Creative & Design

In conversation with... Greg Bryant

29 February 2024 3 min read
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In conversation with... Greg Bryant

…Mobas’s Creative Director, Greg Bryant


When did you know you wanted to follow a creative path?

There wasn’t really a particular point. From as young as I can remember, I always used to sit and draw – everything I did at school was about drawing and design and coming up with ideas. It didn’t feel like working – I never really decided ‘This is what I’m going to do’. It’s just part of my makeup.

How do you measure the success of design?

Good design looks great and so does art but there’s a big difference. Art gives you the freedom to create what you love, and you hope others like it too. Design is there to meet briefs and deliver results. Clients want something from a creative and, even if we don’t like it, it may be delivering brilliant results – however much it’s been watered down from the designer’s original pure concept. ‘Liking’ design is something you can’t put your finger on – in our industry it’s always linked to what it’s doing for its product or service. And I like that added element.


What’s a good result from design? Is a good result meeting the brief and how often do we get it right first time?

Sometimes what we come up with adds something extra that wasn’t part of the brief – we play around with ideas which might make the client think ‘Yes, that really works’ and go with it. So it’s a really tricky balance between meeting the brief and challenging it. We rarely just follow a brief without questioning it – even the deliverables. A client may ask for a poster but they don’t need a poster if there’s a better way of achieving what they want. The ‘why’ is more important than the ‘what’!


How do the creative and design aspects of a brand deliver business results?

Tricky one because when it’s done well, consumers probably don’t notice. Something might grab your attention but if you like a brand you take it for what it is. Good branding connects emotionally. It’s a personality – if that personality isn’t conveyed, then the branding has failed. Many existing brands wouldn’t be pitched today but we’re so used to their visuals because they’ve been around so long. But those visuals, including the logos, evolve over time, just as the Adidas triple stripe and the Nike tick have. As long as the emotional connection with consumers is retained, the brand will continue to succeed.


What does a good creative brief look like to you then?

It isn’t written on paper! That’s just the reinforcer. A good creative brief should put you in the position or in the mood for the brand. Call me into a room, talk me through the brief, but dress the room, put me in the right mindset, not because I’m precious and I need you to but, like we do when presenting, immerse me. So if it’s a Christmas brief, for example, if Clive and I come into a room to be briefed on the creative and it’s dressed like Christmas and smells like Christmas and there’s Christmas music and a fire on the screen, we’re instantly in the mindset to consume that brief. As creators our brains are always going, so help them along with atmosphere.


Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas can come from anywhere. When you’re working on something, you never truly switch off: you’re always looking for inspiration, for a spark somewhere. And a lot of the best ideas come, not when I’m locked in on my screen for an hour, but when I’m driving home or in the shower – when my brain’s shut off from everything else. Those first five minutes after waking up can also be productive, when you’re not quite conscious and your brain is starting to work! We can look at the competitive landscape but ideas should come from everywhere – browsing online is fine: like all tools, it won’t give you ideas but will help expand what’s going on in your head. It’s like a pencil. A pencil is not going to draw for me, I’ve got to do it, but it’s the tool to do it once the ideas are there. As creatives what’s difficult is sometimes you look like you’re doing nothing, just sitting on one of the sofas around the office. But everything’s going in: conversations, turns of phrase, events. Anything might spark an idea or give you a phrase that you can twist a little bit and make into a campaign theme. It was difficult in lockdown when you didn’t have that buzz, when we didn’t hear different perspectives and different uses of language to what I or Clive would use. It’s all about being receptive.


How has technology impacted the creative and design process?

It does impact but we need to understand how to use new tools in a creative way. Take AI as an example, which is having a huge impact. It’s similar to searching for imagery in stock libraries – it depends on the information you give it and the creative way you ask it to do things. Otherwise, everybody will end up with the same thing. Using technology creatively and intelligently is key: that way it becomes a time-saving tool and not a corner-cutting one. We need to see it as helping us get to what we want to create as opposed to replacing anything.


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