I took most of my staff (14 of us) to last month’s D&AD President’s Lecture on the culture of Pentagram, and I have to say that I was very disappointed. I look to these events to help inspire and motivate my team and we all came away disappointed.
As a big fan of Pentagram, especially its earlier work, perhaps my expectations were too high for such an iconic business. But what started well with the movie trailed off into uninspiring questions, repetitive answers and a business format rather than a creative forum. I am still trying to work out where it all went wrong. Were the directors of Pentagram really uninspiring, or was it the format and questions?
With a large part of the audience made up of students I feel disappointed that they too didn’t experience the Pentagram brand and may have been misled about how design businesses operate in the 21st century.
There was almost a lackadaisical approach to how it ran its business, and yet it sees its positioning as ‘professional’. I am sure there
is more to Pentagram than what we saw, and certainly when I was interviewed as a student by Mervyn Kurlansky he both inspired me and motivated me to push for high creative standards and ‘the idea’.
We never really got under its skin to find out what makes it tick creatively, how it works and what inspires Pentagram.
I remain a loyal supporter of D&AD, but hope for more inspirational formats in the future.
Simon Hutton, Managing director, To the point, London SE1