The crew at Jamhot had us in stitches when we stopped by 🤣! What a team, these guys are doing awesome things not only in the studio but also within our community. We had a chat with Jamhot Director, Craig Laverty, and hear about what they’ve been getting up to—how they want to help up and coming designers and hear what they look for in graduates.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. Jamhot is a boutique creative & design studio based in Glasgow, Scotland — we create great work for good people.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? I’ve had a love of illustration from a very young age. As a kid I would spend hours drawing pictures of Garfield or Star Wars spaceships and it’s a love that has never left me.
‘Careers and companies are built on relationships so it’s important to nurture these.’
What does a typical working day include for you right now? As a small studio, no two days are ever the same, and that’s what I really love about running the studio as it keeps things interesting. One day I could be working on a strategic branding project for a client, the next art directing a photoshoot for a campaign. As well as designing, a lot of my job involves collaborating with other really talented creative people such as photographers, illustrators, developers and animators — I love designing but I also enjoy the creative direction side of things too, so it’s great to be able to balance the two.
The day usually starts in the studio, always with a coffee, running through what we have on for the day with Graeme my business partner. We then get stuck in to whatever is going on that day. At the moment we’re working on a few branding projects, content campaigns and some exciting digital development work — so there’s always a lot to be getting on with.
What’s your take on internships? (do you take interns now?) Our studio is pretty small, with just the two of us full time, and a team of freelancers that we call on for specific skills depending on what the particular project needs. Given our size, it’s tricky for us to take on internships and placements so it’s not something that we do a lot of. We always feel bad saying no to people, so this year we founded a new talent exhibition event called No Opportunity where we invited students, recent graduates and up and coming designers to submit their work for display in a gallery setting. Over 100 young designers from across the world submitted work and we showcased their work in a gallery in Glasgow earlier this year. We also run regular creative meet ups and talks in Glasgow called Gab (www.gab.scot)—we always recommend these to new designers as a great place to hear from some more established designers, and it’s a great place to make some contacts.
What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate? Enthusiasm, and an easy going nature are the biggest qualities that we look for in new talent. You can be the most talented person in the world, but if you are not easy to work with then we’re not interested! What we’ve found over the last 10 years running the studio is that you can teach someone skills but not attitude, so it’s the most important quality when we’re speaking with people that we want to collaborate with. People who just get their heads down and work as hard as they can are the types of graduates that we regularly see do well and that click with our studio and the way we work.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? 1. Starting a studio is very hard work but it’s definitely been worth it.
2. Don’t worry too much about what other people are doing – find your own style and voice and do that as well as you possibly can.
3. When you find clients that like working with you and you like working with, hold on to them and do anything you can for them. Nothing should be too much hassle – careers and companies are built on relationships so it’s important to nurture these.
4. Some people like to complain – about briefs, clients and many other things. Don’t be one of them. Nothing good comes from complaining – learn how to channel your energy in a positive way and try to surround yourself with likeminded folk.
5. That I prefer doing the actual work than managing a large team of people. The more management you have to do the less actual design you get to do.