‘The easiest way to describe what I will be doing for Elida FabergÃ© is to use the analogy of a football coach. My role is to get the team to perform effectively, but I won’t be running on half way through the match to push the centre forward out of the way and take over,’ says Richard Seymour, partner at Seymour Powell, who recently took up the role of consultant design director for the company.
Elida FabergÃ© doesn’t have an in-house design team, so Seymour will be working with the design consultancies on Elida FabergÃ©’s roster, which include Coley Porter Bell, FutureBrand and Lewis Moberly. His intention is to boost the design management side of the company’s operation. ‘It’s not a creative director role and I won’t be overseeing their work – they are already doing very high quality work or they wouldn’t be on the roster in the first place,’ says Seymour.
Instead, Seymour will be a ‘headlamp’ and will help Elida FabergÃ© identify best practice and help it take the lead in the sector. ‘Elida FabergÃ©, like others in the toiletries sector, seems to have looked at its products as a composite – packaging, surface graphics and the goo inside the bottles. I will be trying to help the company see the product in its totality and to revolutionise they way they think about design.’
Seymour will work four days a month for Elida FabergÃ© on a three-year extendable contract. His role there will not affect his position at Seymour Powell.
Elida FabergÃ© innovation manager Margaret Jobling says Seymour was chosen for the role not only because of his background in both graphics and structure, but also for his personality – a vital component because he will work so closely with the company. ‘He has a lot of charisma and strong views. He brings discipline and consistency,’ she adds.
Seymour says he discussed the appointment with Pentagram’s John McConnell. ‘He was very generous with his advice, and his enthusiasm and experience made me take up the challenge. We have seen how effective he has been at Boots the Chemists and, God willing, I can do that at Elida FabergÃ©,’ he says.
Elida FabergÃ© is part of Unilever and its brands include Impulse, Dove, Sure, Lynx and Timotei. It has recently moved into retail with the launch of Lynx barber shops to capitalise on the rise in male grooming. New product development also lies at the heart of Unilever’s personal care brands and is critical to the building of its global brands. Elida FabergÃ© does not have an in-house design team, but has a roster of agencies including Lewis Moberly, Tin Horse, FutureBrand, Pearlfisher and Coley Porter Bell.