Graphic Designer and filmmaker Marina Willer is a Partner at Pentagram Design and has acted as Branding Jury President at the D&AD Awards. Before joining Pentagram, Marina was head creative director for Wolff Olins in London where she was responsible for major identity schemes including Tate, Southbank Centre and more recently, the new Oxfam brand identity.
The role of the designer is changing. The era of the lone creative genius silently working at their desk is over. People no longer respond to overbearing inflexible brands, and why would they when collaboration, diversity and changeability have become key tenets of modern life? Design isn’t decoration, it has to reflect the behaviour of its users, and our users want to have a voice.
Campaigning for participative design is very different from saying that everyone can be a designer. Great design is a craft and a skill, because brands need good designers like buildings need good architects. Neither is it a plea to let go of grids and guidelines, because it’s difficult to create beauty without a system for it to exist in. Rather, it’s a call against inserting too much discipline into our designs, a stubborn habit which leaves no space for collaboration and co-creation.
And what impact would collaborative brands have on awards, like D&AD pencils? Well, work that celebrates diversity and collaboration would be rewarded; work that connected us to the world makes impact should be rewarded; and work that is for people, not for judges would be rewarded.
If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.