Easy methods to proceed a artistic legacy
When Design Bridge founder Graham Shearsby finishes his time in the studio, CR talks to him and CCO successor Emma Follett about the challenges of handing over the creative baton
After nearly 35 years at Design Bridge, Graham Shearsby is leaving the studio he founded in 1986 with ten others. Shearsby has been in the design industry since the late 1970s and remembers the days before the computer, when people still painted and tipped by hand. He also remembers the early days of Design Bridge, which he believes were founded over a time when many other design studios were heavily focused on "the big egos that run them".
By contrast, Shearsby said, Design Bridge's DNA has always been about empowering people to move forward – something that was an integral part of the founders' careers. "There were a lot of egos out there in the 80s," he tells CR. “It was all about your name over the door. With Design Bridge, we were too many in many ways – you couldn't have your name over the door. So we were pioneers in that era when we had a distinctive brand name for a studio. It was always about collective and teamwork and not about the individual. "
As a result, it may have been a little easier for Shearsby to hand over the reins to Emma Follett, who has been in the studio for 20 years and has worked closely with Shearsby for most of the time. However, passing on this responsibility presents unique challenges. Many design studios rely heavily on the influence and guidance of their founders. When people inevitably choose to switch, questions arise about the studios' identity, their creative approach, and how the culture will survive without this guide.