The Zen of Steve Jobs
The Project: Since a very young age, JESS3 CEO and Founder Jesse Thomas had always wanted to make a technology-themed comic book / zine, with Steve Jobs as an obvious protagonist. After watching a documentary in 2009 that touched on Jobs’ study of Buddhism and how its teachings affected the aesthetic of Apple products, he was even more set on a book about Jobs. In the spring of 2011, Jesse pitched the idea to Forbes Managing Editor Bruce Upbin, who immediately understood the power of Jesse’s vision. Production began soon after, with a full-on collaboration between Forbes and JESS3. Jobs’ death in October made the project all the more meaningful and important.
Our Methodology: Apple fans expect nothing less than perfection, and that weighed heavily in all aspects of making our debut book. Attention to detail was critical: From the hand-written page numbers to innumerable revisions to the bridge of Jobs’ nose, each page was carefully crafted. For the style, we settled on thick charcoal lines to emulate calligraphy, a central theme of the book. Clashing lines and shadows, augmented by a muted color palette, mirror the themes of Ma and spaces.
The Results: The final book is 80 pages, including a “Making Of” section showcasing alternate covers and additional explorations of Jobs and Kobun. JESS3’s first comic book, “The Zen of Steve Jobs,” is available beginning Dec. 19 online and in bookstores across the country.
Called “The Essential Guide to Facebook Emoticons,” The Next Web premiered JESS3’s graphic outlining how to create emoticons in Facebook messages, comments and chats. Displaying everything from Chris Putnam to a penguin, the emoticons and their keyboard shortcuts give users a wide breadth of fun options. As noted by The Next Web, JESS3’s graphic reveals the tricks of the keyboard shortcut trade to solve an “age-old problem” — expressing one’s excitement, or penguin obsession, through Facebook of course.
JESS3’s founder, Jesse Thomas, sat down with Marketing Land as one of 8 industry experts, including other designers and top level executives, to answer the questions “What makes an excellent infographic?” and “What should my expectations be for an infographic?” Jesse stressed in his answers that infographics need to be beautiful, but also meaningful and have the data to back them up, because “the primary purpose of an infographic is to spark informed conversation and action.” He also noted that “An infographic should be intelligent and tell the audience something they don’t already know, but say it with words and terms they do.”
Mashable highlighted JESS3’s lo-fi approach to self-marketing at SXSWi 2013: posters. The site reported that for a conference positioned around new trends and cutting-edge technology, posters remain an effective and popular means of marketing. Tech start-ups have to compete for top-of-mind exposure at the annual interactive festival, driving companies to lace-up their shoes and go “old school” with marketing visuals. Mashable quoted CEO and founder, Jesse Thomas, as a leader in this trend, and someone who knows the “fight for space” is worth the return via logo exposure and business inquiries.
Infographic and data visualization community Visual.ly featured The Workplace Zodiac, an infographic created by JESS3 for Mindjet, on its front page. Outlining the dynamics of different Work Personality Types, the infographic was the final piece of Mindjet’s Workology series, which examines every team member’s role for maximizing team success. Although the project’s original intention was to drive brand awareness, Mindjet incorporated the series into their sales team’s efforts as well. The infographic is now in the top 5% of Business content on Visual.ly.
Mashable featured JESS3’s Creepy Cupid series of digital valentines as part of their Valentine’s Day coverage, publicizing their humour and connection to the all-too-real online world of dating. Our graphics, called a “hilarious set,” use real quotes from online dating site OKCupid to encapsulate the boldness — and the trepidations — of online dating. Ranging from the silly to the outright absurd, the shareable cards were optimized for social media and capitalized on the hashtag #CreepyCupid. Mashable noted that regardless of whether love is blind, our playful graphics are “all the visualization you need.”
JESS3’s third version of the Geosocial Universe premiered in an exclusive on The Next Web, one of the world’s largest online tech publishers. The Geosocial Universe 3.0 illustrates the vastness of geosocial networking, highlighting the major social networks as planets orbitting the "sun" of nearly 6 billion global mobile devices — “depicting exactly where mobile stands in today’s ecosystem.” The Next Web noted how the Geosocial Universe 3.0 sheds light on growing mobile traffic, showing “just how big those numbers have become” in the ever-expanding geosocial-sphere.
The Huffington Post’s Los Angeles vertical spotlighted “Coachella by the Likes,” JESS3’s infographic examining Coachella’s roster by number of “Likes” each band has on Facebook. We matched the number of Facebook fans per musical act with their graphic presence on the annual Coachella lineup poster. Making use of the Facebook-liking, data-driven generation, the resulting visualization triggered insightful discoveries about the festival’s lineup. The Huffington Post used our findings to surmise whether “Coachella's iconic poster [does] justice to the most popular acts when it comes to prominence and font size.”
iMedia Connection named JESS3 to the iMedia 25 agency list, recognizing JESS3 as a key agency that has advanced interactive marketing through big ideas, brilliant creative, cutting-edge technology, and the passionate pursuit of excellence in the digital space. Citing our work with Samsung, ESPN, American Express, and recent partnership with the Google Politics and Elections team for the 2012 National Conventions, the article states, “JESS3 has a gift for turning numbers into stories and a passion for creating content strategies that resonate over the long haul.”