As a London-based consultancy, responding to a branding brief for our hometown was irresistible, and something of a no-brainer. The brief – the kernel of which was incredibly liberating – gave us the opportunity to really flex our creative muscles. And it was a lot of fun. Boycott? Twitter? That’s each group’s prerogative. What I do know is that this is a unique brief we loved working on, when the normal rules just didn’t apply.
Cheryl Giovannoni, European president, Landor Associates
Is this a Eurovision Song Contest approach to design or YouTube democracy, where the cream floats to the top? My heart says it has got populist mediocrity written all over it – my head’s telling me ‘why not?’. There might be a brilliant idea waiting to be discovered. Commercially, we wouldn’t be able to invest a lot in this, so how could someone else? My advice is shortlist the great and the good design consultancies (say ten at the most) with a clear brief – and, in a paid pitch, with some decent qualitative and quantitative research, guide the client’s decision-making.
Franco Bonadio, Chief executive, Identica
This question of free pitches – yes or no — has been debated for as long as I’ve been a designer. I think it’s a question of how people feel about it. If you want to do it, then do it. If you don’t, then don’t. For me it’s a question of how interesting the project is. If I’m asked nicely and I have the time, then I’m sometimes prepared to gamble. Especially if I’ve had a great idea. But sometimes I don’t feel like it, so I say no. Some projects are irresistible and many others are an endless yawn.
Michael Wolff, Founder, Michael Wolff & Company
The Greater London Authority pitch is a sad indictment of the progress design has made in the past few years. When consultancies, big and – I suspect – small agree to a mass beauty parade, they devalue their own and the entire industry’s contribution to business and society. The Design Council and the Design Business Association are doing great work in raising awareness of design as a driver for growth and have strived to establish robust business codes of practice. It’s a shame that no one has told the GLA about it.
Nicolas Mamier, Vice-president EMEA, Elmwood