What is your greatest fear?

Hat-Trick has designed Phobophobia, a book which presents ‘a visual collection of the things we’re scared of’. What is your greatest fear?

Greg Quinton

‘All creative directors are control freaks. They might deny it publicly, but most admit it to themselves, their loved ones or shrinks. It stands to reason therefore that all creative directors share the greatest of all phobias – the opinion of others. Once, the only opinion that really mattered was that of our clients. Research was a process of corroboration; the media, a barometer of general trends. Social media however, has turned that upside down by enabling everyone – absolutely everyone – to have an opinion and voice it. Like scenes from Gladiator, “thumbs up or down”, “likes” and “favourites” have become the opinions clients simply can’t ignore and creative directors can’t control. The fear of opinion even has a scary name – Allodoxaphobia.’

Greg Quinton, executive creative director, The Partners

Ellie Thompson

‘That the leader of our country and champion of the British economy should be so out of touch with the creative industries that he would give a ringing endorsement to something so fundamentally damaging as 99 Designs, which effectively pits hordes of desperate kitchen table “designers” together in a battle to create the most inappropriate identity for the least amount of money for visually illiterate clients. Ah, already happened…’

Ellie Thompson, senior designer, Sherry Design

Nick Hard

‘Fear of dreams – Oneirophobia. That’s not entirely true – it’s more the fear of design dreams. Inevitably they come along when the studio is busy and projects are in the crucial creative phase (when problems need solving). Unfortunately these dreams don’t follow any direct relationship to the project in reality, more an unachievable Tetris design challenge. We are working on a big icon project at the moment, working down to absolute minimal pixel sizes, so I am hoping beyond hope this gives my dream state a leg up in my future night time Tetris challenges!’

Nick Hard, partner, Planning Unit

Katja Thielen

‘My bête noire is the earwig. Those nasty-looking pincers are off-putting enough, but much worse is their fondness for scuttling into our ears and burrowing into our brains while we sleep. Apparently it’s all a myth; Wikipedia claims it’s “rare” to find earwigs in the human ear. I find this less than reassuring. But maybe, after all, this is a creature that’s just in need of a rebrand, or at the very least a new name. Until then, I’m wearing earplugs in bed every night while camping.’ 

Katja Thielen, creative director, founder, Together Design

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