A special interview with Vince Frost, CEO/Creative Director, Frost* Design

Internationally renowned and award winning designer Vince Frost had no hesitation leaping at the opportunity to provide practical advice for design students and graduates here on giant thinkers. Born in the UK and making a name for himself on the highly competitive London design scene at a young age, Vince's early career started at Pentagram. He worked on projects ranging from a Spice Girls album cover to a set of stamps for the Royal Mail and redesigns of The Independent Magazine and The Independent newspaper.
In 2004 he came to Australia with his wife and three children where he started Frost Design*. An interdisciplinary creative studio that work seamlessly across Advertising, Design, Digital, Environments and Fashion for a diverse range of local and international clients. "Design for design's sake does not concern us. Making a difference does. Solving problems is what we do best - listening, getting to the heart of a problem and developing effective solutions that surprise and excite in equal measure." says Vince.

Vince is actively involved in the global design community. He mentors at colleges and lectures at design conferences around the world. A humble and true design education advocate, investing his time and energy in nourishing the future of designers and young creatives.


1. WHAT ARE THREE NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS YOU PERSONALLY LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A DESIGNER?

I look for the following positive characteristics:

  • relentless passion
  • care
  • big ideas
  • strong presentation skills
  • originality
  • empathy
  • can do attitude
  • Creative mind

Can I/we work with this person?

I look out for the following negative characteristics:

  • unwarranted arrogance
  • decorators as opposed to ideators
  • sloppy
  • flaky
  • lazy
  • bullshitters





2. WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPRESSIVE INTERVIEWING YOU'VE HAD OF A YOUNG DESIGNER WHERE THE CANDIDATE TICKED ALL YOUR BOXES?

There has been many.


3. WHO WAS YOUR CAREER MENTOR AND HOW DID THAT RELATIONSHIP COME ABOUT?

Alan fletcher was mine when I was at pentagram in the UK. I respected what he did and he was my hero. I just kept hounding him for advice. I am sure I drove him nuts but he helped me a lot. I currently have a business coach who helps me with strengthening my leadership skills and learning how to be a better business person and growing the business.



4. LOOKING BACK AS A DESIGN STUDENT OR YOUR EARLY DESIGN CAREER, WHAT WAS YOUR "EPIPHANY MOMENT" REALISING THAT DESIGN WAS YOUR TRUE CALLING?

When I was about 17 and realised that there was such a thing as a design job. Since that day I have lived and breathed it 24/7. My desire is to help people be great.


5. WHAT PRACTICAL ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO DESIGN STUDENTS AND GRADUATES ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN TACKLING THE INITIAL STAGES OF A BRIEF?

Never walk into a briefing thinking you know the answer. Dig deep into the briefing, ask loads of questions. Immerse yourself in the organisation or the problem. Discover a strong understanding.

Once you have done that Brainstorm ideas quickly. Play with it. Let your mind wander. Think lateral. Involve your clients in the process. Be transparent, collaborate. Lead the outcome but don't dictate it. Bring the best 'the one' to life.

Remember It's not about you.
You're not an artist your a service.



6. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT IS THE "WOW FACTOR" WHEN LOOKING THROUGH A DESIGNERS PORTFOLIO?

Originality. Solutions to real problems where you can see intelligent thinking well executed.


7. WHAT WOULD YOU REPLY TO DESIGN STUDENTS WHO SAY "THE DESIGN INDUSTRY IS TOO COMPETITIVE, I'M THINKING ABOUT THROWING IN THE TOWEL"...?

You're not a true designer.

It's always been competitive and always will be. There is never enough time nor money. This is the business of design which is a commercial role as a business advisor.

The people who succeed are the ones who thrive on and make opportunities, the ones who's whole body tingles with adrenalin with every window of opportunity large or small.

If you just want to work by yourself and make pretty pictures then be an artist. Damien Hurst is a very wealthy graphic designer.



For more, pick up a copy of Ram Castillo's internationally and industry-acclaimed book 'How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed'.

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Author: Ram Castillo




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COMMENTS

  • Anonymous

    Vince is a very good typographer, but i would not classify him as a true brand designer. He should stick to doing his t-shirt designs.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08748637466690354176 Ram Castillo

      Typography is definitely his strong point. His identity for the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Dance Company were huge stand-outs for me personally. In terms of brand design, one would have to question the degree to which we are measuring. Personally, I feel that a brand is nothing but the conversations, thoughts and feelings customers are having about a certain product or service. In this light, I would have to say Vince contributes to his clients’ brands relevantly and therefore effectively.

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About Ram Castillo

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Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, CreativeLive.com Instructor and Author of two internationally acclaimed books 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed' and 'How to get a mentor as a designer, guaranteed'. He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog GiantThinkers.com which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, AIGA.org and Apple.

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