Iam up to day 2 of the 3 day AGideas design conference. The conference is in it’s 22nd year and was kicked off by it’s 500th speaker – Dana Arnett, from the USA. Arnett, pictured first above, spoke about design being as much about breaking the rules. He also touched on the notion that ‘people will support what they help to create’. And the re-activating of brands through social media. He gave us specific examples of his branding work on Harley Davidson, converse and IBM.
Also pictured is Australian illustrator Shaun Tan and some of his lovely work. A highlight was getting a glimpse of his animated short film ‘the lost thing’. Tan originally worked as a freelance illustrator, specialising in young adult fiction and confessed to us that he’s never actually had a real job or job interview for that matter. It looks like that won’t be changing any time soon, with numerous accolades under his belt including an Academy Award.
Without a doubt my fav speaker from today was UK based MadeThought the brain child of designers Paul Austin and Ben Parker. Starting out as unknowns – so unknown they had no clients and set up shop in one of the boys bedrooms. Their 11 years of success was built on 4 principals balance, bravery, justification and having fun. Balance between concept, style and function. Bravery to take risks and back themselves. Knowing that they’re not artists and realising the need to be accountable and justify their creative choices to clients. And finally fun, being passionate about what they do and enjoying the creative process. They did give us an insight into their process – simple ideas that they exploit to their full potential. Layers and complexity don’t necessarily make for good communication.