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“The demand for his services speaks to the creativity and ingenuity of his work, and to a vague yet persistent hunger for the tactile in modern American culture.”
– Ben Bishop, Ragged Band
The subject of that quote is Jon Contino, a Brooklyn-based freelance designer and creative director. Jon has worked with some of the largest brands in the country, including Coca-Cola, Nike, AT&T, General Electric, Kellogg’s, The New York Times, and Jack Daniel’s, among others. The menswear label CXXVI Clothing Company was co-founded by Jon, and he is also the creative director for the brand.
Jon is an exceptionally talented hand-letterer. Throughout his portfolio this skill is expertly utilized, in conjunction with typographic illustrations and a modern, minimalistic sensibility. This blend of old and new is perfectly suited to today’s design and fashion landscapes, where a renewed emphasis is being placed on honest materials and handmade craftsmanship. It would not be a stretch to say that Jon is partly responsible for this aesthetic gaining widespread traction in both disciplines. CXXVI was one of the first men’s clothing lines to emphasize the handmade heritage of menswear in America; several others have since followed suit.
The design and clothing that Jon produces has staying power. Both feel at the same time old and new. Both feel like they’re standing on the shoulders of giants, but are entirely unique at the same time.