Inspiration for me comes from working with a diverse range of talent in multidisciplinary areas, collaborating, contradicting, complementing, improving projects, with function as the thread – for organisations and places that require purposeful, programmatic, integrated design with longevity, rather than isolated, short-term projects.
It is also rewarding to work with individuals who have an experimental attitude, an informed ‘international’ style, who have gone a long way to further integrate design into everyday life – such as Cartlidge Levene/City ID (working on WalkRide NewcastleGateshead), North (RAC identity programme), 8vo (Billing systems), and Kinneir Dufort (British roadside traffic signs). The latter are continually modified, but they are still testimony to Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert’s rigorous original work, which has survived Kinneir.
I also find inspiration working for and observing companies that work in an ‘open studio’ way, demonstrating diversity in both projects and solutions, with an ability to produce jobs that are different in every way. I’m talking about total design – from the identity to the Corgi van.
Future inspiration is knowing that there are British design companies with the ability to deliver visual identity ‘milestone’ programmes as good as the 1972 Olympics – waiting for someone informed enough to commission small over large.
Finally, I’m inspired by the thought of less graphic design, but what remains is of a better quality, on ‘actual’ projects that evolve, lasting for longer.