Design, at scale, at DI2011

Being in charge of branding a product that sells 1.6 billion servings each day is no easy task but a challenge that David Butler is up to.

Coca-Cola is arguably the most recognised brand in the world, and David Butler is the man responsible for leading the global design vision and strategy for this company. This involves managing how the brand is thought about and what is done with design at The Coca-Cola Company, building the brand’s capability and managing its reputation as a design-driven company that prioritises sustainability.

Butler trained as a graphic designer and developed brand identities and print communications for various global brands and Fortune 100 companies before joining Coca-Cola. During the growth period of Web 1.0 in the late 1990s, Butler worked for Studio Archetype, designing integrated branding systems, websites and interactive applications. In 2004 he joined Coca-Cola to establish design as a competitive advantage for the company.

With a keen interest in design education, Butler believes that in the future creativity will be applied to the world’s most “wicked problems” to create sustainable innovation and growth for the Coca-Cola Company and the communities in which they operate. Though the concept interests him, Butler does not believe in slinging around the phrase “design thinking”, he rather believes in getting on with the job, employing design to create more value and making the “world just a little better”.

When he is not busy at Coca-Cola, Butler is also:

  • A frequent lecturer and active member of the Board of Directors at the Museum of Design in Atlanta.
  • A passionate advocate of design education, and an adjunct professor and member of the Board of Advisers at Portfolio Center.
  • Holds a BA in mass communications from the University of South Florida.
  • Recognised among Fast Company’s 2009 Masters of Design.
  • Manages 450 brands in 206 countries.
  • Believes behaviours that drive results are as important as the results.

David Butler will be speaking at the 2011 Design Indaba Conference from 23 to 25 February

Watch the Talk with David Butler