Ian Pook

Graphic Design

How did you first get into design?

“I went to uni randomly to become a detective; I did criminology and psychology and the after a year I realised that I didn’t enjoy the course atall so I moved to media production as this was what my housemates were doing and it looked interesting and with that degree you do TV, film, script writing, design and animation so initially, I wanted to do photography but then didn’t want to do that so it just happened to be that I really enjoyed design; I’d done some letterhead stuff for my dad’s business but I never really thought of it that way and the realised that it was what I wanted to do.

I have been incorporated within the company Marks and Spencers for 10 years as I started working in the warehouse in a shop in Cribb’s, Bristol and then I was doing design for festivals and organising music festivals in the meantime and then I ended up doing work experience in their press office in London and after doing an internship there and ended up coming back to the store and then that’s how I ended up doing design work for them.”

What would you say has been your favourite project so far?

“Urmmm I’ve just done a lot of stuff for breast cancer awareness for Marks and Spencers in India so that was quite a big project and it makes you feel good because you’re not just trying to sell something it’s for the greater good and to make people a lot more aware of it.”

Have you got a favourite process to use/ a specific category you prefer to work in?

“I really like printing stuff. I don’t always get to see the printed outcome but actually seeing the physical thing come back to me and with nice finishes is good. There’s stuff like foiling where you can use die blocks but then turns out one of my printers does it digitally and with a laminator as well so it’s a lot cheaper version of it which is good as then we can incorporate more for clients rather than going ‘it’s going to take 3 weeks as it’s going to cost this much whereas we can actually do it in 3 days. It’s all about finding ways to be able to incorporate things like really nice finishes and budget it.”

Who would you say would be your dream client or a dream project to work on?

“Probably Man United as I’m a fan haha, that would be pretty cool. I did once go for a design job at a Manchester based Football club but I predominantly do my work for Marks and Spencers.”

Can you tell us a bit more about the type of work that you do for marks and Spencers?

“So for the press office normally a lot of their stuff revolves around events as they’ll have a launch for an event for like Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter so for an upcoming one I have to design cocktail stirrers, flags, coffee cup sleeves, menus, interactive iPad activities, table plans for a dinner, name cards and the branding on the side of a bus for this one event. So it all has the same theme but I get to do a variety of aspects for them. One of the most random jobs I have done was you know like on Oxford Street there’s the guys in the little bicycles, I designed and branded one of those up which was a bit random. So I am in the privileged position where I get to do a variety of small jobs which suites my personality and the way I work.”

Is there anyone else in the team?

“No it’s just me. Some weeks I’m quiet and some weeks I’m really busy working 12 hour days and weekend but I occasionally use other people; I’ve used Tom Hovey for some illustrations for some work I’ve done on the food team for M&S as I needed something drawn but predominantly yeah it is just me. I find it easier especially if you’re embedded with a client like I am.”

What is the background behind your company name ‘Broken Logo’?

“I started the company name up before I finished university as I felt this would be more professional and give me a better chance. There was a book in my room called ‘Street logos’ and randomly something in my room was broken so that it where I came up with the name. The name has a ring to it so that’s all that really matters I think.”

What do you think your profession can teach others? Do you think it can teach people who aren’t interested in design anything?

“I think communication skills because you have to ask the right questions a lot of the time; people will give you a brief and they won’t completely explain what they want or it’ll be very vague so you then ask the questions to then get them to understand what they actually want.

Time management; it depends but I as self- employed have had to learn accounting, sales and you have to be motivated and you end up having to be the jack of all trades; I hope I’m not the master of fuck all!

Managing people’s expectations and being able to keep a cool head are very important aspects if you want to be a designer; you have to be able to adapt like when someone tells you that the information was wrong so you have to reprint everything when the event is the next day!”

“Printers mess up and you can get really angry with them but, there’s no benefit to that.”

What would you say is the biggest challenge? Is it getting a client who doesn’t really know what they want?

“Yeah it is. I’d say when you work for someone and you think you’ve nailed it; I always send 3 or 4 possible design ideas to give them choice but not too much choice but yeah when they say it isn’t right but don’t give you any guidance as to what is wrong about it and you end up guessing and them still not liking it.”

Biography

Ian Pook is a graphic designer who has a design studio call ‘Broken Logo’ and specialises in graphic design, branding and bespoke printing. His clients are ranged from well-known corporations to a variety of organisations. Pook have been incorporated within the company Marks and Spencer’s for 10 years as he started working in the warehouse in a shop in Cribb’s, Bristol. In the meantime, he was doing design for festivals and organising music and he ended up doing work experience in their press office in London. After doing an internship there, he ended up coming back to the store and that’s how he ended up doing design work for them.

http://www.brokenlogo.co.uk/