Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Mitchell Jordan. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Mitchell, please provide us a short bio.
I’m a recent transplant who went from the South to the North and back to the South. I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and went to school at USC where I majored in Spanish and minored in Advertising. I got the design bug shortly after graduating and went back to school at Parsons School of Design in New York City and received a degree in Graphic Design. After a brief stint in publishing, I spent about 10 years at Showtime/CBS working on advertising efforts around original programming – think Dexter, Homeland, and the Good Wife. I now in Richmond and recently moved from NDP as Director of Design Studio and am now the Associate Creative Director at Franklin Street Marketing. Oh! And how could I forget, my wife and I welcomed a bouncing baby girl to our family just weeks ago.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
I recently got involved with the mentorship program through the Richmond Ad Club and the Type Directors Club in New York. I’ve also spent – or wasted – countless hours and dollars playing bass in bands over the years. I think that counts as “non-profit.”
What are the things you are most proud of?
Never settling – I’ve never been afraid to make drastic changes for the sake of my life goals. Whether it be studying abroad as a teenager or taking out a massive loan to continue my education in New York City, I’m proud of all of these accomplishments and the path they’ve led me down. Variety is the spice of life!
Who are your personal role models?
It all depends on context. My design role model is Dieter Rams. He pioneered the “less is more” movement and made Braun a household name. I’ve also enjoyed following the work and career of Stefan Sagmeister. He has taken an uncompromising – and creative – approach to design problems and solutions. In addition, my mother and father raised me in a supportive and loving household allowing me to follow my sometimes bonkers dreams.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
Only in design philosophy. My parents were mostly focused on law and medical professions, so when I told them I wanted to go to art school, it was foreign territory for them. More than advice, they were endlessly supportive and engrained philosophy and work ethic.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Have a professional plan. Give yourself personal goals and don’t give up or be discouraged. Fail and fail often. This is all part of the process. Live with conviction and originality. Your efforts will not be overlooked by those who matter.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
Paul Simon, Phosphorescent, The Long Winters, The Wrens, Cave-In, Metallica, The Magnetic Fields, The Promise Ring, The Jazz June, The Giraffes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Goatsnake and, finally, 60 Minutes of Womb Sounds.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
This also varies depending on context. Stella’s in Richmond offers a wonderful date night dinner while Matchless in Brooklyn, New York, had some of the best bar food I’ve ever had. I’m also a Vietnamese food junkie, so Pho Thien Phat (Pho So 1) and Mekong are staples in my diet.