Lightbulb moments – designers tell us about their favourite ideas

Last week, Design Bridge’s Hugh Roberts shared his advice on coming up with new creative ideas. We ask designers about the lightbulb moments which they are most proud of.

Jamie Ellul will set up Supple Studio in June
Jamie Ellul, creative director, Supple Studio Ltd

“As a designer always striving to do new and better things, I tend to ‘go off’ older ideas after a while – so I’m usually most proud of whatever is my most recent idea. And I believe you’re only as good as your last project – otherwise you can end up resting on your laurels, living off past glories.

So as my most recent ideas tend to be linked to projects yet to launch (and therefore are currently confidential), I’ve picked an old personal project. The Time Is Money clock I made in 2013 uses the simple premise of replacing the numbers on the clock face with coins denoting the relevant figure. Simple and – excuse the pun – timeless, which I aim for in all of my work.”


Dana Robertson, creative director, Neon
Dana Robertson, creative director, Neon

“Hmm, it’s easy to sound self-satisfied here – and let’s face it, everything could be better. It depends on perspective. One favourite was a complex M&A project, with an idea that successfully brought together two very different research companies and made them future-looking in every aspect, from naming, to positioning, through to brand identity; or a campaign for a children’s charity, as much for the awareness boost it gave them, as the mark and tag line produced. And I still get gooey over a museum poster for an exhibition about Emotions. But to be honest, I live for the thrill of the next idea so every ‘next’ project, big or small, is my favourite…”

Poke's Nicolas Roope
Nicolas Roope, creative director, Poke

“It won’t come as a massive shock but mine would be the Plumen lightbulb. At my core, I’m still an artist and the ideas I love the most are the really rich, the ones with layers, the potent ones that are also incredibly simple and direct. We created a beautiful product, but more importantly, a symbol of progression for a world in need of radical thinking and fresh, inspiring ideas. The fact that the lightbulb itself serves as a symbol for ideas has continued to provide resonance to our story – as well as the source of an awful lot of bad puns!”

Phil Carter, co-founder, Carter Wong Design
Phil Carter, co-founder, Carter Wong Design

“After 31 years in business, I find it very difficult to single out the most creative idea over that time. However, one I’m still particularly fond of is a logo we did for Endeva, who supplied and serviced white goods in the UK. Our solution represented an icon based on the actual physical supplier of any electrical product, namely a humble three pin plug. The consumer households and offices were depicted as those three pins, reworked with due care and attention, pitched roofs and all. Job done – and being based on an idea rather than a set style, in my opinion it’s still as appropriate today as when it was created some 15 years ago.”

Discover more:

• Quick thinking: five ways designers can get to ideas faster

• Webinar – a five-step guide to increasing your creativity

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