For our first FastMail team profile of this year’s Advent Calendar we’re speaking with one of newer team members, Jamie, who is our Senior Graphic Designer.
Jamie is responsible for helping to keep all of our branding and marketing collateral in check and is an integral part of our team.
Name: Jamie Toyama
Role: Senior Graphic Designer
Time working for FastMail: One year
I have been a Designer for over 19 years now. After finishing uni I got my first job at a small company in Melbourne called IS Advertising. There I worked closely with the Studio Manager, Douglas – he taught me a lot of valuable things about our industry, things I still use now.
I then left Australia and went to the UK for five years, working for Transport for London, and on my return to Melbourne I started freelancing, meeting fellow FastMailer, David in my travels at another software company, MYOB. Little did I know at the time that we would be working with each other again in the near future!
I have been designing campaigns for digital and print, but mainly digital over the last 10 years now. I love designing for brands and I’m constantly driven by creative problem solving.
Describe a typical day at FastMail
If it is anything that involves ‘design’ then I’m involved, but it’s not always about digital design – I could be working on designing logos, t-shirts, product icons, product UI and even cycling gear (many of the team cycle to work and we’re looking to get our own kit soon).
Topicbox has been the priority for the majority of this year – boosting the customer experience through website and product UI design improvements.
Most recently I have been looking at re-designing the Topicbox blog, improving the page structure and tweaking the content on offer. I started by researching and collecting relevant information on blogs (things like purpose, design possibilities and audience) and then took these learnings and ideas, and started to apply these to my designs. I’m now at a stage where I am about to present these concepts back to the team for further development. (Stay tuned for a new look soon!)
Favourite thing worked on this year?
The Topicbox logo was something that I am proud to have designed this year – it evolved into a well thought-out logo that has helped build a strong foundation for the Topicbox brand.
It wasn’t an easy road but working with passionate people who push for success, helps you to elevate yourself and your thinking to get a successful end result.
We also moved into a new office this year and I was heavily involved with that process too – from liaising with interior designers to managing trades on site. Considering the enormity of this project, a few of the team may have thought that I didn’t enjoy the office fit-out – and others may think it could have broken me (if anyone has done a home renovation they can relate to this!) – but truth be told it was a thrilling rollacoaster ride, full of great learnings and insights. Now it’s time to write ‘The Dummies Guide to Office Fitouts’ !
Are you an Android, iOS or other user?
That’s a crazy question for a designer, iOS of course!
Favourite piece of tech/hardware or software?
My iPhone – not only do I use it to help test designs at work, I have been using it to help track the kilometres when I cycle into work.
This year, I'm also taking action by raising funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention through the Movember Foundation.
What’s your favourite FastMail feature?
This isn’t a product feature as such, but I would have to say the latest business cards; they are looking great. They have a Matte Laminate Anti-Scuff with a Spot Gloss UV applied to the FM logo (in non-designer speak this means they look very impressive!)
What are you listening to/reading/watching these days?
I have loved watching Stranger Things 2 and seeing all the 80s references, which was awesome. Now I have started watching Ozark.
I also really like listening to local artists, but I can’t go past listening to Melodrama by Lorde.
What do you like to do when you’re not designing?
Besides drinking coffee, sport has been a big part of my life, although I’m doing more watching than playing these days.
After I damaged my meniscus, I pretty much had to give up all team sports. I thought my prowess as amateur athlete was all but over, but I found my mojo again on my bicycle!
I also ‘try’ to grow the perfect lawn. However, most of my time is spent with my two beautiful children Joshua (5yrs) and Adele (1yr).
The reality is I’m never really ‘not’ designing – if it’s not for work, it’s for friends and family.
What’s the best thing about working at FastMail?
I have enjoyed the diversity in projects that are thrown my way. We are a small team so you get to work on things that you probably wouldn’t normally be involved with in a much larger company (managing a office fit-out and move) and for this reason it keeps me engaged and excited to get my hands dirty.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
When I was 15, I went on an exchange program with American Field Service (AFS) to Fukuoka, Japan for 12 months. I lived with two host families and went to a Japanese high school. It was tough as a 15 year old and being away from home, and not having any family support that you would normally take for granted. I learnt a lot about myself, and thought it was one of the best things I did growing up.
You can also find Jamie on @jamietoyama