TRUE x JANSPORT | A conversation with Joshua Bruner


We sat down with Joshua Bruner, head designer for TRUE, to talk about his recent work for the new Jansport collaboration and how the design ties into his inspirations via his recent travels, amongst some other little tidbits. Read on…


1. Talk a bit about the inspiration behind the artistic design elements of the bag.

The scope of the Jansport project was expanded this year, and I was able to approach it with even more creativity than previous years. Instead of focusing on a seal or insignia as we had done before, we were given the option of working with the materials themselves, and i decided it would be great to use a pattern that could be switched up, and flipped, depending on the portion of the bag. At the time that the idea of using patterns really hit me, I was living in Manila, and traveling to different areas of the Philippines on a regular basis. I had been investigating and trying to soak in as much of the Filipino textile work as possible. Some of my favorite patterns were the sails of the Vinta boats used in the Southern Philippines. Around Zamboanga, and throughout the Sulu sea, all the way to the East coast of Borneo, the Bajau live and work. They live most of their lives on the water, and in the past, rarely set foot on land. They often live on their boats, or homes built atop stilts in the water, and use the lightweight vintas for the transportation of people and goods between islands, as well as annual races. The pattern is a bold and vibrant symbol of these people who exist on the water – a concept counter to majority of the world’s population. The pattern symbolizes a lifestyle of rugged individuality that spans centuries and disregards common political borders – using the water a territory in and of itself.


2. Both TRUE and Jansport are SF based companies — first time you have collaborated? Maybe a little bit of history behind the relationship.

Not the first time. We have been included in the Right Pack Signature Series for a few years now – since it’s inception actually. This year is easily my favorite though. I designed it while I was living in out of the US, and I’ve been really looking forward to coming home and seeing the samples come in. We’re looking forward to doing more with Jansport in the future. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep expanding on the details we work with.

3. This collaboration has a classic backpack look/feel/design. Any modern elements that we should know about?

The project has a classic feel to it because it’s the standard Right Pack profile. The bag is the classic backpack. It’s what I draw when I sketch someone wearing a backpack. An archetype. There is an update to this one though. There’s a 15″ padded laptop sleeve in the back of the main compartment. It’s dope to have an addition to bag that is actually useful, and doesn’t alter the function or appearance of the otherwise. Very clean.


4. When you’re leaving the house, what are the top 5 things you, Joshua Bruner, would never leave without and made sure they make it into your brand new beautiful Jansport X TRUE backpack?

1) My computer. It never leaves my side. Work never really stops.
2) Pens & Pencils: Black Pilot Super Color (Broad) marker,
Black Sharpie Fine Point, Pentel Graphic Gear 500.
3) Pantone Solid Coated Formula Guide.
4) US Passport. Always be ready to go.
5) Crest Glide Dental Floss. Keep’em clean.

5. Welcome home by the way. How’s it feel to be back?

It feels good to be home. I’d rather come home with a filled up passport than spend money on anything else. That being said – I’m happy to have all my favorite restaurants back, have my family nearby, and start setting up for the new addition to my family. I’m gonna miss my folks in Manila, and jumping out on Visa runs every month was refreshing, but there is nothing like having your home soil under your feet again.




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