Seven designers to worship

Design is a much underrated discipline, most often noticed when done badly. When done well, design elevates, inspires and makes the world simpler, better.

Charles Eames, designer of the classic Eames Lounge Chair said: “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.” 

Of course everything is designed, from buildings to bridges, from machinery to magazines. Some are designed better than others.

There are many design philosophies and approaches to design, from Steve Jobs’ fanatacism with design and minimalism, to the overblown fashion of Versace

Content is all about producing the things that people like or find useful. This is impossible without good designer to set the work off.

Here are seven designers you should seek out and worship:

Bob Newman – @Newmanology

Robert Newman

Current role: Lead at Rob Newman Design

Background: More than 25 years’ experience as a creative director. Started in magazines as design director at Guitar World in 1988. Since then has led design on projects as diverse as Vibe to Cottage Living and Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine. Beyond magazines, he’s designed apps for Adweek, Reader’s Digest, AARP, and a series of book covers for

Awards: Has won more than 500 awards. In 2012 Newman was named one of the Folio: 40, a list of “the industry’s most innovative and distinguished professionals”.

Best tweet: Talking magazines and eating African stew and rugelach in Harlem with @NME art director @MWNmarkwneil

Matt Willey – @MrMattWilley

Matt Willey

Current role: Design director at Condé Nast Traveler, co-founder, Port Magazine

Background: Graduated from Central St Martins in 1997. Worked for a number of agencies, including Studio Frost, where he became Creative Director. Then set up Studio8 in 2005, closing it in 2012. Clients in a long list include Arup, Magnum Photos, HarperCollins, The Guardian and BAFTA.

Awards: In 2013 won a Citation for Typographic Excellence from the Type Directors Club for Jazz FM Booklet, Creative Review’s ‘Designer of the year’ for 2014.

Best tweet: Airports make me want to drink. Which, at 7am, is a dilemma.


Alex Breuer – @ajbreuer

Alex Breuer

Current role: Creative Director, The Guardian

Background: Has held top positions at Esquire, The Times T2 and Men’s Health. Since joining the Guardian in 2013, has been redeveloping the paper’s digital products. Was Art Director at John Brown Media, where he worked on projects for NatWest, RBS and John Lewis.

Awards: Was part of a team that won Best of News Design for the redesigned FT Weekend magazine.

Best tweet: Insomnia and World Service. A decent pairing

Ian Pendleton – @ianpen

Ian Pendelton

Current role: Creative Director, Show Media

Background: Educated at the Royal College of Art, Pendleton spent 12 years at Esquire, where he was art director. He redesigned the magazine in 2001 as the title sought to distance itself from laddish mags. In 2003, Pendleton left Esquire, along with its editor and deputy editor, to set up Show Media. The agency specialises in creating editorial and design-led campaigns for luxury brands. Clients include Armani, Bentley, Omega and Dunhill.

Awards: Show Media has won multiple awards, including Best Overall Marketing Campaign at the Property Marketing Awards in 2013.

Best tweet: Ray Ban Sunglasses, . Up to 75% OFF,$16 Rayban,Free Shipping and Return! *

* – Account appears to have been hacked

Richard Turley @Mr_Turley

Richard Turley

Current role: Senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director, MTV

Background: Cut his teeth at The Guardian G2, but is best known for his work at Bloomberg Businessweek since 2010 – especially the covers. Think a cover on the euro crisis that says: ‘Bang head here’. After much soul-searching, left Bloomberg for MTV in 2014, saying, “it’s time for me to learn something new and work with different content for a different audience.”

Awards: Has been recognised by D&AD, the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club and the Society of Publication Design.

Best tweet: Hopefully the pentagon are now working out a plan to protect me from ‘what I want’

Jeremy Leslie @magculture 

Jeremy Leslie

Current role: Creative director, magCulture

Background: Started out at Blitz magazine and progressed to Group Art Director at Time Out Group in 1990. Was executive creative director at John Brown for a decade, overseeing projects for clients including Orange, WHSmith, Waitrose and Virgin. Left in 2009 and now heads up magCulture, an agency that creates and designs content, as well as running creative workshops for clients’ staff. It also has a nifty trend-spotting blog.

Awards: Won multiple awards while at John Brown, notably for Virgin Atlantic.

Best tweet: There’s an expectancy that the possibilities are endless… it’s really not that simple

Arem Duplessis @AremDuplessis

Arem Duplessis

Current role: Creative director, Apple

Background: Having held design director roles at GQ, Spin and the New York Times Magazine, Duplessis is best known for his stunning front covers, from typography and collage to conceptual photography. Some whispers suggest this earned him a top role at Apple – given the likelihood he’ll oversee the computer giant’s ad campaign, perhaps that’s no bad thing. Holds a number of teaching roles too.

Awards: His department was named ‘Design Team of The Year’ by The Art Directors Club (ADC) for three consecutive years

Best tweet: When you make something no one hates, no one loves it.

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