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Bill Wallsgrove interview

Bill Wallsgrove
Please read this brief interview from our UK consultant Bill Wallsgrove, prior his lecture at the Design Spring Session at Artplay Hub Manometer on March 29th. Come to find out about Design for Good.

Q: you studied design in London College of Printing in the mid 70s, why this choice of profession?

I loved drawing and painting as a child. I read American comic books and loved films and television. I loved the imagery. My art teacher at school was an inspiration and a mentor. I also wanted to be in London – I grew up in a small town in the middle of England – it felt like a different country.The creative energy of punk at that time was influencing music, art and design. It was compelling and I wanted to be involved.

Q: was profession of a designer a prestigious one back at that time?

Design was not really understood as a profession but it really developed in the 80s into a strategic business tool. The power of branding and the growth of designer objects. As my father said – everything man-made is designed by somebody – there will always be work!

Q: how would you describe the evolution of the profession?

It was certainly seen as a craft when I first studied graphic design. However the advent of computer aided design in the mid-80s accelerated the scope and opportunity of creativity. I introduced the first Apple Mac into Coley Porter Bell (my then employer) it was as though a Martian had landed in the company. Everyone was entranced and worked 24 hours to master the machine.

Q: how would you describe your own professional evolution and your role in creative business now?

I started out in brand identity and packaging but the internet has allowed me to express brand voice in a much more diverse media environment. I can now use film, animation and music across digital platforms to create compelling brand stories.

Q: what can you say about design and creative business in Russia?

I have been working in Russia for over ten years. The rate of change has been astounding. Obviously Russian society has become more capitalist and consumer facing. The creative skills of the best Russian designers now matches, and in some cases exceeds, other markets.

Q: what would you like to say about TNC LB and collaboration with Rissian agency?

I have collaborated with other Russian agencies but TNC, in my opinion, is both the best in terms of creative output and ambition. I share their vision to constantly be the best and prove that good design is both effective and a great return on investment for businesses and brands.

Q: the influence of design itself rises or falls?

I think design influences everything – from the objects of desire in mature markets to really useful products and solutions solving third world issues like affordable housing and clean drinking water for example. Design means solving problems and they lie in commerce and society. Design is a force for good.

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