Conversations in Creativity – Keith Noble

Ahead of our sell-out screening of InVision’s Design Disruptors plus Q&A event this evening, we provide an insight into the design inspirations of panellist, Keith Noble.

Keith’s been a Director at Forepoint since 2000, but earlier this year celebrated his 23rd anniversary with the company. Keith’s been responsible for working with a variety of clients including: BAE Systems, Moto Hospitality, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Scandit, to name but a few.

What was your first memory of creativity?

“It was when I was in primary school, I remember being amazed when my Dad drew a picture of Mickey Mouse for me, I’d never seen anyone draw like that before. Dad was a policeman, not an artist, so that made me even more impressed. To be fair, I suspect that his drawing was a little less impressive than Walt Disney’s original version, but his skill was something that stuck with me ever since.

What was your creative journey to get to where you are?

“It started with Mickey Mouse (obviously) and then trying to draw. I was interested in art at school, I did O-Level and A-Level (badly) but I had the drive and a love and appreciation for all things visual. At 18 years old, I went on to complete a foundation course in art and design at Sunderland Polytechnic, that was the turning point for me. It really opened my eyes to the range of possibilities within art and design, beyond simply doing a still life drawing of a cut open pepper! My eyes were opened to Fashion, Fine Art, 3D and then Graphic Design.

Graphic Design was the catalyst for me, leading to an Honours Degree at Preston Polytechnic, something that I’d never even thought was possible. Having graduated, I went straight into my first job as a designer.

I’ve worked at The Chase in Manchester, Horseman Cook and then Tin Drum. In 1995, I got the call to join Forepoint (or The Point as it was back in the day). The rest, as they say, is history. It was the best career decision I ever made.

Does your work/process develop thematically, or is it more distinctive and random?

“It always starts with the same series of questions: What’s the problem? What are we trying to communicate? Who are trying to influence? What will success look like? It then moves on to the process of working with words, connections, coincidences and patterns that create the hook out of which ideas develop. It’s then about formulating the medium, the one that will most effectively engage people and gets the message out to them – brand, print, advertising, animation, social channels and technologies. After that, it’s the part us designer types love; crafting and honing the details, the words, typography, colours, illustration, photography, graphics, whatever’s necessary to bring everything to life.

What or who has been the biggest influence on your work and why?

“The Foundation Course, that I mentioned earlier, but also the ideas-focused degree I studied in Preston, plus every person I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with. Influence isn’t restrictive, everything and everyone around me has had an impact. The secret to becoming a great creative/designer is being a human ‘sponge’, soaking up everything you see, hear and experience.

What inspires you or provokes the motivation towards creativity within?

“A massive challenge! ‘Making the complex simple’ is what Forepoint specialise in, we’ve over 25-years’ experience of working with complex industries/organisations. It’s about making the ordinary extraordinary, making people interested to discover something, understand something, or believe in something they never imagined they would – changing hearts and minds.

Which artists/designers do you admire or inspire you the most and why?

“Pablo Picasso, for having the balls to do things differently, see things differently and challenge the norm. The VW adverts from the 50s and 60s, so simple, so clever, so brave. Noma Bar, just for being an absolute genius. Whoever created the FedEx logo (a van has just driven past). Actually, I admire anyone that strives for a great idea, pushes the boundaries and tries their absolute best to advance and make progress, however small the steps may be.

What is it you love most about what you do?

“Making people smile…with style.”

Keith will be taking part in a Conversations in Creativity panel proceeding a special screening of Design Disruptors as part of UCLan School of Art, Design & Fashion 7th Conference Week. The event is supported by UCLAN Innovation Zone and Creative Lancashire.

Design Disruptors

Conversations in Creativity: Design Disruptors

A film about the true nature of design and the design-driven business revolutions being shaped around the world through the designers’ eyes.

Screening followed by industry Q&A with:

Dave Kirkwood: Host
Keith Noble: Forepoint
Kevin Darton: UCLan
Natasha Sandoval: Scandit

Design Disruptors reveals a never-before-seen perspective on the design approaches of 15+ industry-shaking companies, and how they’re using the power of design to disrupt billion dollar industries.