Graphic Design students recently visited 36 studios across London and The Netherlands. These visits provided a unique insight into the knowledge, advice and expertise of established designers and creatives.
To show thanks and spread a touch of personal inspiration, our students placed mementos of their visits throughout the studios. Symbolic of the connections made during the visits, these objects have become household items in the creative spaces and a friendly reminder of their exchange of ideas with Falmouth University. Advice from our hosts...
"We don't stop playing 'til we grow old. We don't grow old until we stop playing."
"Everything we do depends on three essential elements working together to meet each client's needs: Art, Action and Science."
"When the World Zigs, Zag."
"We do good design that's design for good."
"We're passionate about how brand identities can help change and define businesses. For a period we become part of a client's company and it's wonderful watching identities develop, whatever the size and scale."
"We always try to ground every project in a solid conceptual solution. Something firm to hang the whole communication on. Design is not just a styling exercise for us - an awful lot of soul searching and analysis goes into every piece of work, and we'd hope that rigour and reflection also comes through."
"Design should always come from the essence of the brand, not the success of what has come before. We're looking to capture what it is about the brand that makes them different, and use that to help them stand out."
"We believe young designers should stay open minded and as diversified as possible until they find something they really love."
"We put strategic thinking before superficial decoration, enabling us to create work that is both beautifully executed and brilliantly effective."
"I see Ustwo as a platform - a commercial playground that allows us to do whatever we like, be it launch our own products, start new ventures, partner with the world's biggest brands, or invest in the most exciting startups."
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
"These times are very eclectic and also very confusing because there are so many possibilities and there is so much accesses to everything, you can see anything, you can do everything... but the ideas are becoming more and more important."
"It's important to be truthful. Vital to be interesting."
"At Pearlfisher we design for Challengers & Icons, the people and brands that are changing the future— those that are creating impact and change, and those that will be loved forever through the successful realization of ideas and creativity."
"Don't apologise for your work."
"I think we produce better work when we work across different disciplines and sectors. I think if you specialise you start to produce work to a formula. We get bored very easily, so new ideas and challenges keep us enjoying it.
"The more diverse and eclectic your world of inspiration is, the greater your chances of finding
unique ways of bringing brands to life."
Design Bridge (London)
"What you don't know, could be a positive thing. So you can look at something with a fresh mind."
"To go forward, first go back."
"It's important to remember not to design for yourself. Remember your audience. Don't overcomplicate things. and finally, don't forget the 'idea' — if an 'identity' has a hook, something to leverage, it's easier for the audience to engage with."
"We create chemistry for a sustainable future."
"The most important question is why?"
"For each project or each challenge, we tend to find one very simple or very singular idea or concept."
"It is often more preferable to start from scratch with a brand than work with a 'wounded animal'."
The Brand Union
"No business is the same, consequently no brand is the same. However, the process for creating
or evolving a brand remains reasonably constant."
"Pentagram is like a multi-celled organism. If one bit drops off then a couple more get bolted on, so it changes but it carries the same DNA. It's a gradual evolution rather than a strategic plan."
"Fail harder. Don't be afraid to fail, think big and take risks."
Wieden & Kennedy
"We've found that when we are open and collaborative with each other and our partners, the work gets better. As for what differentiates our work, we try to create work that's timely, relevant and (hopefully) sparks a conversation."
"We create projects deriving from the intersection of art, architecture and fashion — including publications, digital media, and visual identities."
"We are deeply interested in exploring new pathways for design at the cutting edge where new media and information technologies, architecture and urban systems and graphic design overlap."
"We are a human-centered design agency with ideas. We combine design, UX and branding
expertise to help clients think beyond the expected and innovate their businesses."
"It's a good idea to find the 'essence' of what you are trying to say, it stops you getting lost in research and the process."
Trapped in Suburbia
"We combine a healthy dose of intuition with intelligence to bring brands to life through great ideas that reach out and connect with people."
Design Bridge (Amsterdam)
"We aim to develop challenging ideas which we translate into economically sustainable formats.
These formats enable organisations to establish meaningful relationships with their public."
"It is very important to make mistakes, to fail. It is the most valuable learning process. When we started our more experienced colleagues warned us about all kinds of things, but the monumental blunders were more valuable! One tip would be to always keep the bigger picture in mind.
"We've always thought of artificial intelligence either as a sort of god, or a threat - something that is very scary, that is smarter than us. Maybe that will happen at some point, I don't know maybe it won't. Right now AI isn't like a being, it doesn't have agency, it doesn't have feelings...yet."