Jud Haynes moved to St. John’s when he was fifteen years old. Growing up as a self proclaimed army brat, Jud had moved from place to place every three years, but his high school experience landed him in the capital of Newfoundland for a stint. With teenage dreams of being a comic book artist, Jud spent a day shadowing a local ad agency and learned about graphic design.
“I could go on for 10 minutes about how profound this shadowing experience was for me, but let’s just say I fell in love with design that day and knew it was what I was going to do,” said the graphic artist.
He headed to College of the North Atlantic after high school and ended up getting a job at that same agency.
Jud bounced around other companies and ended up in Halifax where he played with a band during his spare time.
That band was none other than Wintersleep. Jud and the famous Canadian band decided to hit the road and for the next seven years, Jud was a full-time musician on tour.
“I’ve always played in bands, but never full time until Wintersleep. During this time I met a ton of amazing musicians and folks who worked in the industry and I would work on design projects for many of them when there was time,” said the musician. “This is what got me started on designing records, posters and websites for musicians as a freelancer. Thanks to them I have never had to step back into an office work environment.”
Because of his music experience Jud’s design work has allowed him to take a unique approach as a graphic designer and now he explores other artists through his work.
“I’m a big fan of collaboration, another skill I probably picked up from years of working with others making music. I love the chance to team up with other designers and artists. So many great people over the years have lent their skills and friendship to projects and I’ve learned something new from every one of them. I always want the best for my clients and am very upfront about what I’m good at and what I’m not.”
Whenever Jud finds himself needing a hand with design, he reaches out to other local artists to work with him on such projects – expanding the depth of his pieces with other peoples’ skills.
“Comic book artist Mike Feehan has lent his incredible drawing talents to three or four of my projects; I’ve found homes for Mike Gough’s gorgeous paintings on three of my clients’ album covers; and I’ve had the chance to work with so many incredible photographers over the years. Much of the work I do is solo, but I love it when I can pull someone else in,” he said.
Jud’s work has made some pretty meaningful impacts throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and his art has been the branding for many different events in the province during his career here. He’s been invited to create large wall murals for Memorial University, Mini St John’s car dealership, and most recently Bishop Gardens new facility The Neighbourhood.
He worked on Mark Critch’s Son of Critch designing the logo as well as beautiful limited time t-shirts of each character, a bunch of illustrations and other merch.
“I love the show so this has been the most fun project.”
Jud also worked alongside another famous Newfoundland comedian.
“I met Mary Walsh 20 years ago and she has been so kind to include me in many of her projects. I’ve got to draw Marg Delahunty; designed her book cover; and she even asked me to create the logo for The Missus Downstairs. She has kept me very busy over the years and I don’t take a moment of getting to work on her brilliant projects for granted.”
His record covers are timeless and endless – from Alan Doyle to Rum Ragged, Fortunate Ones and The Once, only to name a few. Jud’s hands have touched numerous cover art for some many well known Newfoundland musicians. Most recently he created the art work for the Ron Hynes tribute album featuring 20 of our province’s top artists covering Ron Hynes tunes. It wasn’t the first time Jud was able to pay tribute to the iconic Newfoundland musician.
“A couple years back I was asked to design something to celebrate the life of Ron Hynes. I came up with a three dimensional piece to go near the shoreline of Ferryland, Ron’s home town. It was unveiled last year and I love seeing people post pictures of themselves with it when visiting the southern shore.”
Jud recently got to be a part of the revitalization of the Majestic with his redesign of the famous sign. A huge blue and gold light up sign featured on the building facing the corner street.
“That building belonged to my Grandfather many many years ago and it has always held a special place for me. The current owners, Terra Bruce Productions, are a great team of artists who I appreciate more than they’ll ever know,” said Jud. “When they asked me to come up with logos and signage for the theatre I had the idea to go with a huge beautiful marquee sign, but was nervous to pitch the idea assuming it would get shut down. To my surprise, their COO Bob Hallett, had been thinking the same thing all along, so selling the idea was the easiest pitch I’d ever made. Working with his team to iron out the details of the design and then take it to Greg Leaman to have fabricated was a thrill at every turn. I still am in shock that we got to make something so fun and the reaction to it has been incredible.”
The Majestic was built in 1918 and opened as a movie theatre in 1919. It brought the first sound to films in Newfoundland a year later and Jud wanted to “bring some of that show business glitz to the theatre.”
“When it comes to my inspiration for the design – I was drawing a lot on the building’s history. Think Broadway, or the bright theatre districts of Chicago, London and Paris. That sign is meant to feel like a flashy old friend, it’s rooted in traditions of big theatre signs all over the world, but with new modern details that aren’t lost in the past.”
When he isn’t creating stand out merch or working with other talented Newfoundlanders, Jud hosts a podcast titled Art Design Music where he interviews other visual artists who have lent their talent to the music industry.
“When a new record is announced you see the cover everywhere; when you go into Fred’s Records you scan the room looking for that album you came to buy. The covers are as synonymous to a record as the music, but I’ve found that the stories of the people that make these pieces of art are rarely ever told. You see books that will list the best record covers of all time, but they never say why those are the best, or why the image on that cover was chosen in the first place?” stated Jud. “I’m a nerd for record cover art, tour posters, music videos, rock shirts… all that visual art that goes hand in hand with our favourite bands.”
Jud has spoken to Bruce Springsteen’s designer, who also works for AC/DC and Jay-Z. He talked to the photographers behind Salt-n-Pepa,The Police, Ramones and B-52s. He interviews poster artists including those who worked with Blink 182, Phish, Sonic Youth, Fugazi and John Prine.
“Most of these people never get to tell their stories. Their wizards kept behind a curtain making their clients look good. I’ve learned a lot from each guest, both about their stories and also practical things that I’ve applied to my work.”
The first season of Art Design Music is out and Jud is currently working on season two.
Jud’s designs can also be found on skateboards with a company he shares with Jon Loder, owner of clothing store Relic located on Water St. Together Jon and Jud launched ATLANTIC AIRE.
“My dream company. I have skated since I was 12 and have always dreamt of getting to put my art on skateboard. I posted about this dream on instagram in early 2020 and was approached immediately by Jon Loder and the rest is history.”
It started off with four skateboard designs and a smattering of shirts and hats and they have released new boards every year since 2020. At first the boards only featured Jud’s art but they have expanded and included guest artist series featuring work by photographer James March, Mi’kmaq painter Marcus Goose, and surface pattern designer Krista Power. Boards are now available for sale in Nova Scotia and PEI.
Jud’s art has been experienced alongside a lot of other types of artists- from working with businesses, to creating posters, logos and skateboards, to speaking with record cover artists on his podcast. While his engagement spans across the country, he works with so many Newfoundlanders.
“I’m in awe of our local visual artists, and am happy to have been let into their world from time to time. Sharing an art studio on Water Street with a rotating crew of brilliant artists for more than a decade has given me a glimpse into a world where I have always been a massive fan.”
Listen to Art Design Music: artdesignmusic.com (or search wherever you listen to podcasts)
Follow Jud on instagram: @mightypops
Check out his skate show ATLANTIC AIRE: https://www.atlanticaire.com/