5 minutes with Bevan Tonks from Switch.by Corinne Smith on 19/07/2012
He founded Make Something in 2010, fostering a mash-up of creative collaboration outside the parameters of commercial briefs. Bevan Tonks is from Switch, an Auckland studio specialising in art direction and graphic design. They have built a portfolio of impressive brand strategy with a strong typographic focus, and recently took out the Interior Awards Retail Category for Platinum Sports Co. Check them out on Twitter – they seem like a fun bunch…
WANTED: fun loving clients with no deadline requirements, comprehensive briefs & where budgets aren’t a problem. Apply now to #switchlikes”
How did you start out in design?
Christmas 1983, Lego spaceship set.
What was your ‘big break’?
Collarbone, two places, nasty.
Tell us about your studio/ work environment: what are its best/worst points, why is it like it is/how important is it to your creative process?
Switch are based in Mt Eden.
Pros: Repurposed space of clay brick, concrete & steel with bush views. Oh, and underfloor heating.
Cons: Repurposed space of clay brick, concrete & steel. All of which is next to a volcano. Not the most ideal conditions for cellular reception. Or is that actually a Pro?
Does your personal creative process differ from your studios?
I procrastinate more at home.
Or as a senior member of the team, do you think you have influenced their creative process?
It’s rare for job to pass through the studio without all eyes on it at some point so I’d like to think we all have a hand on the steering wheel.
Do you feel your physical environment, where in the world you work has shaped your creative process and outputs and continues to?
You could say our New Zealandness allows us to be more open to trying our hand at different things. But I think that’s probably just creatives in general.
What’s the biggest professional lesson you’ve learnt and how has it shaped your career direction?
Get someone else to proof-read the artwork.
What design project, personal or professional are you must proud of and why?
I’d say that the two years I was involved with Make Something was heartening. It was great to see how many people were on board with what the event was trying to achieve.
Name a designer or design studio you admire, and why?
Troika. They clearly haven’t stopped playing with Lego.
What are you currently working on? Professionally and personally?
The studio is knee-deep in quite a bit at present, from all sides of the design spectrum – even some spatial work, so the lights stay on well into the evening. Though we still make it home for dinner.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Pulse for the iPad.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to people starting out in this industry?
Don’t ditch the pencil case.