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“Do it for good, make it work and think big”: Designing life with Luminary, Vince Frost

As a Luminary this year, we pay tribute to Vince Frost, a leader in the world of design where words, images, fonts and creative skill intersect to delight and inspire us.

“Do it for good, make it work and think big”: Designing life with Luminary, Vince Frost

Vince Frost By Tim Jones.

There is no more passionate person than Vince Frost, whose love of design, business and life itself shines through in his words and actions. Frost’s grasp of the visual arts, through his graphic design expertise, has touched people far and wide, and his resolution to exceed the brief is legendary.

Vince Frost was born in England and the family moved to Canada when he was young. However, they returned to the UK when Frost was 15 years old. A shy boy, the young Frost was not so interested in academia but excelled at visual communications and so at the end of high school he enrolled at Art School, Northbrook College, Worthing. After graduation he joined the renowned London design consultancy, Pentagram, which was the place to be for aspiring creatives, and certainly made a name for himself, becoming the youngest Associate Director at just 27 years old.

Frost then established his own studio, Frost* Design London, in 1994 and so began the journey that has taken Vince Frost to design stardom and saw him move across the world to Australia some ten years later.

From the inception of his eponymous studio, Frost has designed newspapers and print material, created branding for galleries and companies, and worked on all manner of briefs, building a solid and reputable client base. He made a name for himself and received multiple awards – from D&AD, Art Directors Club (New York and Tokyo), The Society of Publication Designers New York and AGDA Australia. Not that this has changed, as to date his studio has received more than 630 industry awards. Frost is simply renowned as the leader in graphic design.

Frost has spoken globally at design conferences since his late twenties. In 2003 he spoke in seven cities across Australia in seven days for AGDA. One such talk was in Sydney and, soon after this, an offer was extended from Peter Clemenger for Frost to become Joint-CEO and Creative Director in a design business he owned. Frost agreed and the newly formed Emery Frost Studio, with Australian design legend Garry Emery, saw Vince Frost move countries to take up the position, while also travelling back to the UK intermittently to oversee projects.

Frost, Alana Landsberry.

The new business was substantial and successful, with Frost making a name for himself in Australia. In 2006 – coincidentally, the same year that Frost’s exhibition Frost* Bite was on display at the Sydney Opera House – there was the opportunity to buy the business outright, and so, Frost*collective, with Vince Frost as Founder, CEO and Executive Creative Director along with business partner Carlo Giannasca, came to be.

There are so many projects that Frost and his team have designed and produced (more than 22,000) that it’s impossible to name them all. Recent personal projects have been books for Andrew Quilty and Giles Revell, the brand for Lucky Kwong Restaurant and a poster for Ronnie Wood (of Rolling Stones fame).

A taste of other recent past projects across the 45-strong Frost*collective includes the Quay Quarter brand identity, place visioning, property marketing, signage and wayfinding; Uptown brand identity, strategy and campaign; Darling Park brand identity and campaign; Strand packaging, brand identity, strategy, architecture and campaign; Sydney Film Festival brand identity and campaign; 25 Martin Place placemaking, wayfinding and signage; and Nine Entertainment Company’s headquarters’ wayfinding, signage and environmental graphics – but there are so many more.

Ronnie Wood poster.

Frost reflects on the business: “I think what’s key to any success is a client that comes to you because they specifically have sought you out. You’re not just another supplier, there’s something they feel an affinity with – what you have done whether it’s a recommendation by somebody else, or they’ve seen something that we’ve done before. That kind of connection makes a massive difference rather than just being seen as a generic design company.”

25 Martin Place, Toby Peet.

Frost and his team are passionate about the planet and embedded in their work are ideas of sustainable and ethical design. The company proudly became B Corp-certified in 2021 and maintains this certification by meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance and transparency.

His legendary podcast, Design Your Life with Frost, has been downloaded in 84 countries and has profound influence on all who hear it. He has published two books and, in Design Your Life, Frost speaks of where he has come from and where he is now. It is a revealing and inspirational dissection of Frost’s thoughts on life but also a guide on how we can make our own lives better. He believes your life is the most important design project you will ever undertake.

Darling Park, Matt Craig.

As a designer, Frost is unparalleled. Speaking about what drives him, he says: “I’m passionate about ideas and our purpose is to design a better world. Our values are: do it for good, make it work and think big. It’s really about making a positive contribution to the world.”

Through design Vince Frost has made and is making a difference. He is realistic and intuitive, understanding and straightforward – but he is also a person who thinks outside that typical bland box and someone to learn from. Frost*collective makes waves in Australia, the UK and across the globe through wonderful design that makes us think, and it colours our world in the best possible way .

INDE.Awards
indeawards.com

Woven Image
wovenimage.com

Frost Collective
frostcollective.com.au

Photography by Tim Jones.
Lucky Kwong, Tom Ferguson.
NEC, Toby Peet.
Quay Quarter.
Uptown, Callie Marshall.
This is Afghanistan.

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