After completing my honours degree in Graphic Design in 1983, I started work in a Scottish design studio as an eager, young Junior Designer. Over the years, I progressed to Senior Designer and ultimately to Design Director at LEWIS, a large-scale, full-service design agency based in Edinburgh. During that time I liaised with clients and handled all aspects of design projects, from briefing and creative direction through initial designs, studio art direction and on-location photography to producing final artwork and press-passing.
I have been fortunate to work with many outstanding corporate clients, in many diverse sectors from around the world, including St Louis Music, Alvarez, Blessing, Burberry, Pringle of Scotland, Santander, Scottish Power, Hunter Boots and Atorus. The work was always challenging and on occasions was award-winning. Some projects were blessed with large budgets and provided the chance to work alongside some incredibly talented colleagues, great photographers, illustrators and copywriters. At other times, some of the most rewarding work was delivered on small projects with tiny budgets for individual clients. Great design is not always determined by the size of the budget.
Nowadays, a successful design or marketing campaign has to work in many disciplines, across multiple platforms. A project can start as a branding or logo design but could ultimately expand into other areas, including everything from business cards to annual reports as well as advertising that is viewed in magazines, on screens and in social media all around the world. All of this demands that a successful design or marketing strategy has to be ‘joined up’ and be relevant to a broad range of people and cultures.
I now bring all my skills and experience to my own company called Graphik. This provides the opportunity for me to work in the way that makes the design process an open and productive partnership for both the client and the designer. The resulting work is focused on delivering smart, high-value, contemporary design that stands out and makes a difference.
Ian Kirkby, Graphik.