I’ve painted a few walls in my time. I’m pretty good at it to be honest. But having wielded a few paintbrushes to slap bulk colour on a wall doesn’t make me Picasso.

In many ways, I feel the same way when people compare our approach to design with art. While I fully appreciate that there is a intrinsic link, there is a difference between an artist and a designer.

It’s also important for me to add at this point, that I don’t consider myself a designer either! I leave that to the experts. I’m more like Steven Spielberg than a star of the silver screen!

Design is about communication. And while it can be argued that Art is seeking to communicate with an audience, it is much more about self expression with an artist. Design seeks to deliver a specific message for the person you’re designing for.

For me, this is the key difference. The motivation.

You see, we design many things that personally don’t appeal to me. They don’t really hit my button or make me go “Oh YEAH!” But that’s ok…because those designs are aimed at a market that isn’t me!

If we’re trying to appeal to a 70yr old man or a 16yr old girl, I’m pretty sure it’s not important if it appeals to me! It’s only important if we’re matching our design communication with the target market for our client.

While design (and art for that matter) will always be subjective, having a strong strategic foundation and serious rationale shifts the subjectiveness significantly. This is critical to our design process (especially in terms of Brand Architecture) and enables us to use science and research along with many decades of experience to develop design that communicates our clients message.

As I said earlier, my particular role is much more like a film director. It’s about the vision and the connection between the strategic direction and the design communication. I have the wonderful job of collaborating with talented strategists and designers to develop the work that you see in our case studies.

Like conducting a symphony, there is a huge about of satisfaction that comes from an orchestrated approach and working with talented individuals that form a strong team.

But I am not an artist. This is about commercial outcomes. This is about our clients. It’s about achieving results.