Creative Insight

Analysis of significant creative projects, people and trends

Paul Graham on capturing Thatcher’s Britain

In the early 1980s, Paul Graham photographed dole offices across the UK. Originally self-published in 1985, he has worked with Mack to republish the series for a new audience, allowing the opportunity to consider the work from a modern perspective

How I Got Here: Alicia Cheng

Designer, author and now head of design at the Met, Alicia Cheng discusses a career spent in the cultural sphere – from setting up an all-women design collective to the thrill of moving people through an exhibition space

The jetlagged designer

Our design correspondent, Daniel Benneworth-Gray, may not have been able to travel anywhere lately, but that doesn’t mean our ‘new normal’ isn’t keeping him awake at night

Exposure: Rahim Fortune

Art director Gem Fletcher talks to photographer Rahim Fortune about his new book, I can’t stand to see you cry, and his explorations of family and the past during the pandemic

In praise of hybrid creativity

We may have talked about the benefits of the creative polymath for centuries, yet most agencies keep their talent frustratingly siloed, says Wayne Deakin, ECD, EMEA at Huge. And it’s to the detriment of what brands need today

How Aldi became Britain’s funniest supermarket

Social media sensation #FreeCuthbert is the latest example of how Aldi has used wit to appeal to customers and break through in a very crowded market. We speak to its long-time creative agency McCann UK about how the brand nails its relatable sense of humour

The pros and cons of making merch

Leta Sobierajski, David Shrigley and Morag Myerscough weigh in on the ups and downs of making merchandise and products – from the joy of designing tangible objects to the challenges of getting it right

The power of long-term thinking

Successful brands need more than just an end line to capture audiences’ attention today. Here, Stephen Hancock, ECD at TBWA\Media Arts Lab in London, explains how establishing a platform for a brand allows for more creative freedom

Exposure: Balarama Heller

Art director Gem Fletcher showcases the work of Balarama Heller, a photographer whose work is rooted in exploring nature and spirituality, in vivid hues

Where does virtual clubbing go from here?

Digital experiences exploded throughout the global pandemic. As physical events are reintroduced in many countries, we talk to the people behind virtual nightclub Club Qu about drawing inspiration from gaming and why digital events won’t disappear

Inside the world of creative residencies

We speak to alumni from Benetton-backed Fabrica and the Design Museum’s Designers in Residence programme about the allure of doing a creative residency, and how the experience has influenced their practice

Does Design Twitter need a code of ethics?

Snarky comments do little to help the creative industry, but can Twitter be salvaged as a place for useful design discourse? Nicole Phillips and Craig Oldham discuss how to deal with negativity, and whether design Twitter needs a dose of online etiquette

Navigating a career as a self-taught creative

Photographer Luis Alberto Rodriguez and designer Jordi Ng both forged a career without a formal arts education. They reflect on how they learned their craft, coping with insecurity and what taking an alternative route has brought to their practice

The digital archives retracing art and design history

Digital platforms including Decentralise and the People’s Graphic Design Archive are helping people to learn about creative and cultural history. We speak to their creators about redefining who gets to tell stories and what interactivity brings to the table