TheBlackManCan is back in Atlanta, GA to bring you another EXTRAordinary Black Men. We have a Black Man who believes in getting to the core of your identity and communicating your uniqueness to the world through a little avenue called design. It is our honor and distinct pleasure to introduce Julian Streete. Julian is the Founder and Creative Director of JStreet Banding. Mr. Streete sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss stages of graphic design, developing an entrepreneurial spirit and advice or young black boys.
TheBlackManCan: Julian, at what point in your life did you realize you a had passion for graphic design?
JS: Somewhere between 2004-2005. This is when I first started experimenting. I didn’t have a clue of what to do. I was using a beginner program called print shop pro.
TheBlackManCan: When creating graphics, when is ‘eye catching’ “too much”?
JS: It depends on what the design is being used for. Good design should solve a problem. For example, to attract the attention of inner city youth, vibrant color contrast may be a good idea. The same approach might not appeal to a more mature group.
Like writers designers can experience that block where nothing comes to mind. Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration?
Sometimes I take a walk, watch a movie, or listen to music. Most times, I reference my “inspiration folder”. It’s a folder of pictures, quotes, and designs that I have collected over the years that inspire me.
TheBlackManCan: What can you offer that other designers can’t?
JS: There are a lot of great designers and agencies out there. JStreet Branding offers a mixed team of subcontracted creatives and web professionals: Aaron Wheeler, John Searles, J5, Brandon Sheats, and Victor Tolbert are some of the best skilled guys I know. I’m happy to be able to work with them. However, my personal competitive advantages are my persistence, ability to relate to clients and intended audiences, my vision, and a quick ability to adapt to change.
TheBlackManCan: Which of the following is the most important stage of graphic designing – planning, designing, or executing?
JS: Planning is by far the most important stage. Many times this start with a design brief. Before we can design anything we need to collect the right information to help us plan. We ask questions like: Who are you? What do you do? What makes you different? Why should anyone care? All of this is a part of the planning stage. It makes designing and executing more enjoyable.
TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five years?
JS: As a serial entrepreneur and designer I see myself starting and packaging different businesses and working with the right people to help manage and scale the brands of those businesses.
TheBlackManCan: What ignited the spark to start JStreet Branding? What is vision of your firm?
JS: I identified my creative talent early in my childhood. I wanted to be an artist or computer animator so that helped a lot. However, a New York internship at Ogilvy & Mather helped spark my interest in branding. The vision for JStreet is portrayed in our tagline: Dream, Design, Deliver. The vision is to create ideas and share them. Whether that be for a client or for ourselves. I aspire to get to where we focus on only 10-12 projects a year split between client needs and and in house projects.
TheBlackManCan: Can you share with us who some of your clients are? What has been some of your favorite projects?
JS: Yes. We serve a range of clients both big and small. Georgia Highway of Public Safety, Social People TV, The Bridge Music Foundation, DAT Consult group and AJ Green, and a lot more. My favorite projects are the ones that I get to see grow and have the most impact like The Black Man Can, Bridge DA Gap, and a few of our current projects.
TheBlackManCan: How did you develop your entrepreneurial spirit? What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
JS: I developed my entrepreneurial spirit through trial, error, and courage. My advice to anyone looking to start a business would be to love what you do, embrace change, and get educated on basic business principles like accounting, management, marketing or partner with people who are strong in those areas.
TheBlackManCan: You attended the illustrious Morehouse College. What was the experience like and what lessons did you learn from attending Morehouse?
JS: My experience at Morehouse is special to me. I enrolled in Morehouse as a transfer student with a good sense of who I was and who I wanted to be. Morehouse helped nurture that. The college is flooded with talented, passionate, and intelligent people. The energy is inspiring. It was easy for me not to take the experience for granted because I transferred from a very different environment. I believed the guy sitting in class next to me could be the next this or that. I viewed myself the same way. That type of experience drives you to be the best you can.
TheBlackMenCan: As someone who is heavy into marketing and images communicated to the world. How important is it for Black men and boys to see positives images of themselves?
JS: It is very important. It’s often said that your perception is your reality. Your perception grows through exposure or how you relate. Young aspiring black filmmakers can relate to a Spike Lee or Tyler Perry. Those images make it easier for them to aspire to do the same. Again, it is very important.
TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young Black boys?
JS: Think for yourself. Don’t follow the group. Embrace individuality. Read more. Watch less tv (or online video), and learn from your failures.
Check out JStreet Branding Now–> http://www.jstreetbranding.com/
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