UNIT this week unveiled their new creative design studio, The Design Collective under the helm of leading industry Creative Director, Tom Wansbrough-Jones. Tom is joined by Executive Producer Alex Finch who returns to UNIT after 5 years at Mill+. Creative Designer and Art Director Rodrigo Stipkovic aka Stip and Ravensbourne Graduate and Creative Review’s ‘One to Watch’ Ella Willis join Mark Fowler, Richard Vernon-Smith and Kingsley Harris already in the design team.
Tom, this week sees the launch of the Design Collective with you at the helm, what attracted you to the proposition and venture?
TWJ - Having worked at The Mill for the last six years, it felt like a great opportunity to take that experience to a more personal and visionary facility. I loved the idea of having the chance to set up and grow a design department within an already highly respected and established company like UNIT that has complimentary resources already in motion. With Colour, 3D, Nuke and the added bonus of some incredible Sound Designers, it felt like the perfect place to take on any type of design brief and use the best tools possible. 'At the helm' with me is our EP, Alex Finch, who had recently come over from The Mill. When Amanda Luckwell, UNIT’s Managing Partner initially approached me, it was an easy sell as Alex and I had worked together for about 4 years so it was great to be reunited with him at UNIT.
Alex, how would you define the Design Collective, what sets it apart and what kind of projects will the Design Collective be working on?
AF - I'd define the Design Collective at its core as a motion design studio, but it certainly isn’t limited by this description. It’s a creative solution that can support and nurture ideas with clients across any platform – from motion and character design, all the way to emerging tech and cutting-edge, experiential projects. We want our clients to come to us and ask ‘how can we do this’ or ‘is this even possible’? In many ways, I see the Design Collective as UNIT’s opportunity to spearhead creativity while being fully supported by a highly skilled, ‘360 degree’ post facility. For me that’s unique.
UNIT has a new look and new branding that the Design Collective conceptualised, tell us what the inspiration was for it?
TWJ - Yes! I'm so excited about this. To come straight in and oversee the rebrand for UNIT was a dream come true for me as my roots are originally formed from typography as well as moving image.
Our main inspirations came from everybody at UNIT. They each gave us a word that best described what they felt were UNIT's core values.
Instrumental in the rebrand design is Stip, a highly experienced and creative Designer/ Art Director who has also joined the Design Collective from The Mill alongside a fantastic graduate from Ravensbourne who was recently picked out by Creative Review as a 'One to Watch'. Collectively we all worked on conceptualising and producing what I think is an outstanding new logo for the company. What I already love about UNIT is the level of trust we had to get on with it in the way we thought was the most contemporary and fluid approach to branding. Our aim was to try and produce something that could be flexible but would also remain timeless. With this in mind, our design inspiration was also simplicity.
Other than the Design Collective’s Launch party at UNIT on Thursday 21st September, what are you and the Design Collective most looking forward to for the rest of the year
AF - We’re really looking forward to getting our voice and our substantial talent out there. It’s a very exciting time, knowing that we’ll be speaking to the industry about our offering and pushing UNIT’s already excellent reputation to new creative heights. We have some really exciting projects in the offing, so watch this space!
Amanda, as Managing Partner you must be very proud of the enormous creative steps UNIT is making at the moment, not least with the launch of the Design Collective. How did you go about sourcing such an array of creative talent and what more can we look forward to over the next few months?
AL - We are thrilled to have such an accomplished team join the UNIT family. It’s part of our on-going drive to bring into our fold the best talent in the industry. We wanted to expand our creative offering with some of the most talented conceptual artists in the business, allowing us to collaborate even more closely with our clients.
The task itself however was in one phrase, bloody hard work! We looked at virtually everybody in the industry; the work they had done, what their input had been, the creatives they worked with, their strengths and weaknesses. It took a long time but at the end of it, we felt that we had the full picture. Then we approached the people we felt were the very best. After explaining our vision, our emphasis on creative and the fact that we are totally independent, most of the people we talked to were keen to come on board. We are a company where everyone has a say and there is no large corporation looming over us in the background. The artists can have a better run at just getting the best creative output they can. Our mission is to build an ‘All Star Team’ and after all the hard work, I think ultimately it’s been well worth it."
Visit Design Collective here: https://www.unit.tv/what-we-do/design-collective/
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