Jason Severs

JASON-SEVERS

CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER, DROGA5, NEW YORK NY

Jason heads the design department at leading ad agency Droga5, helping grow existing client relationships with new services, allowing creative and strategic offerings to feed directly into broader product and service development and innovation. Jason recently joined the agency after more than 20 years of design and leadership experience. Most recently, he served as Director of Experience Design & Strategic Initiatives at Verizon, where he led end-to-end experience teams for the brand’s digital products and services. Before that, Jason had an 11-year tenure at frog design, where he was Executive Creative Director for the New York studio and global experience strategy lead. He has worked on brands such as American Express, United Nations, Google and Under Armour, among others.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Born in Columbia SC, grew up in Nashville TN, and have lived in NYC for the last 23 years

DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL?
Not really. Fine Arts for BFA and then MFA from Columbia University in Instructional Design and Technology

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
Haven’t decided yet, I may switch to lefty in the coming months

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Night owl. I generally only sleep 4-5 hours a night. I wish I could skip sleep altogether and rely solely on daydreaming

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
Joseph Knecht the Magister Ludi from the book The Glass Bead Game

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
Yes. I grew up in Nashville in a family of musicians so I can hold my own on several instruments: guitar and bass but drums are my obsession. When I say play I mean I’m an advanced noodler and improvisational jammer

FAVORITE BOOK?
I will caveat all the “favorites” questions with a “you can’t have a favorite anything” but since you asked … for books it’s Experience and Nature by John Dewey

FAVORITE MOVIE?
Anything made by Jacque Tati

FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
Seinfeld

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Tumblr

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
The Situationists

FAVORITE CHARITY?
UNICEF

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Traveling with my family

COLLECT ANYTHING?
Records, tapes, books, comics, experiences

COLOR USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
Millennial Pink ;-)

TYPEFACE USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
I love anything Neoclassical family but will always go with something from the Realist family

DOES PRINT HAVE A ROLE IN YOUR DESIGNS?
I value working on paper so most things I will print to mark them up, sort and collage them, collect them in my sketchbooks, etc.

DESIGN MENTOR/INSPIRATION/HERO?
Mentor Robert Fabricant, inspiration Tibor Kalman and R. Buckminster Fuller, hero Jane Jacobs

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Procrastination

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Spend more time building experiences rather than a portfolio

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Vertical Farmer

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Start anywhere and prototype everything because reality is a human invention

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