Inspired – Luke Manning

Inspirations in both my career and life, as the two seem to go hand in hand, come from people, personalities and attitudes. I studied at the Somerset College of Art and Technology. It was here I was blessed with being tutored by William Hunt, called Widge, an eccentric man who always made you laugh, and Malcolm Swatridge, who needs no introduction.

They believed in ideas, wit and the craft that followed a moment of genius. The process from briefing to execution was one of exploring and discovering what doesn’t work, leading to what does – the gut-churning excitement when you felt you had discovered the idea that was sure to win you a D&AD Student Award.

The first thing we were advised to do was purchase the book A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart, which explores wit in all its forms. Malcolm and Widge were preachers of this approach and nurtured young minds, who now fill many of London and the UK’s most creative consultancies. I then worked for Taxi Studio, founded by other ex-students of Malcolm and Widge.

The two shared a belief in using wit as a form of communication. I have kept with me this use of humour and enthusiasm; it is the foundation of how I work. I still get butterflies in my stomach when we pitch to our clients, hoping that our ideas are met with the same passion we have… although not all of them are.
A big thanks to Malcolm, Widge and A Smile in the Mind.

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  • Thoughtful November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hello Luke.

    We’d agree, A Smile in the Mind is a constant source of inspiration for us.

    We were thinking now would be a good time for A Second Smile in the Mind – a follow up to the original which includes a new generation of agencies and designers who play with graphic wit in their work. As well exploring wit and craft outside of graphic design: the Marto Money Box, for example.

    James, Chris & Stuart

  • William Hunt November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Luke is one of rare talent and well over 6ft
    tall, amazing really. I strongly deny any
    relationship with his mother. I now work with
    Briggs & Co another gifted SCAT based design outfit trying to ward off my senility.
    I’m fast running out of ideas,the game’s up,
    please publish ‘Smile in the mind’ part 2.

    Much love to all ex-scat students,

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