Designival - the interviews

Why do connected devices matter? Matt Webb from Berg sets out his vision for the future. Scott McCubbin also speaks to Erik Kessels, Paul Davis and Creative Review Editor Patrick Burgoyne.

03.02.14 | Opinion

By Scott McCubbin

Matt Webb Interview

We’re only a few months away from this year’s Designival, which will take place right in the middle of the International Festival for Business in July.

The event will be one of the key creative dates in a busy IFB calendar and we’re proud to be part of this landmark event.

To give you a taste of what to expect, we interviewed the four incredible speakers from our last Designival Mini.

Matt Webb, the founder and CEO of Berg has achieved incredible progress and profile with Little Printer – which prints a mini, personal newspaper which can include everything from your ‘to do list’, to your favourite Instagram photos or your twitter feed. In many minds, Berg put The Internet of Things on the mainstream map.

Clearly we can see synergy in Berg’s thoughts on developing new ways for brands and people - or products and people – to connect and engage, with the way we approach projects at Uniform. And much in the same way that Little Printer tried to demonstrate that print has a future, we like to feel that our Postcard Player and the Listening Post, both played their part in fighting the cause for this traditional tactile media.

Sweet Tweet and StarLight and other projects we’re involved with start from the premis of exploring opportunities, and bringing the digital and real world together; the intangible and the tangible.

Few speakers could hold an audience like Erik Kessels. The Dutch adman has a list of impressive work. He was behind ‘I amsterdam’, widely recognised as the best place branding positioning for a city since ‘I love New York’. He’s created and directed epic television commercials for the beer brand Bavaria, and less glamorous campaigns for ‘The World’s Worst Hotel’.

And yet, despite his determination never to do work ‘that you have to hide under the desk’, he says clients, not agencies, are the reason you make really good work.

On the other hand, illustrator Paul Davis is less sympathetic to clients and big business. Davis takes a dim view of the way the industry is going, the over-reliance on focus groups and the risk averse nature of big brands. To paraphrase, some execs need to grow some balls and have the courage of their convictions.

Few industries have had to deal with the scale of challenges facing publishing. The shift in media consumption, escalated by the rise of smartphones and iPads, has led to mass cuts, as publications struggle to survive, rationalise their offer, and often close down their print editions.

Despite this landscape, Creative Review has continued to flourish, making its online CR Blog an essential read, supporting the physical magazine, and developing the brand via The Annual. Creative Review remains a strong and essential voice. Editor Patrick Burgoyne gives his rather surprising views of what stood out in 2013, and what to look out for in 2014.

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