Kind Studio

James Richards of Kind Studio recently caught up with us to chat about how he's finding mentoring students rewarding and keeping a fresh viewpoint. He also shared some insights about the future of smaller, more agile design agencies, and a few design crushes to look up.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

We’re Kind Studio. We’re a creative partnership based in South London working across brand identity, print, digital interaction and animation. We’ve been running for (just about) four years and in that time have worked with a wide range of clients, big and small from many different industries. Our aim is always to work very closely with the client, to create work that’s as beautiful as it is functional.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

We both studied our BA at Nottingham Trent University. We graduated in 2014, at which point Sean began his Masters at Chelsea School of Art. I moved to London also, but began a series of internships at various studios before landing a job at a creative agency in East London. Ten months later, we had a few drinks together and decided to start out on our own. So I guess you could say we’ve never really had ‘first jobs’!

Design work by Kind Studio The Design Kids interviews Kind Studio work-2

Who are your top six design crushes globally right now?

As a small studio, we look up to guys who are slightly further along in their journey than we are. So people like our London neighbours OK-RM and OMSE, as well as M35. Collins is doing great things as a much larger agency. We also love the work of individual creatives like Ines Cox and Caterina Bianchini.

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

We’re always looking to improve on the work we’ve created previously, including workflows and relationships. We’ve just launched our brand new website, which for the first time showcases a lot of projects we’ve not shown before, so that’s exciting, and we’re looking forward to building on that.

Design work by Kind Studio The Design Kids interviews Kind Studio work-4
Design work by Kind Studio The Design Kids interviews Kind Studio work-4

Mentoring can be challenging, but equally it can be inspiring, especially when you meet with the right kind of students who are full of ideas and ambition.

Are you involved in any teaching and how does it shape your practice?

Over the last three years we’ve mentored at LCC, LCF, Nottingham Trent and Middlesex. We’re just about to start our first few sessions at Shillington College of Design, which we’re really looking forward to. Mentoring can be challenging, but equally it can be inspiring, especially when you meet with the right kind of students who are full of ideas and ambition. Talking to those sorts of people can motivate you back at the studio, particularly when they are full of fresh new ideas and viewpoints — something that I think some people lose sight of once they have been in the industry for a while.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

I think a lot of commissioned design work will begin (if it hasn’t already) to move away from larger, older, well established agencies in favour of smaller, more agile and youthful creatives. Combine that with a greater accessibility to freelance and co-working, and I think that it will give the next generation of designers much more freedom when coming into the industry.

In terms of projects, I think there’s going to be an ever increasing focus on digital. We always look to take on digital projects or introduce digital aspects into projects that don’t have them, as it allows us to experiment across animation, interaction and typography in a medium that’s becoming more and more accessible by everyone.

Design work by Kind Studio The Design Kids interviews Kind Studio work-6
Design work by Kind Studio The Design Kids interviews Kind Studio work-6

Where to find Kind Studio online.

Website: kindstudio.co.uk

Instagram: @kind_studio

Twitter: @kind_studio

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