A financial newspaper is putting together the top 50 business folk who are shaping the creative industry. While Pentagram is still held up as the best consultancy model and Sir Martin Sorrell is an undoubted champion of the design business, which individual do you believe is doing most to progress the design industry?
‘My vote goes to Ian Rowland-Hill for working to ensure the health and future of our industry. The DBA argues the case for the value of design; teaches designers business skills and fights our corner on issues such as free-pitching or payment for inclusion on rosters. The industry would be poorer and less professional without them.’
Charlotte Desorgher, Managing director, The Grand Design
‘The stars of design are those who push the boundaries – John Sorrell and Frances Newell with the BA tail fins, Rodney Fitch and Michael Peters taking design groups public and Richard Seymour and Dick Powell taking design to the masses. Their bravery helps make life easier for the rest of us. But bravery sometimes has its price, as I’m sure Gary Lockton will tell you. Good luck, Gary.’
Jonathan Sands, Chairman, Elmwood
‘As an old friend, ex-colleague and product designer Jonathan Ive of Apple has to be top of the list. His work to build its design team, capture the imagination of Steve Jobs and produce a constant stream of astonishingly well-designed products is an extraordinary success story.’
Martin Darbyshire, Partner, Tangerine Product Direction & Design
‘It would be easy to come up with a list of hot young award-winners that no one outside the design industry has heard of, but for me it’s about impact on the world. Some people inside design agencies – like Philippe Starck – could qualify. I’m also tempted to say Paul Smith, Jonathan Ive, Ian Rudge (100% Design), Tom Peters and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen (seriously). But in the end it has to be Terence Conran.’
Richard Watson, Founder, Global Innovation Network
‘Figureheads come and go, but what about the responsibility clients have to champion the design business? Remember William Golden’s legendary client/ designer relationship with Lou Dorfsman at CBS in the 1950s? (Even The Waltons was Dorfsman’s idea.) I’d like to see clients really trust us to achieve great things together, then we can progress their industries as well as our own.
Mark Bonner, Director, Gregory Bonner Hale