Graduated – 1994
After graduating from Preston in 1994, Steve worked at London design agency
Bull Rodger for clients such as Lloyds Bank, Warner Bros and BP Chemicals,
before spending a couple of years running Earth (a small design company with
a comedy name).
In 2001 he joined ICO Design and has been responsible for cross media campaigns for Bosch and advertising for international flooring company Armstrong. More recently he has taken the role of ‘digital partner’, working with Penguin to create a collection of online tools to help young children make their own stories through play (and helped develop the Science of Survival exhibition at the Science Museum).
The Disciples of Design Q&A
How and where did you secure your first job?
I started working in design at a company called Bull Rodger after spending a couple of months there on placement, so getting the placement led to my first design job.
Did anyone ever ask you what degree grade you got?
I’m not sure if anyone has ever even asked if I had a degree (although I was once turned down for a job as a cleaner as I had no buffer experience).
Did you do a placement year? If so how was it?
Yes I did, it was a year of knocking on doors, sleeping on sofas and meeting at the White Horse in Soho on a Friday to catch up with other Preston folk (no mobiles, email or social meedya in them days).
What and who inspires you?
I’m inspired by all sorts of things, from interesting art to beautiful buildings and just about everything in between. I’m lovin’ Geoff Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy and still think fondly of Oscar Niemeyer Serpentine Pavilion (he was 95 when he designed that, there’s hope for us all).
Do you think being a Preston student has benefited you in any way?
Massively, it got me a foot in the door on a few placements and ultimately a job in graphics. It introduced me to Old Tom, pub golf and a great bunch of folk with who I have had and am having a fantastic time.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The internet, isn’t that where everyone looks now? I think it's really a combination of a childishly overdeveloped sense of curiosity combined with the various distractions that living and working in London with two small children provides.
What’s the best and worst thing about your job?
The best thing about Graphics is that you get to think about things from different perspectives. It can be refreshing to ask daft questions or see if you can find a new way to look at a problem. The best thing about the job I have at the moment is that I’ve been exposed to and involved in lots of varied work, from naming and branding to virals and ideas for interactives.
The worst thing can be difficult clients, although the more difficult they are, the funnier it can be “I want the cover in pearlised suede” or “There’s so much purple in this it looks like a supermarket,” are actual quotes from client meetings.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve done in your career?
Forcing a junior designer to step back a bit while balancing five floors up on rickety scaffolding with an upturned bucket on his head was an interesting afternoon, as was filling an entire design studio with crumpled sheets of paper thanks to an idea cooked up by my then colleague Adam Thomas.
What do you look for in graduates and their portfolios?
Something different, something that shows how much they enjoyed researching a problem and coming up with a solution that fits. Something memorable really.
Branding - Benugo
Branding - Snog