If you want to be successful – be yourself

Everyone likes designers, even the people who claim not to (they’re probably just jealous).


And this isn’t because they’re interesting, well-dressed and generally very good company in the pub. If you’re a client, it’s because designers offer a clear link between cold business sense and mysterious, unfettered creativity.

Someone founder Simon Manchipp, talking at this week’s Glug event (titled Design is Business) pointed out how weirdness and uniqueness creates monopolies – because no-one else is daring to do that.

He also (rightly) pointed out how much of a risk creativity can be for the bottom-line obsessed clients, using the great example of the hugely successful Guinness surfers advert (‘no pour shot? A gap-toothed surfer? Huge horses?!).


Guinness Surfer ad, by AMV BBDO

And of course clients find creativity scary and risky and terrifying, but they also find it intriguing and potentially brilliant – so designers should never try to hide it or dress it up in business-speak.

And this works at a national level as well. Speaking at this week’s Associate Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group lunch, Sir John Sorrell recalled going to China shortly after the opening of Thomas Heatherwick’s Shanghai Expo Seed Catherdral.

UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral, Shanghai Expo, China 2010, by Thomas Heatherwick

Source: Iwan Baan

UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral, Shanghai Expo, China 2010, by Thomas Heatherwick

The project, his Chinese hosts told him, had changed their perceptions of the UK. ‘We always saw Britain as being traditional and conservative – how long have you been creative?’.

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  • Surinah November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am


  • kombizz November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Wish could see Iwan’s creative work.

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