With this in mind, playfulness is key to Jad’s design practice. As long as his work looks good when printed, “well let’s go!” he exclaims. Now, with years of attuned experience under his belt, he is no longer shackled by the rules of the grid nor the conventional design functions that he prescribed to previously. “I try not to overthink everything and let my feelings rule some aspects of my project,” he adds on the matter, evaluating how he no longer “needs this constructed approach to make [him] feel better at the job.”
It’s an approach he’s adapted across his recent projects. In one, Jad designed The Architecture Exquise, a book to accompany a photography exhibition in the south of France. Published by Building books, the idea for the project was simple; three photographers exchanged their images over email for a few months, responding with a piece of their work one image after another “like ping-pong.” Culminating in 70 images, the beautifully designed publication features all the emails in the smallest point size possible running along the bottom of the page, as well as a few subtle jokes sprinkled amongst the spreads in the mix up of names and pictures. “As in the book,” adds Jad, “we intentionally didn’t mention who had done which pictures” in order to create an overall coherence to the book as opposed to three separate volumes. There is however, a hidden index in the book to uncover whose images are whose.
Elsewhere, he designed a book for artist Adrianna Wallis, titled Lettres Ordinaires. The artist managed to access all the lost letters kept by a French post office and created a series of works from this raw material. “It’s sometime fun, sometimes off, but most of the time touching,” Jad says of the extensive body of work. And with this delicate feeling in mind, he designed something introverted in favour of the reading experience. He also designed a Nike newspaper along with Yard Agency for a big marketing meeting that took place in Paris. “The idea was to mix up real and hypothetical content in a spirited newspaper, providing a feeling for future Nike activities in Paris,” Jad finally goes on to say. And without hesitation, he chose the typefaces Refusit and a stretched Times to convey the classic editorial look while promoting the “easy and fun” feeling of the project.
As for the future, there are some pretty cool projects in the pipeline that he’s hoping won’t be too drastically by the current pandemic. But most importantly for Jad, right now, his main goal is to be a good dad and to give his young son all that he needs. Finally, he ends our interview with a warm, “Stay safe and take care guys.”