Are collaborations between big brands and young designers a way to launch careers? British designer Kit Neale thinks there’s more to it than that…
May 4th, 2017
Coca-Cola, IKEA and British sculptor Jonathan Trayte are three seemingly disparate elements. The common thread that ties them together is Kit Neale. The idiosyncratic British designer and printmaker has worked with each as part of his highly collaborative creative process that encompasses fashion, art, products and interiors all with his boldly irreverent graphics that reference youth and pop culture.
It’s easy to attribute his success, at least in part, to the success of these collaborations – but these partnerships with iconic brands are much more than a platform from which to move the young designer’s practice forward.
“You never stop learning in design,” says Neale. “The good and successful collaborations I’ve worked on, everyone listens and wants to learn and understand more. You have to have common ground from the start. If you don’t get those ground lines in place then it doesn’t marry up as a collaboration – you become an employer or a contractor. A collaboration should be like a relationship.”
The established brands benefit from the exposure to a different way of operating and the opportunity to market themselves in a way that’s more relatable to audiences that might not respond to traditional advertising. For Neale? “It’s fascinating to work with iconic brands that have such a recognisable cultural identity,” he says. “You are able to ask questions about how people think and normalise things much more easily than you could if you were doing the same thing on your own.”
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