Today is my first day working at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - EMBL. I'll be leading digital communications and to say I'm excited by the challenge is probably a bit of an understatement.
I've had nearly a year of working on a few bits and pieces of consulting for a few new clients in addition to several two week design sprints for EMBL on their holistic corporate design. It was during these sprints that I got a growing sense of the work that needed to be done.
Back in 2012, I was knee-deep working on redesigning the CERN website. It was, to date, the most fulfilling work of my career. Not because of the result, or the process, or the commitment of the client and their team, but because of the work being done at CERN. It matters. And I have the same feeling now about EMBL. Fundamental scientific research matters. It matters to the human race, to our understanding of the world around us, and how we might overcome some of life's greatest challenges on this planet and beyond. When I first started my design career, I wanted to work for projects that meant something. After ten years of almost exclusively commercial work, I'm thrilled to be getting my teeth stuck into something meaningful..
Moving on from Monotype
Last week was my last week working at Monotype. It's been a whirlwind three years and I've learnt a lot. Of course, I'll miss my colleagues and what's left of the team we built at Mark Boulton Design.
But now it's time for other things. But what things? Well, I see two paths in front of me.
We're at a really interesting inflection point in the industry. Organisations are still figuring out how to invest in design. Design leadership is a scarce commodity. The impact of design at all levels – from product and commerce to strategy and research – is having a challenging time to find a symbiotic relationship with business. I can help there.
The other path for me is consulting. Many organisations are either not ready to commit to building design capacity on a full-time basis, or rolling back in-house design commitment after a failure to some degree. Maybe they are just starting out. Or it's simply a matter of budgets and structuring. Regardless, I saw this a lot when I ran an agency. It's why and how we got the work. I can help here, too.
I'll be taking a few weeks off, but then I'll be looking to commit to one of these paths. If you're looking for a design leader, or you maybe have a project you think I could help with, then get in touch.