Profile: Junior

Published:  October 25, 2011
Brita Frost
Profile: Junior

The labour of love defines the graphic designer – allowing a practice to develop in often unexpected ways, it also contributes a certain dynamism to Australia’s design culture.

Over the coming weeks eight labours of love will be profiled.

Founder Ed Howley describes Junior as a union for young creatives. It’s also a labour of love celebrating life at the bottom, a website, and a not to be missed opportunity to drink beer with like-minded people. With regular speaking events in Melbourne, Sydney and, more recently, Auckland, Junior is about inspiring young creatives to be the best that they can be. And it seems to be working. I spoke to Ed Howley and Monica Clapcott to find out more about it.

What prompted you to start Junior?
A hunger for knowledge. There were things we just wanted to know. We were a couple of graduates that had just landed our first gigs and we wanted someone to teach us how to be awesome. At the time there wasn’t anything worthwhile for young creative people. If there was, it was usually overpriced and/or lame.

We wanted to create something that would bring together young creatives from all disciplines. I think that’s where our tagline ‘celebrating life at the bottom’ came from. And I think that’s why we’ve been successful – because it all came from a real place. We quickly discovered we weren’t the only ones a little bit lost.

How rewarding has it been for you?
Very. It’s great to know that sometimes you can have an impact on helping someone try to find their place in the creative world, and to educate them on how to get a little further. We’re not far off being junior ourselves, so in essence helping others has really helped us to find answers to things that we’ve been wanting to know.

What has been your happiest moment working on it?
There have been many. Helping create a Junior award at the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club awards is be one of them. It was, of course, sponsored by Junior.

How important are labours of love to design culture?
Integral. As creative people we don’t go home and clock off. We’re always thinking; that’s just how we’re wired. I think labours of love provide an important outlet for us. So, if nothing else, they provide a bit of sanity. But on a larger level, these labours are fuelled by passion not budgets, so, whatever the project, it’s naturally going to have a lot of heart in it and turn out to be awesome. I think these projects then serve as inspiration to all of us in our professional lives.

What do you think you have achieved with Junior?
Yeah, we’ve managed to get a little bit of acclaim. We’ve established a tiny niche in the creative community that everyone seems to think is a good thing. But the main thing is we’ve helped a lot of people, including ourselves.

Any words of wisdom for others wishing to pursue a labour of love?
Just do it. As lame as it sounds, it’s really the only way. The best thing we ever did was buy the domain It forced us to start. And that’s the main thing. Once a good idea gains momentum, it’s hard to stop. But it’s very easy to never start.

From desktop magazine.

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