We chat with SVP Design Director at Leo Burnett Dept. of Design, Alex Fuller, about a little of this and a little of that. We touch on the future of design and why designers will need to understand big data; why we will see a desire for more crafted, expressive work; and his love of punk rock typography! 🤘
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?
Punk rock. The typography—the stencil. The textured black and white photographic collage art. The message! I specifically loved Crass records and all of their label mates. They created a distinct visual language that was so bold and so closely linked to the content of the music and the movement they were building.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?
My plan was go work for a small, boutique design firm in New York. I ended up moving to Chicago with some friends and no job and jumping into a giant agency to help build a small design practice. I realized very early that I wanted to create something new. There are so many incredible, established shops. I wanted the challenge to help build something from the ground up.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
I’m a Senior Vice President Design Director at the Leo Burnett Dept. of Design. I work with a team of incredible designers executing identities, custom typography, packaging, interactive and campaign work across the entire agency portfolio.
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?
Big Data feels like the flavor of the day but it will continue to be a central topic for both clients and agencies. Designers will need to understand how to evaluate these numbers and how to best apply them to communications. Things are quickly becoming highly targeted forcing extreme accountability and results. Like always, when the pendulum swings far in one direction there is a natural desire to counter. We will continue to see smarter technology and with that, a desire for more crafted, expressive work.
Who would be the “dream client” that you would do anything to work for? I love this question because I was asked this as a student and remember giving a boxed answer based on what I thought was the coolest, design-savvy clients out there; Nike or Apple. Then I realized they have already set a standard and all I would be doing is carrying the torch. But wouldn’t it be cool to take a young brand and build it up?! Or even better, create my own brand!
2017 for you in a sentence.
I can do it in a word! Breath.