Has a talent for intuiting trend and a mind that thinks in stories, solutions and structures. An enormous appetite for unpacking consumer behaviour, fed by frequent trips to trend talks and quiet time spend reading and absorbing journals on the subject.
Q: Describe what you are and what you do.
A: I’m a brand designer. A colleague of mine also described me as an imagineer. I liked that. See these curls on my head? They are all question marks. I like to question everything and I love unpacking problems that seem impossibly complex and a bit scary. I like the feeling of starting with a proper mess and finding a simple solution.
I love hard work.
Art + Science = A great brand. I believe in designing with a purpose.
Q: How do you like to work with clients?
A: I always say to a client, please give me your problem. We’ll come up with a solution. Don’t tell us what to do. We’ll work out what to do if we have enough information.
Q: How do you keep your saw sharp?
A: We do an annual audit of retail and consumer brands, spending time in Europe, mainly, to inspect and form impressions of general shifts in behaviour, lifestyle and approach. I attend FutureLab briefings as often as possible, and share insights with the London-based group led by Martin Raymond.
Q: What makes a great design strategist – madness or sanity?
A: A bit of both, I think. I’m completely obsessed with logic and understanding how and why people behave and live/work/shop the way they do, what the next big changes will be and what is driving them. You have to be mad enough to be obsessive about these things. And structured enough to compute and unravel all.
Q: What’s the biggest change in your business this decade?
A: Co-sharing and co-creating are core. Our network has grown exponentially since 2008. The whole business of collaboration has had a good spin-off on client-agency relationships too. When 2008 happened, it galvanised us. Now, more than ever before, clients come and say ‘We have this conundrum with brand X, we’re in trouble, and can we put our heads together to sort this out.” We’ve become more resourceful and more collaborative.
Q: Best thing you’ve been told about yourself?
A: A recent letter from our client Lloyd Mitchell of Nature’s Garden:
I write to tell you how thrilled we are with our new packaging. It ticks all the boxes in your brief (cabinet stand out, variant recognition, taste/quality appeal, brand recognition……..and ticks them very strongly. On shelf the packaging is visually appealing and certainly achieves the warmth and friendliness you were aiming for.
We are also very happy with our new logo……..you will see it all over our building when we you are here next!
Many thanks from all of us at Natures Garden…….it is a pleasure working with you.