Thursday, 12 February 2009


2. What is your design philosophy, if you had to describe in words how you go about starting and developing your design process?

We don’t have a direct design philosophy as such, though we are reluctant to take on work that we don’t feel interested in or that doesn’t exploit our talents or experience to the full. Our client list is very diverse as a branding agency and we are quite discerning about who we work with. With regards to the Mini Moderns part of our business – we are constantly designing prints for the collection which are stored in our ‘print bank’ – we are never influenced by trends or contemporary design in our collection – so the prints are unique to us – and tend not to date. The design process for this is fairly loose – a design concept can be triggered off by a TV show, films, travel, a conversation or vintage design finds.

3. You seem to have a diserning eye when it comes to design, What are some of the best pieces you have seen recently, exhibitons or old pieces that you have newly remembered? (from all areas of the design world) Do you consider yourselves collectors?

We have both just visited the Hussein Chalayan exhition at the Design Museum – and were blown away by his intelligence and creativity. He really is an artist – but whereas a lot of artists have a thought provoking ideas behind their work – the execution often is less than satisfactory – Hussein Chalayan’s resulting pieces - be it film or fashion are always incredibly beautiful. A lot of designs that we find exciting are things that feel have longevity, so we don’t always love the latest thing. We love textile designers of the 1950’s like Lucienne Day, and Marian Mahler,
and surface pattern designers like Susan Williams-Ellis, whose designs for Portmeirion pottery in the 1960’s is a great influence on us. We also love the life enrichment panels by Alexander Girard for Herman Miller, in the late sixties and seventies. We never copy or appropriate their design work - it just has an influence in the way we see things.
Contemporary designers who we feel are interesting are Jonathan Adler, People Will Always Need Plates, Donna Wilson’s original doily rug has proved very influential to new designers, and for us Peter Saville is will always be the king of Graphics, and I am a great admirer of the work of Build. The illustrative work of Kam Tang and Sanna Annukka featured previously on this blog, are also something that we admire as well as the illustration work of the late Charley Harper, which we are lucky enough to have 2 ltd edition screenprints by him, which we managed to get from the US just prior to his death. One of Mark’s favourites is the lino cut aesthetic of Stanley Donwood’s work. With regard to collectors - hoarders would probably better describe it - we collect lots of things from magazines to vintage crockery. It all goes into the 'inspiration pot'.

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