nice tactile look.
Jacob: Do you hold yourself to any parameters or guidelines when you set out to design a logo or is it fairly client-driven?
Jason: Everything is client-driven, so there are no parameters I would personally set on a project. It’s all about trying to get the client stoked on the result and deliver something that will accurately represent their ideals, at the end of the day.
Jacob: With such a nostalgic gravitas to most of your work, what games or tech have been your favorite to immerse yourself in over the years that keep you grounded?
Jason: I’m completely unremarkable in the fact I’m just another guy from the suburbs who grew up playing video games on a CRT, watching Star Wars on VHS, blasting my parents’ classic rock records on their old turntable, whatever. But even though my design work is always created digitally, I try to think with an analog mindset in everything I make. How will this look when it’s actually printed and in the world?
Jacob: What's next for Jason Cryer? Any new design projects coming up for The Yetee or beyond?
Jason: I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d turn The Yetee guys down on a project. Honestly so chill to work with. I feel like we’re always on the same mental wavelength. I’m sure there will be more to come.
I want to extend a massive thanks to Jason for taking the time to chat with me, and for answering my questions for the purposes of this blog. It’s always awesome getting to talk to artists that I’m a huge fan of and getting to take a peek behind the mindset of some of his work has been an absolute pleasure. I know I can’t wait to see what else is coming down the design pipe on his end.
If you’d like to stay up to date on all things Jason Cryer, scope out his website as well as his various social media profiles to get the scoop on what he’s working on.