Like all designers I am inspired by hundreds of influences every day. We are sponges who soak up everything our brains can accommodate. Out of all these influences there’s one theme that has inspired me my whole life and career. It’s a simple notion – that design and ideas have the power to make a profound and positive impact on peoples lives.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience this first-hand since childhood through the ideas and inventions forged in my family’s precision-engineering business.
My great-grandfather Tom Bowers invented one of the first electric washing machines. His two sons Eric, my grandfather, and Gordon, invented and made machine tools and measuring gauges with an accuracy of 0000.1mm, these inventions played key roles in putting NASA’s Eagle Lander on the moon and helped Concorde to reach supersonic speeds through their work with Rolls Royce.
The work of my father, also a graphic designer, inspired me to get into graphics.
These inspirational characters instilled values in me that today help transform the businesses and people we work with beyond mere profit. I have always loved what I do. Working with people, projects and brands that inspire change will always inspire me.
James Backhurst is creative partner at The Allotment Brand Design.