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Mark Stubbington

Graphic Designer

What initially got you interested in your practice?

When I was leaving school I had a meeting with the careers advisor and I said that I really liked art, I was really good at art, and the thing that got me into this profession was that he suggested, well you can’t just be an artist, why don’t you try graphic design and then I asked about what that was and when I discovered what it was I went and did it at college and then I went at uni and I fell in love with doing it, and yeah that is how it all started with me, I didn’t actually knew what it was to begin with but I merged art in a commercial way.

So what uni did you go to, and how did it help with your process?

I went to Falmouth, in Cornwall and that is a really good art College and what it did was, I mean it was a long time ago so compared to what I know now it just opened up graphic design and the elements of graphic design in different sectors of graphic design and the basic understanding of trying to deliver ideas to a brief because college between school and university a college degree was to do a little painting, photography a little bit of art, do a little bit you know, photoshop. At Falmouth I really understood for the first time the commerciality of design and how you could get a career out of it basically.

Do you guys have social media and how important has that been to you to get yourselves started out there?

Not important at all.

How have your studio got to were they are today without social media to help, is it just been your designs that taken off?

Design Activity has been around for 25 years, when the managing director founded the company the internet did not exist. Social media, when I graduated about 15 years ago maybe a bit more than that now, social media was at the beginning of existing. Now it’s a part of what we do but because the agency was built quite before then a lot of clients and a lot of our work stuff is built on long lasting  relationships, connections to people that work in different companies and when those people move around, they take us with them and more work is built that way. Now social media is a great place to put our work out. There are clients that are using social media as a tool to find design agencies no, not really.

In what ways do you think branding and the design of the brand impacts society?

Wow, Um what way I think it impacts? I mean that is a really broad question because it can impact in a huge amount of ways, I mean it can have a positive impact or a negative impact it can have really good impact for the company that is trying to come out or can have a negative impact if you get it wrong. It’s very important to try and get it right for the company you’re working for. We don’t, at Design Activity we work predominantly in almost 99% cases for commercial companies looking to make money and this how a lot of design agencies make money and have careers by selling designs to people and those people buying the design make the company money. So the wider impact of society is stuff that I’m probably not a good person to ask because we don’t do work for charity, we don’t do that kind of work. We work predominantly on fast moving consumer goods, branding and packaging. I can tell you a lot about how what we do effects people that buy the product and the reasons why we do that, but in terms of how it affects wider society I think you might mean things like good and bad design can help. If you took something that was really popular at the moment like extinction rebellion or something and you said can you use graphic design to make their point better than clogging up all the roads in London I would say YES, if that was a design brief we could do and solve some problems for them that happen to be graphic design communicating by the medium of images is hugely important, it’s not the sort of work that I do or we do day to day. Those sort of things can have a wider impact on society, what we do has impact on the company and the consumers if that makes sense?

Interview conducted by Constantinos Kyprianou, Kamran Sodhi, Constantinos Andreou