Election head to head

The two candidates for the presidency of British Design and Art Direction present their manifestos and facts about themselves. Lynda Relph-Knight invites you to cast your vote.

Voting has started to identify D&AD’s next design president, to take over from ad man Tim Mellors, who takes over on 29 January for a year.

The official postal ballot is members-only and open to both advertising and design communities, but we’re offering all Design Week readers the chance to say who they’d like to see taking on one of the industry’s most influential jobs.

Having perused the manifesto and fact file for each candidate, cast your vote by calling the hotline allocated to the man of your choice. Any comments on their stance or things you’d like to see them tackle as president should be faxed to Design Week editor Lynda Relph-Knight on 0171-970 4197.


Richard Mellor: 0171-292 3745

Richard Seymour: 0171-292 3744

Richard Mellor, creative director, Hyperinteractive

History: 1982 graduated in Visual Communications; 1987 set up Mellor Design; 1994 set up Hyperinteractive; 1997 new media director, Edward Briscoe Design while retaining job at Hyperinteractive

Awards: 1988 Communication Arts Award; 1996 Epica Gold Award; 1996 Marketing Design Award; 1997 D&AD Silver; 1997 Internet Designer of the Year

Offices: 1996 external professor of multimedia, Atlanta College of Art, Georgia; 1996 external assessor for the American Centre for Design; 1996 elected D&AD board member

Projects include: Websites for D&AD (www.dandad.org); Mars (www.snickers.com); and Respro (www.respro.com); work for Leo Burnett Advertising; work for Wieden and Kennedy.

“When I was elected to the board of D&AD two years ago, it was with the intention of upholding the very principles that our creative industry has come to depend upon – acknowledgement of creative excellence and the encouragement of young creative talent.

However, any entrusted member of D&AD would have done the same. And why? Because whether in advertising or design, I believe we all share a common passion for our industry.

“And yet, too many of us are only prepared to stand in our own corner for the purpose of fighting our own particular cause. Designers rarely acknowledge the needs of the advertising industry – and vice versa. This is a sad fact. The damage report is evident – often referred to as the D&AD Book. Oh yes, this much-admired showcase of creative talent is far from perfect. Ask any copywriter to comment on the offerings of last year (or lack of them) and then wait for the angry reply. Ask a designer the same question for this year. Equally, who’s been looking after the interests of the photographer for the last five years?

“Next year will be the term of the design president. But what will this mean? Time out for the advertising industry while the D for design takes over? Let’s hope not.

Let’s hope it will be the year of impartiality, well-informed opinions, a sense of fair play and a balanced representation – a year without prejudice or favour. Happy voting.”

Richard Seymour, director, Seymour Powell

“In 1979 I won my first Silver D&AD Award.

“I just couldn’t believe it… I was so proud, especially as I was sharing it with the illustrious John Gorham. I went to the awards ceremony and sat among the rowdy piss-heads at the back of the hall, just drinking it all in. Industry gods circulated among the tables, clutching their peer-selected accolades. Eeerily, young advertising sophisticates bawled their approval as the fortunate few mounted the dais and leered into the camera…

“Since that heady moment I’ve entered, judged and supported D&AD in every way I could. As my career switched from graphic design to advertising (1979), from advertising to film production design, with the late and great Anton Furst (1982) and then to product design with top designer Dick Powell (1984), I’ve always had the same opportunity – to work with and against the best the industry could offer, and deliver the results up for the scrutiny of my peers.

“Win or lose, the message is the same… there’s no room in British design and advertising for the adequate. Be really good or open a kebab stall.

“Having worked in most of the design disciplines represented by D&AD, I can tell you one thing for sure: advertising people are not smarter than retail designers; top directors are not superior to leading product designers. The best are the best… full stop.

“Art direction is design, just as surely as pack design is advertising. We’re all part of the same nexus, but D&AD still has a way to go to make that obvious.

“D&AD is well and truly on its feet now, pouring its imagination and resources into education and the industry, packing a hefty punch with its hyper-critical judging and limber, spunky executive and management.

“We should be proud of it. I am.

“But we all need to row in the same direction now to ensure that we go from strength to strength. I’d like to hope that my experience across the board will help to achieve that.”

History: 1974 graduated in Graphic Design; 1977 MA in Graphic and Interdisciplinary Studies; 1979 creative director Blazelynn Advertising; 1983 formed Seymour Furst; 1984 formed Seymour Powell with Dick Powell

Awards: 1976 Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship; 1979 D&AD Silver; 1985 Hatchard’s Top 100 Authors Award; 1990 Design Week Best Overall Design Award; 1991 D&AD Silver; 1993 ID Award, D&AD Silver; 1994 BBC Design Award, Minerva Design Award; 1995 D&AD President’s Award; 1997 Special Commendation Prince Philip Designer’s Prize – all design honours won with Dick Powell

Offices: 1987 product design judge for BBC Design Awards, set up D&AD Product Design Awards; 1989 International Advisory Committee, Design Museum; 1990 external assessor of product design at St Martins College of Art and Design; 1993 external examiner Royal College of Art Transportation Design Course; 1994 Board of Trustees, Design Museum; 1995 honorary visiting professor to School of Design for Industry at RCA; 1997 elected board member of D&AD

Projects include: Norton F1 and MuZ Skorpion motorcycles, InterCity 250 Locomotive; Tefal Classic Toaster; Nokia cellular phones; Minolta cameras; Casio watches

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