What Made Me - SomeOne's Simon Manchipp on the 5 best ways to creative success

Believe in weird

“No one goes home and discusses the average. No one swaps stories of grey over a cup of tea. We remember and chat about the bonkers, the loopy, the mad. The ‘you can’t do that moments’. So it’s the weird ideas that create difference for brands. I love those ideas – it seemed like a nutty idea to do a brand based on gestures – but we did exactly that for [mobile brand] TU. A sculpture? For a train company [Eurostar]? Yep. Let’s do it. Let’s push things forward.”

2 Keep on keeping on

“I believe in the 10,000 hours rule. One cannot be considered an expert in anything until they have racked up 10k. This can take a lifetime. Or about 10 years for the focused. I’ve been doing design, branding and marketing for 20 years. So hopefully I’m nearly there. That said, you never stop learning in this game, so you still need to put in the hours. Good things happen when you work hard.

“Opportunity knocks. We always try and chase the opportunity, not the money. With our London 2012 Olympic Games Sports Pictogram, we went above and beyond the call of duty, creating not one set of 57 icons, but designing 114 of them to be used more creatively, effectively and usefully.” 

3 Say yes

“Philosophers tell us that happiness is only available to those who stay open to new experiences. This means saying yes to stuff that’s unfamiliar. It doesn’t matter if I haven’t made a film on top of a mountain – I’ll find a way. The sense of achievement you get when you pull off a new challenge far outweighs the familiar. It didn’t matter we had never designed a carton of milk before – Valio, the largest dairy company in Finland trusted us to help re-invent their brand.”

4 Be happy

“I recently turned 40 and my wife Amelia Noble (who ran the brilliant graphic design practice Kerr|Noble) designed me a poster that consisted of quotes from 40 of my friends. Nearly all of them mentioned great times shared with a glass of something fun. People hire people. No one likes a moaner. We make sure things are lively, fun, interesting. It’s good for the people and good for the work.”

5 Adore craft

“I’m a fan of adding stuff. Of crafting ideas, solutions, aesthetics. Not just confirming the obvious, but creating things that enhance, excite and entertain. Things that make people think. It’s good for business as it makes products, services, organisations more beautiful, more memorable and more valuable. Sometimes though, all you need is to bring the right craft together – like the work we did for The Royal Opera House. Whatever the branding question, there’s always an element of craft.”


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