In recent times it has become apparent that the creative communities have become more aware of the ethical issues of their work, would you say the priorities have changed? (Jane Cassells)
I don't think that this awareness is exclusive to the creative communities, ethical issues seem to be everywhere at the moment!
Do the viewpoints of older designers influence you? For example Milton Glaser claimed that "Good design is good citizenship." Do you agree? (Jane Cassells)
Older designers are my favorites! When I first started reading about design it was the masters that I followed. People like Alan Fletcher, drove me to study design. Most of all my biggest influences were creative people, who had conceptual ideas. Artists like, Sophie Calle, Rachel Whiteread, Architects like Daniel Libeskind, theorists like Josef Albers, and Johannes Itten.
Work that I enjoyed was work that had both a conceptual spine, and a considered aesthetic that represented its back story, and also lead the user down certain cerebral path. I loved the idea that design was communication, and the immense power that it posses. I forget this sometimes, and thankfully you have reminded me to keep this idea close in my mind whilst I get through my working day. It is easy to get caught up and forget. I have always said, that design is Science, and sometimes I think it is even more than that.
The First things First manifesto encouraged Graphic designers to put there skills to uses other than consumer products, do you think it was ever and viable way to live avoiding corporate work? (Jane Cassells)
I read through the manifesto recently, and obviously like most commercially employed designers, one gets rather defensive. Part of me understands the need for such and article, but part of me is also adamant that there is a need for commercial design, even if it is for dog biscuits or hair gel. I mean not that I buy either, but if i did have a puppy or a quaff hair-do (and as a design snob) I like the advertising around me to be smart and good looking.
I think that design should be inclusive not exclusive. But most of all, I am a consumer, and Graphic Designers seem to be some of the biggest gadget freaks, online shoppers and the rest. Like you mentioned, we all have to eat. Commercial work pays my salary, and helps me fund my record label, and the many interns, assistants, and contractors I employ. In my work I always hope to maintain an integrity and sensitivity in the consumer brands that I work with and for. Making sure the projects are progressive, and in keeping with my ethos.
As a practising designer do you feel it is appropriate to impose your own agenda (political/ethical or otherwise) into each project, or purely focus of the needs of the client? (Jane Cassells)
I don't think you should impose your ideas onto a project but instead make sure you chose work that you believe in. For example I have been asked to do numerous campaigns for alcoholic beverage companies, but each one I have turned down. Purely based on the fact that I don't drink, and I don't believe that alcohol should be advertised commercially.
What do you consider to be the professional attributes of a Graphic Designer? (Jane Cassells)
Hard working, curious, and energetic.