DRIVEN BY CHARLES

Travels across Germany with The Humanistic Designer

THE DBC PROJECT

CONCEPTUALISATION / CREATIVE & VISUAL DIRECTION IMAGE CREATION FOR CHARLES JOHNSON

Charles & I met in London at a moment where he was considering a transition from the corporate world into building his own consultancy. His thoughtful approach to design connected with the approach I also take to realising my work. We had a detailed exchange about planning, exploring and refining what the project narrative and outcome would be. At the beginning of articulating his vision for Driven By Charles, our process contributed to this evolving story. I often work with people making this transition. 

The Visual Marvelry approach is as much about understanding the client and what is important to them as it is about creating strong visuals that fit the concept. Cross fertilisation goes beyond creative ideas and merely working together. It involves realising a shared vision with people who understand the power of collective synergy. The close engagement and connection with clients draws out detailed information that helps to refine their thinking above and beyond the actualisation of the project. With Charles, we talked about his past, his present and his future, and worked together to distill those experiences and ambitions into a series of vision statements that underpinned what we wanted our project to communicate. Ultimately, the best ideas come from identifying the message and vision, then trusting my instinct to capture them honestly.

Once we agreed what we wanted to create, I put together a creative team to realise a carefully detailed storyline, developing an overarching rationale for the narrative journey, budgets, locations, all the time holding the vision for how this would best express the story we were telling.

View the full Driven By Charles story at: drivenbycharles.com

ABOUT CHARLES

“I WAS BORN OUTSIDE OF THE BOX”

“The innovation mindset. Out-of-the-box thinking. Whichever phrase you choose to coin, it can neither be studied, nor learnt,” says Charles. “Great designers are innately rebellious. They were born outside the box. Punk music took me in, early on. It fit. A young man on the outside of traditional expectations, my childhood experience was filled with more views from the planet than many get to see in a lifetime. It’s always been the default to see things differently: to look at life, environment and behaviour through a different filter. To create beyond what is expected. To redirect the road ahead. When it comes to design, I will always be outside the box.”

Charles wants to fully immerse himself in design, not for the sake of “newness”, but to answer big life questions through design. He wants people to understand it from a deeper place – to live it, not just to consume it – and to see what role can design play in all our lives once you get past aesthetic.

In the #StillStory below Charles tells us in his own words why he is “A humanistic designer”

THE CREATIVE TIMELINE

THIS WAS BY NO MEANS AN OVERNIGHT PROJECT 

“A re-energized creative persona”
Part of the outcome is helping the client to project themselves into the world that they have not yet stepped into. The research journey began with an exchange of questions and answers, via email, zoom, calls, aimed at opening up my own and Charles’s understanding of where he was in this moment of commissioning and what exactly he hoped to manifest as he moved towards his own business. Some of these questions were detailed and specific, but others were wider and more open-ended; the conversation was the main tool for ensuring that the journey emerged in the right way. With Charles, this exchange resulted in the development of a series of distillations that played with defining what he hoped to do and be in this new phase, playing back to him what I had heard and understood from our dialogue. 

“The punk driven humanist”
Once we had arrived at this understanding, the work of defining what elements were required to build the bigger picture began. I developed the branding brief – tone of voice, logo, font, imagery, colour, the whole visual language of the brand – and collaborated with the creative director to realise these collaterals; I then developed the website, including copy and all visual imagery. For the photographic commissions, I creatively directed the whole project, including locations, crew, and narrative journey.

BEHIND THE SCENES

MOMENTS FROM THE CREATIVE SUMMER ROAD TRIP

This was an image creation trip that started in Nuremberg and stopped in Dessau, with a final destination of Berlin. The design approach and project management mind of Charles made the project fly! What the images that follow represent is the genuine enjoyment of each other’s company that comes from a balance of planning and hard work, with a desire to know more about each of the individuals who came together to realize the project. To say that the production phase of this project was enjoyable is an understatement! What made this possible was a carefully curated team, who naturally bonded whilst delivering a seamless professional experience to accelerate the visual persona of DRIVEN BY CHARLES.

THE CREATIVE TEAM

DRIVEN BY CHARLES LAUNCH IMAGERY. CREATED WITH COMBINED ENERGY © AGENDA BROWN AT STUDIO MARVELRY

CREATIVE DIRECTION / BRANDING:
JAN HIPPCHEN @LinkedIn

VIDEO PRODUCTION: INGO FOERTSCH
@ingo_foertsch

VIDEO ASSISTANT: DANIEL GERTSLAUER
@danielgertslaur

PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: PERNILLE SANDBERG
@pernille@sandberg

PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: LENA LICHTBLICK
@licht_blick

COPYWRITING: CATHERINE MEADE
@catherine.meade40

MAKE UP ARTIST: ELKE KAMPERMANN
@elkekampermann

 

“I see differently because I have seen different things.” CHARLES JOHNSON