Ideas Foundation behind-the-scenes

Small interventions: big difference...

Some of the most useful work I do for design clients is behind the scenes. It’s the border collie work rounding up ideas, identities and disparate stuff into cohesive communications.

Through real, exciting projects, Ideas Foundation enables young people from a wide range of backgrounds to get a taste of life in the creative industry, meet people who work there and find routes in. And that’s good for the industry, which thrives on fresh thinking and diverse perspectives.

Never has that been more challenging than in pandemic 2020 Britain. But there are already young people who have been through its programmes making their mark in the industry. Like so many organisations, Ideas Foundation has mustered all of its energy, to keep ideas fizzing and young creative minds focused on the future.

Ideas Foundation is one of my longest-term clients. My involvement has spanned early-stage strategic thinking, tutoring on projects in schools, creative work, brand direction and looking at process design and production logistics for multiple deadlines – including one that was, literally, a launch (more on Space to Earth Challenge here).

This year, on its work with Burberry Inspire, I’ve helped find ways to explain to students in succinct graphic and verbal form how the Yorkshire-meets-New-York programme works. And I’ve provided a design framework for activity prompts that feels consistent across multiple projects in different art forms without compromising major arts organisations’ messages.

I’ve got involved in Ideas Foundation’s Disrupt Space x Global Academy project, collecting and rationalising the Disrupt Space arts brand elements into guidelines. I’ve turned a co-branding dilemma into clean, clear briefing and press templates. And I’ve connected the project up with expert advice on brand due diligence from Brand Guardians, and on press and social media from PR and social media influencer Rossana Tich.

All of those things together on projects can help to create communications that just – quietly – work.

I’ve also joined Ideas Foundation’s advisory board, “spare brains” volunteering our time to brainstorm and pile in with knowledge. It’s exciting to get together to discuss what could be as well as what is.

One of the privileges of working with clients long-term is the evolutionary nature of that work in response to changing times. I am design partner, collaborator and challenger – and the job is never the same!