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How did some of the world’s best designers, strategists, and agency leads, get into design? How did they know it was even a thing they could form a career around? With episodes landing each week on Thursdays, the ‘My Life in Design’ Podcast answers these questions and more. 

A collaboration between Red Setter and the DBA, the newly launched second season speaks to another group of design leaders about their journeys, unlocking their secrets and sharing their learnings to building a career in design, from education, to internships, to first jobs, to failures and success. Crucially offering actionable advice to the next generation of how to make design a successful career. 

Hosted by Claire Blyth, co-founder of the Design Community Hub and founder of Red Setter, a brand design PR specialist, her previous guests have included Gush Mundae of Bulletproof, Max Ottignon of Ragged Edge and Kathryn and Kirsty of Mother Design.

The new series kicks off with guests Baxter & Bailey, with future guests including: Aporva Baxi of DixonBaxi, Dave Palmer of LOVE, Liza Enebeis of Studio Dumbar, Craig Oldham of Office of Craig Oldham, and Vince Frost (amongst others).

Speaking of the new collaboration, the DBA’s chief executive Deborah Dawton says: “The DBA is delighted to be partnering Red Setter on the ‘My Life in Design’ podcast. Featuring industry role models, the series will explore their fascinating, wide-ranging journeys into a life in design.”

“I’ve always loved the opportunities in the design sector,” says Blyth. “There are so many different ways into it. There are so many different careers to be found in it. And it’s packed full of people with fascinating stories to tell. That’s what I want to shine a light onto with this podcast.”

In the first ten episodes, listeners heard the founder of the world’s largest independent branding firm tell the story of how graffiti first sparked his love of typography. Another explored the links between branding and religion. And the head of global brand experience at a leading consumer goods corporate talked about how design gives him a glimpse into the future.

This series we hear Liza from Studio Dumbar talk about her pancake analogy for roles within an agency, how Aporva from DixonBaxi created hand made portfolios in boxes that he took along to his favourite studios, and how comics and Bauhaus influenced Matt & Dom from Baxter & Bailey.

“Whether you’re looking for your first break in the industry, or you’re looking for your latest inspiration, I think these conversations have something to offer everyone,” says Blyth. With the DBA committed to helping the industry attract future talent from diverse backgrounds into the sector, adds Dawton: “By celebrating how differences are valuable, I’m excited to see the podcast help inspire this positive change.”

Series Two, Episode One: available now

The first episode of series two, featuring powerhouse duo Baxter & Bailey, is now available, with new episodes landing each week. 

Speaking with Claire Blyth in the first episode, Matt Baxter, creative director, and Dom Bailey, strategic director at Baxter & Bailey, share their journey from school, to starting their careers, and launching their own brand design agency. Picking up a bucket load of awards along the way and consistently delivering design excellence. You’ll also hear: 

  • How Matt linked his love for music and comics to an eventual career in the design industry 
  • How the discovery of Bauhaus lit a fire in Dom 
  • How the need for diversity is a key issue for both of them and what they are doing to create change.

Listen in on iTunes, Spotify and other leading podcast platforms and watch this space as more episodes follow this year!  

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Main Content

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink was recommended as an insight into meaningful work, in summary you can watch his TED talk here.
  • Both of our speakers are B-Corps, a movement that is growing in popularity in our sector as a group of businesses that want to be a positive force for good; to create inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic systems for all people and the planet; and there was a lot of advice about working through their framework. Get in touch if you’d like us to connect you with other DBA members who have been through the process; and you can watch our previous webinar on the subject here
  • Uniting their teams under a common purpose was a key theme that our speakers felt led to the undertaking of meaningful work. Knowing the core values of the business and working with them always in mind makes for a more cohesive team and easier decision-making when working with clients. Using clear channels of communication from the outset to get their teams on board was very important.
  • Clear values have also helped our speakers to decide which clients to work with and which to say no to. Both acknowledged that saying no is a privilege and having clients that are a good fit with their purpose generates more meaning from that work for the team. Occasionally the meaning comes from a great budget but both speakers also used pro-bono work to expand on their impact in their local communities, with projects that interest them to not only raise their profile but also to challenge their teams and develop their skillset beyond their fee paying work. 
  • While it might not be possible to directly attribute new business from the pro-bono work that stretches the team and enables people to work on their passions within their working life, it’s raising their profile as a values-driven-business. 
  • Challenging clients to reform is also important to create more meaning from their work – from the use of materials through to manufacture and beyond, being able to make small changes along the way will ultimately add up to a much larger impact than only working with clients that 100% align with their values. 
  • Comments from the group touched upon AI, the B-Corp process and client respect – join us next time to be part of the discussions.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next members forum will be taking place on Monday 6 March at 4pm GMT.

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