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Q&A with Simon Manchipp

Co-founder & strategic executive creative director of SomeOne

Please introduce yourself

Simon Manchipp. Co-founder and strategic executive creative director of SomeOne. This daft title means I started the company with David, Gary & Laura and that I come up with smart plans for products, services and organisations as well as stopping bad things happening to great ideas along the way.

How did you get started as creative director, what is your background?

I have always been surrounded by creativity. My entire family are in the creative industries. It was inevitable. I'm useless at anything else.

Where did you study? Looking back, would you recommend your path for beginners?

I did an OND in Graphics in Reigate, Surrey. Then a BA in Communications at St.Martins, Covent Garden, London. It was a series of lucky breaks with a lot of work in between. That's the theme I'd suggest most CDs take. Hard work and fluke. I would definitely recommend getting into one of the top 5 London design courses. It's not just what you are taught. It's what you learn from meeting new people. Design is a people business. Not a soloists podium.

What is a turning point in your professional career?

It feels like I pivot every week. Packaging. Branding. Advertising. Digital. Sculptural. Film. Animation. Interior. Writing. It's all in a months work. Everyone needs a break into the industry. Mine was via Michael Peters. A design industry legend and founder of the largest design practice on the planet in the 80's.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you work in your design studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities?

I like it noisy much to my long suffering colleagues horror. Full of laughter and music and people. Lots of banter and stimulating ideas. To combat the constant party atmosphere entirely taking over conference calls we have three floors. One for thinking (calm). One for doing. (Hectic). One for presenting (neutral). I love the studio but we do collaborate lots so we can find ourselves all over London and increasingly all over the world. Wherever we go we try and take the SomeOne spirit with us!

Where are your favorite places in your city or outside?

There are SO many! Fera, Claridges for Dinner is amazing. The private members club, Shoreditch House — up by the roof pool for drinks is a sure fire way to lose a few hours, in fact Shoreditch in general for parties — our studio is right in the middle and we know all good nooks and crannies... I like a crazy week and a calm weekend…

Who are the designers, colleagues you admire most?

I’m in awe of Zaha Hadid, surely one of the worlds greatest living architects. I really like the typography coming out of Sawdust Studios, they are smashing it. The crew at The Mill, who we recently rebranded are simply incredible and we are collaborating on a couple of new projects at the moment, plus it’s worth watching the way Ben Terrett is transforming digital government in the UK at GDS — Important work, intelligently deployed, improving the nations relationship with government services and saving billions in the process. IWC are doing some amazing things in the world of watches: The Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon is incredible. I’m also loving the design team at Tempus Machina who are doing amazing things creating what they call the 216A Submariner Rolex… a modern watch, reimagined… lovely craft & attention to detail…