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Design interview

[NewsMaker] Alun Davies

Alun Davies is the executive creative director and a partner in Saints Branding after folding his design agency, The Design Collective, into Saints Branding.
It is his love for creative freedom that has led him down the path of independence over the past couple of decades. While Saints Branding is a full service agency, with clients spanning the FMCG, health, finance and construction industries, it has remained lean and lithe, ensuring the agency architects and partners can still service clients directly.

"I don't necessarily think it was inspiration that drove me down the road to become a designer. I think it was my loathing for rituals and repetition. Being creative certainly helps," Davies explains.

[NewsMaker] Alun Davies
Saints Branding is a different kind of agency, Davies says.

"We are a holistic agency, it is a heartfelt agency, a living entity. We serve our clients passionately and with total and individual needs-specific commitment."

Davies isn't flippant when he says he wants to achieve "enlightenment".

"At the end of the day, it is about people. About solving communication problems, getting people to communicate with each other. Coming up with creative solutions to communication problems allows me to be creative and allows me to do what I want. That is enlightenment."

He doesn't believe there is room for ego in business today.

"If you just go out there and are good at what you do, you don't have to prove anything to anyone. The proof is in the doing. That yields the greatest rewards."

Experience counts and Davies says his whole notion of success has changed.

"I used to have this notion that success is rooted in being able to achieve all the levels in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Over the years, however, my definition of success has changed. Today, success means making a difference in your life or in somebody else's, no matter how little.

"Success means you know what you want, you set goals and you take the steps to reach that goal. Cliché as it may sound, my inspiration to succeed is my family."

About Alun Davies

Alun Davies is an award winning designer who has worked across all media disciplines, within large agency environments and small independent agencies, both within Southern Africa and the USA, and as an owner and partner. He has extensive experience in design and branding, from retail to publishing, electronic media and management. He started at McCann Erikson, later worked at Fletcher Shelton and ran his own agencies: Cowling, Davies & Associates; Empire State Express and The Design Collective.


Q: Most important attribute needed to do your job?
A:
Patience, with a healthy serving of creativity. Also, being an insomniac does help.

Q: What do you love about what you do?
A:
Everything, really. If you pursue the career that you derive the most fulfilment from, over time you will see the returns.

Q: What inspires you?
A:
My children mostly, also, I'm drawn to people who know what they're doing, who think about their everyday work, who try to make their work better than it's ever been before. People who take pride in their work, pride in the discovery.

Q: How do you inspire others?
A:
By amplifying your true self. Being yourself around others is actually harder than it sounds in today's incredibly influential landscape. From a young age the media and other influential figures in your life will have attempted to mould you into the same image as everyone else; so standing out and having the strength and courage to be honest with yourself will prove an inspiration to those around you. Showing others that you are not only comfortable with yourself but confident about whom you are is inspiring. And just being inspired myself.

Q: How will you change the world?
A:
Our ego mind will surely tell us that we need to change this or that. But this would be like saying that Infinite Intelligence is making mistakes. We are given the gifts that we might change the world through our efforts and our influencing of others, and if this comes about it is as it should be. If it doesn't, it is also as it should be. If we succeed, well and good. If we don't, keep trying. Just never give up on something you believe in.

Q: Your ideal client?
A:
Organised.

Q: What do you intend to do next?
A:
Reach out and do something good.

Q: Tell us something about yourself not generally known?
A:
Someday, when I go down memory lane, I want to look back knowing my children are proud of me. I want them smiling and saying, "You did a great job in raising us." And yes, I have webbed toes...

Q: At the top of my 'bucket list' is...
A:
Go to the airport and board a plane with no preconceived idea of where it will be going.
    
 

About Louise Marsland

Louise has been writing about the media, marketing and advertising industry in South Africa for 20 years. She was Editor of Bizcommunity.com; Editor-in-Chief of AdVantage magazine; edited The New Age newspaper weekly Media & Marketing Page; Editor of Marketing Mix magazine; Editor of Progressive Retailing magazine; and writes on the industry as a specialist columnist, trends commentator and speaker. She is currently a Contributing Editor to Fast Company SA; and is Publishing Editor TRENDAFRiCA.co.za.
chata romano
chata romano
I have worked with Alun for 15 years on my books and various publications - he is the ultimate professional! He the unique ability to listen to a client's brief and deliver a spot on end result. During these past 15 years I have enjoyed Alun both as a professional and as a human being - he is a remarkable special treasure.
Posted on 15 Jul 2014 15:17
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