Getting to know you: Adrian Whitefoord

What do you currently do?

I am a founding Partner of P&W Design Consultants. The P&W team is highly skilled, motivated and passionate about design. My role osculates from that of creative motivator to PR spokesperson to new business generator. I am not as involved with the hands-on aspect of design as I once was, but I love the creative process and being part of the creative journey, by guiding designers to an appropriate path leading to the right solution.

What is your inspiration in the business?
The unquenchable thirst to always improve and do better, to create design that inspires, amuses, resonates and delivers on a commercial level. If design produced by P&W helps a brand owner, or motivates a young designer to broaden their creative horizons, all the hard work we have done is worthwhile.

Who do you admire?
When studying at the Royal College of Art I was privileged to me mentored by some astonishing tutors: Quentin Blake, Herbert Spencer, Dan Fern, Margret Calvert, Gert Dumbar and Abram Games to name but a few. I admired them at the time and I admire them still. In truth, I admire all members of the design profession that care about and craft their work.

Being given the good fortune of working in the design industry makes me feel lucky, in terms of creative fulfillment, together with the associated and profound satisfaction of helping brand owners maximise commercial potential via symbiotic relationships, close collaboration, strategic thinking and the P&W inspiration our designers provide.

Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
From a business context, possibly, greater diversification. P&W’s reputation has tended to revolve around specialisation in packaging, but in actuality our strength is our ability to form a holistic view regarding brand communication. Multifaceted brand principles represent the key to unlocking brand potential.

From a purely personal point of view I wish I had devoted more time to improving my ability to draw, paint and write – hopefully there is still time for that.

What defines your way of doing business?
Honesty and integrity. In my view, the way you should conduct a business relationship should be no different to the way you conduct a personal relationship. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a powerful benchmark.

Working with a client should be a partnership. Traditional conventions of an “us and them” business situation should be cast aside. Our clients have objectives that we will do all in our power to meet, but that can only be achieved via a spirit of collaboration.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
• Follow your intuition and trust in your talents and abilities.
• Listen but do not always accept what you hear.
• Enjoy what you do and try to make a difference.
• Never stop learning.