NEW NOW WOW Ian Anderson

Creative Director of EXD'09 Lisboa

Creative Director of EXD'09 Lisboa

Our long time media friend from Madrid, Tachy Mora, posed a few questions to the EXD’09 Lisboa Creative Director who is currently on vacation. He managed to find some time to repond between sipping G&T’s and tucking in the kids -

What happened to you and to The Designers Republic in recent years?

— We flew too close to the sun.

Why did you decided not to keep on?

— We stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The rich wanted their money back.

Is it closed or is it working?

— Born on Bastille Day 1986. Reborn on Bastille Day 2009.

Did you sell the brand?

— No, it’s still for sale…

After 23 years of The Designers Republic, what are you currently doing?

— Whatever I can see value in, with whoever can see value in me doing it.

Are you still interested in visual communication?

— I’m interested in ideas and in the communication of those ideas by any means necessary. I’m interested in provoking a response and measuring an outcome. I’m interested in creating a dialogue, and in the nature and value of the dialogue created. I’m interested in why what happens happens and how the way it is communicated can shift the idea, move the startpoint and change the outcome. I’m interested in why people do what they do, and how much that is a result of why they think what they think.

Tell us your plan to be just Ian Anderson and not Ian Anderson, the founder of The Designers Republic.

— Ian Anderson gives me more options.

Who are you now?

— Something between your best friend and your only hope.

What is different between Ian Anderson 1986 and Ian Anderson 2009?

— Everything I’ve dreamt, thought, done, experienced, learnt and probably forgotten in 23 years.

Is time the only challenge of the current visual communication?

— Understanding the why and the who-to are the biggest challenges – time is primarily a factor for those who think they don’t have time to think.

Today, designers have less time to develop their work but on the other hand, have more tools and technology.

— I don’t agree that we have less real time in real terms. Some people forget to use time and so become slaves to it. The tools refine rather than define the process.

Why do you think young designers are working a lot in 3D, generating the images or the scenes they need in a do it yourself way?

— Maybe a desire to create something ‘physical’ / tangible to escape into.

Does the new generation need to work again with the hands and less with the computer or is it just a trend?

— The new generation need to rediscover why the fuck they’re doing what they’re doing.

Do you think that young designers can’t notice the difference between Arial and Helvetica because they haven’t use Letraset?

— I think it’s because they don’t realize the benefit in knowing the difference. The devil is no longer in the detail, but on the surface.

Thinking back to the 80’s, what kind of handmade process did you find tedious?

— Making coffee.

And which ones do you miss or do you remember with nostalgia?

— I don’t miss anything from the past. If it’s worth doing I still do it. By nature a labour / time intensive hand-made process creates space for evolutionary ideas – for creative creative processes.

Which handmade process or habits are still important?

— Those which remind us that we are still physical beings existing in a physical world.

Tell us which of your earlier designs, made without the computer, you are proud of the most.

— You tell me which one you like – I like that one too.

How many typefaces do you think you are able to distinguish?

— As many as I need to communicate whatever I need to, when I need to.

A great designer or studio you have discovered recently?

— I haven’t been looking…

A book about graphic design?

— I’m writing it with Liz Farrelly.

A magazine?

— Every magazine, for better or worse.

A pantone?

— Just one?

A typeface?

— It depends what I want to say, why would I limit my options to one?

Just to know, now that you are available, how much does an hour of Ian
Anderson’s work costs?

— How much you got?


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