How would you describe what you do?
I head up the studio [The Office Of Craig Oldham] as a director. It’s my studio, so I’m creative director and founder, if you want to be official. Essentially we’re a full-service creative studio. We have a really rich and varied diet of work, and that’s why I wanted to set up on my own. I had this really good grounding in classic, traditional forms of graphic design from working with The Partners, The Chase, Music – problem solving where the idea rolled out as branding, print and digital, but I wanted to explore other things.
I don’t see design as pushing type, image and content around on the medium. I see it as an intellectual discipline, and I think that can be applied to anything. If you get the solution right, the outcome could be a chair, writing a play, a poster or a brand. That’s what we try and do as a studio, to mix our practice, and push our skills into other places – which has led us into campaigning, publishing our own work, writing and lecturing, filmmaking, and we’ve curated and designed exhibitions.
What does a typical working day look like?
It changes every day, that’s the thing I love about it. Because we are a studio, obviously our hours are dictated by our clients’. Generally the phone rings from 9am until 6pm, but we’re in before and after that. Today for example, I was with a manufacturer talking through some drawings, this afternoon I’m going to be writing a proposal, then I’m going to be installing an exhibition, and seeing stuff getting printed on weird material, so it really varies.
A lot of the time you can be in front of a computer because that’s our industry-standard tool, but we place a lot of emphasis not just on how you design things, but how you actually make and produce them. We spend a lot of time talking, out and about seeing other things, messing around with stuff, seeing how other people practice. It’s certainly not just turn up to the office, do your work, and then go home and never leave other than lunchtime.