D&AD president Stuart talks ‘serious’

Designers need to take themselves more seriously, communicate what they do more effectively and argue the importance of design more stridently, according to British Design & Art Direction’s new president Dave Stuart.

Designers need to take themselves more seriously, communicate what they do more effectively and argue the importance of design more stridently, according to British Design & Art Direction’s new president Dave Stuart.

In his inaugural speech given at Royal College of Art this week, Stuart, who is creative director of The Partners, says: “I believe quite passionately that we in the creative industries need to start taking ourselves more seriously.

“Maybe in the pre-digital 20th century we could get by on ‘creative mystique’; but now, with just about everything up for grabs in terms of communication, we urgently need to be able to say this is what we do; this is roughly how it works and this is why it matters.”

Education ranks high on Stuart’s agenda for his presidency, and in April D&AD will launch a development programme for young professionals that gives them access to mentors in related fields.

In addition he will make “a very real attempt to promote generosity in the judging,while maintaining the usual relentless standards” of this year’s D&AD awards through a new voting system. “If the judges’ votes are tied, it’s in,” he asserts.

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