What is your specialty?
Branding and design communication.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
The love of design, always having a fascination with packaging from a child. Putting things together, taking them apart etc, the basic love of creation.
What has been your professional career path?
I started as a sign-writers assistant 25 years ago (16 years old), realised I loved type and worked my way up through the design industry. I studied for an MA in Design Communication at Central Saint Martins.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
Design Week award for best of brand for Les Trois Garçons.
Benchmark Award for best telecom brand for Etisalat
Design effectiveness award for BT.com
Best website for royalmail.co.uk
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
Work... the thought of going to work to play.
How would you define your design style?
Idea based minimalism, bringing ideas to life through simplicity.
How do you promote and move your work?
Via my website and through connections.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
Moving image and TV interests me, not to be an animator, but to work in these areas and the convergence of technologies, web/tv/broadband etc
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
Ideas are where I start, but before that I ask many questions, see where the competition are heading and find opportunities. Then I kind of start with all the above, shape, colour, type, tweaking as I go through, as one effects the other.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
I start with a blank pad, then once I have exhausted these I go to books, old work, anywhere that I can pick out I nice detail, careful to only be inspired by the detail and follow the mind set, not to take direct work.
Which festivals or awards in your field do you find most interesting?
Design effectiveness awards, Design Week awards, D&AD. All these are the ones to look out for, at least for me they are.
What is your favourite type of customer?
Clients that want to take calculated risks, that trust you but equally understand the value of clear information.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
Direct copying is not justifiable, however, everything in life is learnt and is an influence from, so nothing really is original, it is always an evolution. A child learns to walk by influence as well as experimenting. If you look at typography today, it is all shared and inspired from other things, but sometimes people who have less experience borrow directly, this can be seen as copying and is often something less experienced designers are tempted into doing.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
Colours that bounce,
Clients that impose weak ideas on experienced designers,
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
I think that there are some amazing designers emerging, but that is only because they are dedicated to design, obsessed and know where to kind content and expose themselves to good design. The same can happen to older generation designers, it just happens less as some older generation designers can become arrogant and forget what made them good in the first place. One day they start saying things like, I dont need to learn that, that's too techy etc etc.. then they start to back track, but it can often be to late.
So age is not vital, as long as they dont start believing their own hype.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Not sure, havent had the opportunity to turn one away yet, well, not on moral grounds anyway.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
Man hours, intellectual property, risk.
Which professionals in your field -contemporary or past- do you most admire?
Wally Olins, Michael Peters, Stefan Segmeister, Vince Frost
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
Depends, if the work is personal then very much, if its for a client or their customers, then less so, although it will still reflect something about me.
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
Experience is what keeps you aware, 3D logos for example is the thing of the day, it is a passing fad though, it has a place, but for the right reasons only, not just because you can. So just keep a wise head and make sure you are doing the right things for the right reasons.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
McDonalds, dog groomer, ticket inspector.
Errrr... possibly an artist, signwriter, musician.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
Re brand BT, Royal Mail, Google, GB, UAE, London Olympics.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
I hope so, maybe more an advisor or writing books on the subject, who knows.
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
Font shop, font works,
London, United Kingdom