I believe in the power of storytelling and understand the importance of portraying a consistent story across a brand’s communication channels. These days consumers look for brands that are authentic, transparent and consistent. I search for these attributes within each of my client’s unique stories and craft them into beautiful graphic design.
Early Days & Apprenticeship
At an early age my habit of sketching fantasy cars and motorbikes (one of my passions) drew attention to my creative potential. I was a bit of a ‘wild child’ though, and as a teenager the prospect of going to art school didn’t excite me. So instead, for three years, the two mature partners of an eminent Parisian design consultancy mentored me. I’m so grateful that they did. Their passion for typography – and its creative uses – was so infectious. It’s still an inspiration to me today. My apprenticeship was intense and demanding, but, by the time I got my first job, I was totally prepared to perform in a real, professional environment.
A Great Place To Learn
Following internships in advertising, and with the Marie Claire group of magazines, I was offered an enviable position at Galeries Lafayette – Paris’s infamous department store. Again, it was a great place to learn and I spent memorable years there happily developing my design, art direction and production skills.
Finding My True Direction
However, it was only when I joined Style Marque, THE Parisian brand/image consultancy at the time, that I knew I’d found my true direction. There I began designing packaging, and learned about the importance of brands and their image. That was Style Marque’s forté, and it soon became mine.
In the mid ‘80s I was headhunted by top US design consultancy Landor, to join their European headquarters in London. It was a scary, exciting challenge, not least because of my poor English. In time, of course, my command of the language became more polished, as did my work, and before long I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The Stella Artois Challenge
David Taylor invited me to join his consultancy, as Creative Director in charge of redesigning Stella Artois’ brand identity. After nearly two years of extensive development, travelling back and forth to Leuven, we achieved our goal of turning Stella into an international flagship brand. The new identity was very well received and, I’m proud to say, it won a design effectiveness DBA award in the UK.
England had long become home to me when I opened my own consultancy in the late ‘80s. I was excited to win pitches against some of the big boys. Not least of these was the brief to design a new, multilingual, Pan-European packaging system for Scott AFH Paper. It was one of the very first Euro-branding exercises of its time and it enabled the successful use of a single packaging system throughout Europe.
In The City Of Spires
In the ‘90s I teamed up with a marketing expert I’d often worked with to create ‘The Oxford Partnership’. Our complementary skills enabled us to provide our varied clientele with a successful – and effective – design and marketing expertise mix. My favourite project at the time was the image revitalisation of Stones Bitter, the quintessential ‘working mens club’ beer from Sheffield, for Bass Brewers (one of our biggest clients). Then fate beckoned us along separate paths.
The Ultimate 3D Environment
For a while I freelanced. Then I joined forces with my compagne (a masterful plantswoman) to set-up our garden design company ‘Bliss & Blossom’. For over a decade we designed, constructed, planted and maintained beautiful gardens. I’m very proud of our achievements and the pleasure we were able to give our clients. Designing the ultimate 3D environment using natural colour, texture and form gave me new insights into the design process.
About ten years ago, partially due to my enhanced understanding of nature, I had an awakening and became vegan. I decided to join the fight against the cruel exploitation of animals and promote a kinder, more compassionate way of life. But I never stopped designing.
Helping The Good Guys
I’m now offering the same powerful strategic and creative thinking that proved successful for past clients to a new genus of ethically-responsible ones. I’m eager to use my wealth of experience to help the good guys to harness their brand’s potential, generating success and enlightenment in a kinder, safer, planet-aware marketplace.
Could that be YOU?