Having run for a few years now, Glug, a creative drinks and “Notworking” event aimed at designers, has rapidly turned from a pub meet-up with friends into a thriving nationwide event. Set up by Nick Clement (@NickClement) and Ian Hambleton (@IanHambleton) of creative agency Studio Output past talks and events have seen the likes of Airside, Anthony Burrill, I Love Dust and Noma Bar all grace the stage.
Last night’s talk entitled Design is Business promised to be an insight into the everyday running of a successful and in some cases unsuccessful design practice. The lineup boasted names such as Simon Manchipp (@manchipp) owner of SomeOne, responsible for the recent Olympic pictograms, Andy Kinsella (@hellokinsella) of Stink Digital who’s clients include Nike and Wiedden Kennedy and Paul Bailey (@paulmarkbailey), founding partner and Creative Director of 1977 design. Needless to say the evenings speakers didn’t disappoint.
First to take to the stage was Beth Gardner, Head of Strategic Marketing at The Design Council who spoke about The Design Council’s intentions to “stimulate innovation” and “harness design to help drive business growth”. Something which most large corporations need to wake up to and something The Design Council advocate passionately. Following on from Beth was Paul Bailey of East London based design agency 1977 design who stressed that “design is about people” and who spoke about his beliefs in what he called the 5 C’s: Clients, Colleagues, Collaborators, Confidants and Central Character and subsequently, the importance of these five areas when running your own agency. Outlining simple practices within each area, Paul gave an insightful look at how he has nurtured 1977 design to the point where their client list includes Adidas, Arsenal FC and EMI.
Next on to the stage was the illustrious and characterful illustrator Peter Crawley . Following a degree in product design and a trip across America, Peter discovered his talent for hand stitched illustrations which soon caught the eye of Wallpaper magazine who commissioned him to create a front cover design for their hand-made issue. In a charming and humorous chat, Peter pushed home his belief that success and failures are all part of “running your own thing” but that the failures are most important. Following Peter was Andy Kinsella of Stink Digital, who recently managed to accumulate no less than 17 awards at Cannes 2012 and who’s recent work for the Nike My Time is Now campaign is truly breathtaking. Andy talked about avoiding “landfill marketing” and the amount of “crap there is out there” alongside the importance of innovation and “creating interesting things in interesting spaces” – something I think all creatives should strive towards.
Following on from a short break and a beer, the audience was treated to a stimulating talk by Simon Manchipp, owner of SomeOne, who recently completed work for the Olympics. Simon spoke avidly about what design is to business, outlining that design has the ability to transform business and that by “educating your clients you can create believers”. Simon also rightly pointed out that companies who take design to a boardroom level, such as O2 and Virgin succeed in creating brands that are worth billions. After Simon we were treated to talks from Isabelle Quevilly of Venture Three and Jason Arber, founder of Phantom Limb who both spoke about the difficulties of success and the importance of loving what you do. Isabelle signed off with “Design is Love”. Nice.
To round off a fascinating evening of talks, we heard from Matthew Hawn (@jukevox), VP Product at Last.fm. One of the most forward thinking talks of the night, Matthew explained how we are now facing the greatest challenge as designers. The rise of Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon has seen closed platforms become the norm. Bad news for designers and developers. Matthew explained how open-source products “make people into co-creators” whereas “closed products turn them into consumers”. Hawn summed it up perfectly when he said “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”. An interesting comment after the launch of the new Retina-display MacBook pro.
The night was capped off with music and drinks and made for a relaxed “notworking” environment. I would highly suggest that if you get a chance you go and check out the Glug events. Now that I’ve had a taste I’ll definitely be Glugging again.