What drives successful design? How do Landor designers create inspired ideas for some of the world’s largest global brands? This year, we’re sharing the inner workings of our studios around the world through our Inside the Studio series. We’ll speak with some of our top creative minds, asking what it takes to produce innovative, award-worthy work. Up next: Landor Paris’ executive creative director, Tristan Macherel.
With over 15 years of experience, Macherel has worked at multiple design firms in addition to founding and running his own design agency. His clients have ranged from Mondelēz International, Nestlé, and Danone to PMI, Citroën, and Procter & Gamble. And in 2016, he was honored with being named president of the design jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
1. How do you define success? Is it notoriety within design circles, ROI for our clients, influencing trends, or something else altogether?
Put simply, success is when creativity meets efficacy. But I also look at our work in the context of the brand and its category. For example, it isn’t fair to compare the activation of a big international brand in an industry with firmly established regulations to what is produced for a small company in a niche category. Success is firmly based on results, but those results can vary greatly depending on context.
2. What differentiates Landor’s design studios from other agencies?
The key factor is the way we intertwine strategy and design to drive innovative thinking. This approach has led Landor Paris to win five Cannes Lions and eight D&AD Pencils in just three years—results that speak for themselves and far surpass those of any other branding agency.
3. What’s your personal motto and how does it impact your work at Landor?
Weird as it may seem, it is, “I’m a bicephalous monster.” Basically, this means that I have two heads, or really, two different minds—one that focuses on strategy and one that focuses on creativity. These two sides of my brain are inextricably linked, which is what breeds their power and force. I see this image as a representation of how I think in order to create the strongest possible solutions for our clients.
4. How do you know when you or your team has designed something good?
Design does not exist to make the world a more beautiful place. Beauty is a prerequisite for good design—not criteria to judge against. At Landor when we design, we seek creative and strategic ideas that rely on a strong insight to solve a problem. These ideas need to have holistic potential: There has to be an opportunity to create meaningful experiences across all touchpoints of the brand. When we see or create design that accomplishes this, it becomes obvious that it’s good because it conveys this meaning and stands on its own.
5. What advice would you give aspiring designers looking to join a company like Landor?
My first piece of advice: Don’t wait for opportunities to come along—create them by having an entrepreneurial spirit.
Second, I would encourage young designers to abandon their egos. In truth, it’s the amalgamation of experiences, successes, and failures that makes you a better designer. It’s important to constantly strive to do your best and create something extraordinary so that you can push yourself forward and advance to the next step in your career.
© 2017 Landor. All rights reserved.