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Crafting a lifelong love of design with Jamie Maunder

When designer Jamie Maunder was just thirteen years old, he channelled his interest in design into creating a jersey that he then sent to the England Rugby Club. Although his design never quite made it onto the players’ backs, he received a life changing response in return. They told him to never give up on his dreams and since that day, he hasn’t let himself do so for even a second.

Taking his childhood love of drawing and painting with him through his youth, Maunder learned how to create unique, highly sought-after designs. At the mere age of sixteen, he single-handedly designed his school’s sports apparel, which was later recognized by the well-known sports brand, Samurai Sports. Samurai Sports were so impressed, in fact, that they offered him a job with their company, where he officially began his career as a creative designer. Today, the 34-year-old master of design can be credited with designing on world class platforms for brand ambassadors and sponsors of events such as the Olympic Games, as well as Loughborough University. More importantly, he hopes to continue expanding this list in the foreseeable future.

“My mother was an artist and throughout my childhood I spent a lot of time sitting with her trying to copy what she was doing. I battled with Dyslexia, and never really found myself headed down a strongly academic path. It was easy to see, however, that I had a passion and a real talent for the visual arts. I spent the majority of my youth drawing, painting, and creating. I love seeing an idea come to life through art as much today as I did when I was just a little boy. I was also very sporty as a child and developed a strange obsession with logos, which, looking back now, works greatly to my advantage in my career as I’m still obsessed with sportswear and every bit of detail around it,” said Maunder.

Since he was a boy, Maunder has carefully and diligently crafted his love for the visual arts and for sports into a career full of creating brand awareness for Olympic Committees, professional athletes, universities, sporting apparel retailers, and much more. In fact, he and a colleague built their own, successful company called VT-3 out of that exact affinity for design. VT-3 was a sports innovation consultancy that used powerful solutions to generate growth and new lines of revenue, whilst keeping consumers engaged throughout the creation of new services, product, brands, and commercialization of sporting assets.

Of the many aspects of his career that he has pieced together over the years, Maunder considered consulting for SNAPBAC to be the pinnacle. He feels as though every moment before that point had prepared him for the position and he was energized by the knowledge that he was helping contribute to the increase in capital that SNAPBAC needed to bring new and unique ideas to the sportswear market. It also allowed him to work alongside like-minded individuals who inspired him on a daily basis. Be it with SNAPBAC’s owners or the creative agency, Mother New York/LA, Maunder was thrilled to be collaborating with such hardworking, creative individuals. Getting to do so in his home country, the United Kingdom, made it all the more special.

In the end, Maunder’s experience with technical apparel proved to be instrumental to the product’s success. Knowing how best to construct performance apparel so as not to interfere with an athlete’s performance, but rather to enhance it, Maunder was able to handle all angles of the product’s design from visual elements to performance-based, practical elements. His insight helped to educate and inform his colleagues in a way they may not have otherwise been able to afford. In fact, according to SNAPBAC’s Co-Ceo, Kevin Bello, Maunder was the innovative edge that SNAPBAC needed to excel beyond the project.

"Jamie’s approach to innovation is most evident in his willingness to creatively break the rules. With a belief that there is no ‘wrong’ answer in his approach to design—he moves boldly throughout each phase, trusting in his ability to continually innovate and that he can incorporate any enhanced executions in future creations,” noted Bello.

Once this project’s branding model was fully underway, Maunder was able to quickly transform his mindset to determine how best to design the products themselves. He knew that it would be imperative to test the garment productions before developing their final product in order to ascertain that the product served its functional and visual purposes. Once he ironed out the details and technicalities, he worked closely with a UK company specializing in technical prototyping. Together, they created 5 methods to test and presented these options to his clients for a decision. It was a fragile process and one that could have flopped drastically if handled differently. Fortunately for SNAPBAC, this was not the case.

In all, Maunder was thrilled to see his prior experience in the technical design of sports apparel come together with his visual artistry during this project. It serves as a reminder for him that his hard work and his willingness to learn in unfamiliar environments can only ever enhance his skill set.

To other designers out there looking for inspiration to pursue a childhood passion like Maunder’s, he had the following advice:

“In any design job, I would advise you to find a clear vision of what part of design you love and then really push yourself to rise to the top of that sector. For me, this was coupling my interest in visual arts with my passion for sport branding. Having a unique skill set in both disciplines has allowed me to combine my passions into one, niche job and in turn, made me more valuable to companies and brands. Lastly, keep an open mind and take all criticism as constructive feedback. Sometimes you will have to grit your teeth, but it is important to listen to what people have to say because in the end, you’re there to help them keep their visions alive.”

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