It happens to the best of us. One minute we’re excitedly launching our own business; the next, we’re stifled by a large client and our creativity is compromised. This is what happened to designer Tony Clarkson of Severn when he worked for another agency.
“I’d become very restless at my old studio,” he explains. “We had fallen into the trap of having one main client which took up most of the time and brought in most of the money. Things had been coasting along pretty easily for years and I was telling myself that it was fine, that things would change when we were ready, when we worked at it. But we never got around to working at it…
“I finally faced up to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen, that nothing would change unless everybody wanted it to, and it had taken 10 years. I left and started a new studio pretty much from scratch.
“I spent a couple of months looking hard for the smallest detail left in any piece of work which was still worth something. I needed to get noticed on a wider scale to move forward in the way I wanted to, but it wouldn’t happen just by getting people to look at a few case studies on my website, I needed a different way to do it.”
The result of this process was Ten Yrs Ltr; a hard-backed, 100-page book full of references to work and events from that decade of design. The pages are just for looking at, there are no descriptions or labels, only the synopsis on the back cover explains what it’s all about. “What did it teach me?” Tony adds. “You should always keep moving forward, and looking back can be a great incentive.”