Sue is Interbrand London's Executive Creative Director - responsible for driving creative passion, energy and excellence delivered through the business. With over 20 years experience working with global clients in a number of brand agencies, across all sectors and channels, Sue believes, as creative thinkers, we have a responsibility to play many roles in order to create successful thriving brands. Creative provocateur, business entrepreneur, consumer advocate and brand guardian, each role playing an important part in delivering on-going, relevant insight, value and opportunities for the consumer to connect with the brand in ways never thought of before.
Since joining Interbrand Sue has developed the creative disciplines and standards of the Interbrand business, and works closely with brands spanning all channels. An ambassador in harnessing creative awards to enthuse and drive the quality of creativity for agency teams young and old, and clients globally - after all its is truly good design that has the power to grow brands and business.
What was your very first job?
Straight out of college I was lucky enough to work with Fitch, a global retail design and branding business. This set me on the path of experience design and creating brand solutions that crossed every channel. It was not just a great learning experience professionally but equally it formed an incredible base to a network of talent and personalities that has continued to grow and strengthen over the 25 years I have worked.
Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
I am the Executive Creative Director of the Interbrand London Business, I have been here for 4 years and am responsible for driving the creative output, standards and the impact our creative work has to aid the growth of the brands we work with.
How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?
Drawing was always something I loved to do, right from being very young. My family were all about as far away from creativity as you can be but were always really encouraging and whether it was my parents who always praised my output regardless of the standards or godparents, aunts and uncles where I would always be presented with pens and paper on arriving for a visit which I set about using and I guess this just got me hooked. It was only really at my senior school I realised could actually do this for a job for my future! My academic schooling perhaps suffered a little for my love of drawing and creating but as soon as I arrived at my foundation course in Cheltenham and subsequently college at Nottingham Trent I also realised that this was a gift – that working for me was always going to be a pleasure and never feel like normal employment.
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
I am naturally curious. I love learning, seeing and experiencing new things. I am visually hungry and love to share what I have discovered which fuels me to continue thinking about new and different ways to start ideation. Inspiration can come from anywhere and so it’s essential that I look far and wide for new content that often gets called upon months even years later to spark an idea. But importantly I love understanding our client’s businesses, the people and the characters of the people that work for them and the challenges they face. It’s like a puzzle that needs strategy and creative to make the picture whole for the future, bringing the two sides of my passion together I hope makes what I do relevant and continually fresh.
If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
Wow, I am not sure there is only just one. I have loved every brand I have ever worked on – most recently; .ART (dotart) developing an identity for the newly launched creative digital domain business, or working with Wrangler to establish a platform or working alongside GSK to define new territories for evolving specialist dental care or Swarovski helping to define their new purpose all bring new opportunities to use different skills to be part of the growth and success of the brands I work with. It’s all an amazing journey.