Graham is responsible for Design Bridge’s creative quality and reputation. With the help of his team of Creative Director’s, he oversees all creative work in London, Amsterdam, Singapore and New York.
Born in east London, Graham entered the creative world in 1979 – unusually, straight from school. He joined the John Blackburn Partnership as a studio junior and won a D&AD Yellow Pencil for Typography for Cockburn's Ports in 1985.
Joining Allied International Designers in 1986, he met his future partners in what would become the fledgling Design Bridge. The company has grown from a handful of people to nearly 400, and in this time Graham has spearheaded the company's creative growth, and seen it acquire a wealth of international awards, including the D&AD Most Awarded Design Agency Gold Pencil 2015. Graham has judged on numerous international creative juries including Foreman of Judges at D&AD.
What category are you entering?
I am standing as a candidate for the Board of Trustees as a Creative Practitioner working in Design.
How will you support D&AD over the next three years?
I'm incredibly proud of what we've achieved during the last 30 years of Design Bridge, especially as I didn't start out with a University education. I grew up in an economically harsh East London of the 1970's where pupils fought with teachers at my comprehensive school. But, art was always encouraged, prizes were given, the Art block as important as the Science block. Teachers were passionate and helped me understand the potential opportunities out there in the 'commercial art' world, leading me to get my first shot as a Studio Junior and a few years later winning a Yellow Pencil.
Sadly, this now reads as complete fantasy for my equivalent generation in today's harsh climate. Facing the sad devaluation of the Arts, they don't stand a chance or even understand there are opportunities to be part of the creative world.
Yet the creative industries and our clients are craving the need for creative diversity and raw talent.
This is now year zero. Talk over. Time for change. Whatever it takes. We need to inspire and inform the kids at grass roots level and for us all to be bold enough to support and take risks with backing them.
Why should D&AD Members vote for you?
At Design Bridge, I've always championed growing our own talent. Practically all of our Creative Director's started as Junior Designers and have been given the opportunities and support to develop their talent and skills. With my experience and background, I also understand the challenges and issues that many young people face today in terms of social mobility. I can directly relate to it. I believe I can help D&AD be the true catalyst for opening up creative diversity and make change actually happen.