Gordon Reid on embracing the weird in design

The graphic designer talks us through his design career and starting his own agency, Middleboop.

Graphic designer Gordon Reid’s talk was jam-packed with projects he accumulated over his 10 years in the industry. Under his company Middle Boop, Reid has done everything from global sporting events campaigns to brand identities and charity events.

A key moment in Reid’s talk was when he invited audience members to the stage to participate in a quiz that highlighted famous World Cup moments. In typical TV game-show style, once they knew the answer they'd buzz in. 

The quiz was made up of illustrations done by Reid and a group of 19 other illustrators from around the world which showcased a more humorous take on these iconic soccer World Cup moments. 

Called Weird World Cup, the project's illustrations were printed onto limited edition beer mats and were exhibited in pubs around London in time for the 2018 World Cup.

The proceeds were donated to Football Beyond Borders, a charity youth centre Reid often works with.

“They are a charity that deals with underprivileged children. We fell in love with those guys; they do amazing work and it became really important,” he explains. 

Over the last 10 years with Middle Boop, Reid has done work with Elon Musk for the cover of his book, titled Insane Mode. He also worked with Google for the illustration of their Pixel 3 smartphone.

Another stand out project is the work he did for Visa’s advertising campaign for the Rio Olympics. Middle Boop was tasked with the art direction, graphic design, web design and a social campaign.

“We had a very simple idea. Using the idea of a collage heart looking at the heart of the Olympian that is always beating,” he explains.

This project also gave him an inside look into what it takes to create an advertisement beyond just design.

“I learnt a lot from people that actually didn't have that much to do with design. I started to learn more about strategy, accounts and that other stuff that makes up the entire project,” says Reid.

Watch more from the 2019 Design Indaba talks: 

Freyja Sewell is designing cognitive training technology for the future

Adebayo Oke-Lawal is rethinking masculinity in African culture

Kiko Farkas on nature's role in his work as a graphic designer