Paul Smith wrote a book called Anything Can Inspire You, and I like that approach. I also appreciate his sense of humour. An object that makes you smile with recognition has already started to grow on you.

Frank Height, a former professor of product design at the Royal College of Art, said that if you could put yourself in the slippers of old Mrs Jones on Balham High Road and understand her needs, wants and aspirations, you were going some way to being a good designer. Empathy and understanding are vital pieces of inspiration.

I love the catch phrase for Ronseal – ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’ – and often use it as a metaphor for simple, easily understood design. In the same way, I find the down-to-earth nature of farm machinery very refreshing.

My Index chopping boards for Joseph Joseph were inspired by the need to produce a simple, effective translation of a colour-coded, professional system for the domestic market. The case packages the coloured boards attractively, seriously and conveniently, while humorous icons in slight relief on the tabs (there for grip) leave no doubt as to how each board is to be used.

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