Stepping out onto the Design Indaba 2018 stage, founder and creative director of Spin Studio, Tony Brook began telling the audience about his brand new studio space. The London-based graphic designer had always dreamed about having a smaller space that was a bit closer to home, and what could be closer to home than in his very own backyard?
That’s exactly where Brook and his creative team work from today, surrounded by positive, relaxing energy and watched over by Ned, the cat. In this space, they balance their time between client work and self-initiated projects, while ensuring they leave plenty of time for play and their weekly team-cooked breakfast fry-ups.
Experimentation and play, Brook says, is extremely important in his working process. Tracing the trajectory of his career for a captivated crowd, he touched on the many projects his studio has worked on over the years. Focused on the creation of contemporary identity design, he boasts an impressive list of clients including BBC, Google, Ministry of Sound, Crafts Council and Samsung among others.
For Brook, creativity starts with a ‘seed’ – a core thought – which he then works to see how far he can push it to evolve. He’s also adamant that creative thinking needs an authentic and strong opinion. “The idea of making something that has no opinion is a complete anathema to me,” he says. “If it has no opinion it’s dead.”
Aside from his work with Spin, Brook also runs Unit Editions, an independent publishing venture that publishes works aimed at producing books for designers, design students. The idea for the imprint came from a clear vision for the kinds of creative books he wanted to see made available, and an unwillingness to compromise on this vision with external publishing companies.
“If anything I am a humanist when it comes to design,” Brook told It’s Nice That. “I think it’s a social undertaking and I think we try to connect with people and entertain them – if we’re not doing that then it seems to me we’re not really doing anything.”
Design Indaba 2018 Conference Talks are presented in partnership with Liberty.
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