David has recently joined McCann Dublin from design agency Workgroup. As Design Director, he leads our brand and design team. If you read our recent announcement you know all about David’s stellar record. Here, we convinced him to share some trade secrets he’s learnt along the way.
How do you approach a project to begin with, we wondered?
“I try and understand, what’s the broader context for the work? What are the goals? Where is it going to live? If it’s a bigger organization you need to know what’s the power structure there, how’s it going to come to life? I think it’s important to be invited to those kinds of conversations or make yourself a part of them”.
A lot of these conversations have been with architects – in fact many of Ireland’s most prominent architects and visual artists have been clients of Wall’s over the years. He denies, however that there’s such a thing as a ‘dream client’
“Sure, if a client has a clarity of vision then it’s your job to articulate that, and the best way to do that is to understand the context and the world in which they operate. You want to know what the big picture is. But really, I think it’s just down to personality. You hope to find people who are specialists. I think that’s always a good thing because then they get that you’re a specialist too. They allow you to explain to them what you think you’re very good at.”
Explanation is a very big deal as far as Wall is concerned. He’s not one for the smoke and mirrors approach to design.
“Having to articulate what you do is a really useful process, not just in what you would set out as the typical goals for it, around sales or spreading an idea or what have you, but because it requires a level of reflection for yourself.”
Asked which piece of software is his favourite, he shuns Creative Suite completely and opts for *gasp* meetings.
“I know they’re not a piece of software, but I was talking to my brother who works in education, and I was saying to him, “You know, I don’t mind a good meeting. A good meeting is very worthwhile way to progress things. He was horrified at the thought that someone would actually like meetings!”
Something that hasn’t changed for Wall is his definition of success:
“You want people to say, “I’m interested in the content of this book,” or, “That’s a nice object,” or, “This website makes me want to do something, or buy something, or see something in a new way,” rather than go, “Ooh, that’s a lovely design.”
Although, as anyone familiar with Wall’s work will know, it’s sure to be a lovely design too.
Welcome to the team David. We think you’ll fit in here. Just don’t try and set any of your beloved meetings at 9AM on a Monday, alright?