At 23, Jon Rogers was heading in the direction of playing professional soccer until a series of injuries put him on the sidelines. But that didn’t stop his love for the game. He picked up design as a hobby, and as an experiment, began connecting his art and passion together. Little did he know that after putting his work online, his designs were being Pinned all over the world. Jon’s art caught our eyes here at Pinterest HQ, which led to our recent collaboration with him for our Places to watch the World Cup campaign. Watch our interview with Jon and see how he’s been able to join forces with artists and soccer fans all around the world.
How did you get involved with Places to watch the World Cup?
Soccer is my passion and I’m a full time soccer coach. I design in my spare time and early last December, I decided to start a personal World Cup project based on each country’s most loved player. I didn’t think too much of it and put them up on my portfolio. But a short time after placing it on my website, I was contacted out of the blue by Ben C. at Pinterest to see if I may be interested in collaborating on the Best places to watch the World Cup campaign. He told me he had stumbled upon my designs on Pinterest while searching for inspiration. I had no idea my images were even up there as Pins.
Can you walk us through your design process when coming up with the various boards covers for each country in the campaign?
We had a few initial ideas that were good but just didn’t feel right. I’d been thinking about a way to encapsulate the idea of places and blending that with the aesthetic of the World Cup Posters I’d done. FIFA follows a 3 letter country code system, not unlike airport codes. When I had that insight, it was a matter of applying the concept of baggage tags to each participating country. From there, we worked mostly on the details - colors, location of elements, etc.
How has this campaign helped you reach different communities on Pinterest, either for soccer, design and beyond?
It’s quite amazing actually. When Ben first contacted me to work on this project, I had no idea my designs were working their way around the world through and though I knew what Pinterest was and how it worked, had not engaged with it myself. The real purpose in creating the World Cup poster series was to reach out and seek a connection with the world of soccer and design and that was accomplished far beyond my dreams and mainly because of Pinterest and their global reach. Last I heard, my designs were being traded around in 80 countries. That’s just amazing to me. Hard to believe.
What’s next for you?
Because of my exposure on Pinterest, I’ve had a number of requests for commissions, most notably for The Guardian UK and their coverage of the World Cup. I’ve been busy for the past few months and expect to stay that way!