A Closer Look with Jani Leino

We were excited to get the opportunity to interview Jani Leino, a designer from Finland who specializes in interior & furniture design and has some great insight on innovation and collaboration. 

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
A lot. At least it used to be true. I have worked in furniture design, children’s playground equipment design and in concept design doing various projects in different fields. That has really helped me experience a lot of things from different points of view. But for a while I felt too tied down. That has prevented me from doing some things that have been really close to my heart or prevented me from learning and developing my skills in new areas. I have really enjoyed working in all my jobs, but I wanted more. I wanted to combine all my skills and search for my true passion. When photography and sculpting came along in my life I started to see more clearly what I really wanted to do for living. I wanted to bring those things that I found important in my personal projects to my work projects. Little by little everything clicked together and I ended up founding a company with a couple of my friends that I met during my Design Management studies. When you combine such fields as av-production, design and education, Jam Jam Creatives ltd started to look really interesting. So I am really excited about my future and the road that lies ahead.

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on, when creating a personal website?
When I’m creating a website I try to make use of the visual elements as best as I can. Basically I think that a picture is worth a thousand words. So when you keep it simple and focus on visual aspects, you can allow the viewer to breathe and think more about the content. Keep it simple, fresh, readable & visually high. And that reminds me that I have to update my prosite with some new projects soon.

What is your daily routine?
I don’t think that I have a certain routine in my daily life. The projects that I work on vary so much that you never know what the day brings. One day you can be working on the typography of a new TV-show and tomorrow you are doing preliminary plans for a new education course and the day after that you are creating marketing materials for a newly founded company while designing them a new office. What I find is the most important part of the day are the long, creative conversations with your workmates. Sharing your problems and challenges helps you notice solutions that you couldn’t even think about. Usually we start the day and new project with a free discussion session where we freely pitch different ideas to each other. Those sessions usually create the most bizarre ideas and sometimes we just can’t stop laughing. Then we collect the best ideas together and start to create rough concept sketches about them. We try different solutions and if possible, we always try to approach the problem from a fresh point of view. When we have enough sketches about the ideas we take a break and discuss again about the solutions. We want to create new solutions to problems instead of taking the short cut with the foregone conclusion. We select the best one or combine the best ideas to one solution which we start to push forward. Sometimes all the pieces click together in a day, sometimes it takes a lot longer.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
I have been truly blessed by having so many creative and innovative people around me so I have to answer that I’m motivated and inspired by the people around me, never ending curiosity towards new things and people who push their limits to the max.

What creative project you’ve worked on are you most proud of?
I really can’t point one project out, there have been so many of them. But if I’m forced to pick one, I guess I would choose the ones that have helped me to break free from my limitations and the ones that have taught me new things that I wasn’t aware of. Those things help me to feel proud of myself and my work and they also motivate me to push my skills everyday. One particular project like that would be the concept design for Café Oma, while designing the building with help of the blueprints made in ca. 1920. It really improved my blueprint reading skills!

What are some projects you hope to work on in the future?
Oh my gosh, I would like to do so many things. But I think the most interesting thing would be a work assignment to a client who isn’t afraid to try something new. The assignment could be something like interior designs for a company with own unique products or new office design for Google or Red Bull. They have truly amazing offices. When going through the internet you bump into really creative people, it’s so amazing how creative people can be. You find great examples from websites like Behance, Thisaintnodisco.com or White Spaces. If I could have a chance to do something like that I would be so thrilled!

To see more of Jani’s work or to get in touch, click here