We got to speak with the guys from Glasfurd & Walker, formally based in Sydney but these days are residing in Vancouver about the importance of a great personal brand when viewing portfolios. Also the excitement of being in a city that has a emerging scene along with other interesting topics.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. I am the Creative Director and Co-founder of Glasfurd & Walker Design. We’re a full service design studio that works in Food, Beverage, Hospitality, Fashion & Beauty. We work on building, maintaining and developing brands (and therefore on all the touchpoint needed to do that – online, offline, print, signage, social etc).
In broad terms – We apply creative thinking and understanding of design to develop thought-provoking solutions to address business communication needs. We work hard to build partnerships with our clients to understand their businesses, what they want to achieve and what they want to be known for. And then work to communicate that through design.
During the course of every project we always aim to spend time meticulously crafting the detail and nuance while keeping an eye on the bigger picture to deliver a brand that is interesting and relevant.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why? 1. (Book) How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman. Great interviews and insights into how some of the best work. Debbie Millman’s Design Matters podcast is also great.
2. (Podcast) Hidden Brain – a great podcast on how the brain and people work; insightful and thoughtful it can always be applied to how people interact with design or brands.
3. (Blogs) TrendLand and Nowness diverse in what they cover, always visually inspiring.
What do you look for in a great portfolio? When looking at portfolios I can’t understate the importance of the designer’s personal brand and portfolio design (website). This is usually one of the only projects where there wasn’t a creative director, a team or a client giving input so you can really get a sense of someone’s personal style, taste and design skills by that.
Other things I look for are:
A clear demonstration and understanding of core design principles – typography, colour use, composition and layout.
A distinct point of view. An attitude, sensibility or style that would compliment the team we have already.
A well edited selection of work
And, attention to detail – no bad photoshop mock ups.
What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in? Vancouver has changed a lot since we moved here (from Sydney). It’s a young emerging design scene. Being a small and emerging scene allows for opportunity that bigger design cities don’t have. There’s a chance to do things for the first time here, there’s a hunger for the city to be better and world class and it makes it an exciting place to be.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? 1. Listen & Collaborate. Really listen to clients, get to the bottom of what they want and why they want it.
2. Your gut instinct is usually right and should be listened to.
3. Enjoy the process (not just the outcome).
4. Empathy and intuition go a long way.
5. Be focused. Do good work for good people and let outside noise distract you.
2016 for you in a sentence. Controlled growth with more fun and experimentation.