TenYrsLtr - a celebration of ten years of creativity

Waiting for 'it' to happen

TenYrsLtr is an eclectic collation of 10 years of creativity by graphic designer Tony Clarkson.

With the only written words being the synopsis on the back cover, the 100-page hard backed book let the images tell the tale. There are photographs of musical instruments and landscapes, buildings and people as well as cleverly created graphics for the viewer to guess their story.

The theme of the book shows you should always keep moving forwards; Tony, who created the book partly to remember exactly how far he’d come and partly as a means to promote his new studio points out looking back can give the incentive you need to move forward.

“I'd become very restless at my old studio, we had fallen in to the trap of having one main client which took up most of the time and brought in most of the money. Things had been coasting along pretty easily for years and I was telling myself that it was fine, that things would change when we were ready, when we worked at it. But we never got around to working at it,” he says.

After 10 years, Tony finally faced up to the fact it wasn't going to happen and that nothing would change unless everybody wanted it to.

When you think back 10 years ago, the power of social media was starting to be recognised when a campaign resulted in one candidate getting into the Whitehouse, but we still had to text each other via Blackberry Messenger. The ‘netbook’ was just gaining popularity and people couldn’t wait to get their hands on the iPhone 3G.

“So I left the safe world and started a new studio pretty much from scratch,” he says. “The book represents the time spent waiting for ‘it’ to happen when at the back of your mind you know it’s not going to unless there’s big change; looking back over that time you can see where it all went and seeing that much of it wasn't pretty.

“When I was reviewing what to include in the book, I spent a couple of months looking hard for the smallest detail left in any piece of work which I felt was still worth something; the smallest piece of typography, a logo, an image… all these were overlooked by a client,” he adds.

In this digital era, some might consider a book outdated, but Tony points out we spend a lot of our time looking at a screen and it’s good to take a break. “A book is something physical and gives you time to properly look at the images without being distracted by a message popping up in the corner.”

The book is also a celebration. “It celebrates me leaving the mundane and ‘same-old’, that I have moved away from the corporate catchphrases and the miscommunications,” he says. “It celebrates me stepping out to do something different and to work with businesses and organisations to create visuals where I will happily say ‘I did that’.”

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Annie Waddington-Feather Annie Waddington-Feather
Journalist, copywriter and marketeer with a wry sense of humour, good dose of common sense (and a few diverse interests to boot).

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