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Jon Jones

Visual director Jones has a simple task: keeping Macy’s State Street store looking its finest – all 900,000 square feet of it.




What’s the first thing you do once your holiday windows are finished and unveiled to the public?
Stand outside and enjoy the comments our customers make to one another. Then it’s off to finish the rest of the store.

This season, you collaborated with Paul Olszweski from Macy’s Herald Square. What did you learn from working with him?
Paul is very driven and looks to find something new in every project he tackles. You can’t ask for a better collaborator.

What did he learn from you?
Two things: to take a breath every now and then, and that whenever we disagree, I am always right. Okay, maybe just the “take a breath” part.

What’s the most challenging part of designing the State Street store windows?
Working to fill large, old-school window spaces with as much excitement and animation as possible, while making them kid-friendly and on budget.

What’s one of your favorite hidden spots in Chicago?
North Pond restaurant, which is tucked inside a Lincoln Park Frank Lloyd Wright pavilion. There’s no auto traffic to the restaurant; it’s pedestrian only.

What’s the key to surviving a Chicago winter?
Just keep moving.


Finish this thought: “Nobody knows that I…”
…have become a compulsive gardener.

Name one famous person you’ve met.
Karl Lagerfeld, during one of his fragrance launches. He worked the room like royalty.

Name one famous person you’d like to meet.
The architect Daniel Burnham, who designed State Street. Can you imagine the stories he could tell?

What’s the best direction you’ve ever received?
“You’re only as good as your last project, so keep striving for the next great thing.”

The worst?
“This will only take a minute.”



Jones’ Visual Tips
• “Fiberglass insulation. It’s the greatest color of pink. Really.”

• “Making the word ‘sale’ a Christmas decoration is a mistake. It’s okay to be promotional, but there’s still a need for the expected holiday traditions – trees, ornaments, trumpets.”

• “There’s nothing like a deadline to bring out the resourcefulness of creative people.”

Photography: Susan Kezon, Chicago



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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