Inside FutureBrand: Shane, Global Executive Creative Director

15 October, 2019 Share socially

What made you decide to become a designer and how did you get started?

I think design is deep in my DNA – one of my ancestors worked for Wedgwood back in the 1800’s and my father was a carpenter. I knew from a very young age that I loved art and my interest was fostered by teachers who gave me encouragement and recognition for it which in turn, spurred me on to enter and win design competitions. I'd found a passion so I went on to study art and eventually I moved to the UK to pursue a career in advertising then latterly in branding.

What does it take to succeed as a creative?

To succeed in this game you've got to be willing to learn and I've been very lucky to have worked alongside some fantastically smart people who have taught me a lot. I like to observe and absorb what is going on around me and I believe that really listening to what people say - whether that is taking a brief from a client or collaborating with colleagues in strategy - is how you deliver the correct end result. I've also never been scared to experiment, I enjoy trying different things and have a knack for working quickly so I'm confident in my approach to design and moved up the ranks steadily as a result.

Is there a brand designer you particularly admire and where do you find inspiration for your work in brand design?

I admire talent. I can be equally impressed by an exciting young graduate as I am by an accomplished designer! I really enjoy seeing the student work submitted to our creative brief each year. I'm inspired by all forms of creativity.

In your opinion are there any areas of brand design that are often overlooked?

There needs to be a focus on creativity and innovation, as opposed to design. Brand design was often looked at in silos - packaging, digital, identity, marketing - but it should be seamless across all platforms without being monolithic. And no element should be overlooked.

Which branding project in your career are you most proud of?

In 2010 I had the opportunity to design 18 Silver Series coins for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics on behalf of The Royal Mint. Not only was it an honour but I have more minted coins to my name than any other living designer. The Olympics in general was a high point of my career as it was wonderful to walk through the city I live in and have raised my children in and to see my designs everywhere.

Inside FutureBrand: Shane, Global Executive Creative Director

What is the optimum combination of education, skills and talent needed to succeed in our multi-modal world?

Pure talent. Passion. And personality! You either have it or you don’t. I’ve seen and worked with many different types of people over the years and I firmly believe you can learn and adapt to take on any skill but the creatives that have these three qualities are the ones with staying power.

Do you have any tips on successfully leading a global creative team?

I set the overall creative direction at FutureBrand but our success as a creative company relies on letting talent flourish so I support the creative teams across all of our offices with my knowledge and experience but I want them to find their own paths. I enjoy being surrounded by people who I learn from. It's collaborative. We can all access each other’s culture’s and influences instantly which is fascinating from a creative perspective. Technology makes it so easy to work globally – it’s just time that is the issue! I'm based in London but over the last two years I’ve spent a lot of time in Australia and also in Shanghai which I find fascinating.