The Embry-Riddle team cleaned up the Addy awards this year, winning 4 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Best of Print, and 1 Judges Choice at this year's Gala in March. Jon Metz is the Art Director for the Marketing Team at Embry-Riddle. We spent a few minutes getting to know his story and learning about what inspires him.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your organization.
I am a collaborator, doodler, dreamer and admirer of all things design. I love being able to express ideas through a visual medium —creating not just images, words or graphic forms, but the ability to convey ideas, experiences and feelings.
I grew up just outside the “Motor City,” and moved to the west coast of Michigan, where I earned my BFA. I have been immersed in art and design throughout my life, so art school was a natural choice. After graduating, I spent the next ten years working at a full-service creative firm focusing primarily on higher education and non-profit organizations.
My desire to grow professionally and personally led me to Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest and oldest university specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and cutting edge research. We’ve got about 6,000 students at our Daytona Beach Campus, but we also have a campus in Prescott, Arizona and 125 locations around the world, and online programs, so we have over 25,000 students total. The design challenges for such a diverse organization are amazing.
Q: What did winning the Addy awards mean to you?
It’s an honor be recognized by my industry peers. It reinforces the passion I bring to my work and it highlights the emphasis our creative team places on exceptional design.
Q: What do you do for inspiration?
Design is my life. I am passionate about it and I surround myself with it day-in and day-out. Whether reading design publications or aimlessly browsing the internet, I can usually find inspiration just about anywhere.
Q: What’s your favorite project you’ve ever been involved with?
My favorite project was helping rebrand a small non-profit organization that dealt with the foster placement of abused and/or neglected children. They have a compelling mission, but have limited resources to make themselves known to the government officials, businesses, related organizations, donors and the greater community that they needed to work with.
The design challenge was telling their story intellectually and emotionally by highlighting the organization’s mission and many success stories. I created a consistent look and voice throughout their print materials and graphic design that they could grow with, right down to the color palette. Their message got through and they have since grown from a single location to five regional centers that help over 3,000 children and families.
Q: What does the next 10 years of advertising look like to you?
The digital marketing world will continue to grow and evolve, with mobile marketing growing rapidly over the next few years. With ever-advancing technology and so many different media outlets, it is an interesting time to be a graphic designer and art director. I do not see print disappearing as it offers a different connection and emotional response that digital outlets cannot replace.
Q: If you weren’t working in advertising, what would you be doing?
I love to explore and travel. I would probably be somewhere off the beaten path, exploring, wandering and discovering something new.
Q: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
That’s easy. My family–my incredible wife of ten years, and my two amazing kids!