fbpx
Connect with us

Entrepreneurship

How James Sommerville Started And Grew In The Design Industry

In the dynamic and unpredictable world that we work, even the most carefully thought of brand products and strategies can fail. Enter the decade of the designer, where world class designers could become some of the most sought out workers in all industries around the world. But despite this growing demand, it wasn’t always this way. The world-renowned design leader James Sommerville witnessed this firsthand. 

As a teenager in the 1980s, James recalls telling his parents that he wanted to be a designer, “I would have had a better reaction, if I had said I wanted to be a Rockstar”, but but the with high unemployment rate in the United Kingdom, he decided to study typography and graphics at a renowned UK design school in Yorkshire, England. After 4 years studying, he still wasn’t able to find a job but he had an idea to make things work for him. 

Pavement To Prince

James decided that the only way to work around this difficult period for young people was by starting a business. He contacted The Prince’s Trust charity in London and applied for a start-up grant where he received £2,000 seed funding to start a graphic design company. 

With a partner, they launched their design agency in Jamesʼs grandmaʼs attic bedroom in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the UK in 1986 and their first project had a budget of £50 sterling. The design agency was called “ATTIK.” 

 

Over 25 years, ATTIK grew to have a staff of more than 250 and offices in Leeds, London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sydney. By 2007, James sold ATTIK to Dentsu Advertising in Japan and remained with the company until 2013 in a leading global creative leadership role.

 

But that was only the beginning of James’s career. For over 35 years, he has worked with hundreds of clients and brands of which many are global and iconic leaders in their respective sectors, from Nike, to Playstation, Heineken to Coca-Cola. James also supported and mentored many startups along the way.

 

“Today, I don’t sell design as just an aesthetic,” he said. “I build design driven cultures and that doesn’t appear on a shelf in a supermarket, or a car showroom.”

James has tirelessly given his time to pushing the creative industry his entire career and promoted his roots of British design and creativity all across the world as a keynote speaker, or an educator. 

He has recently redefined the brand language and visual identity of one of the world’s most iconic automotive brands, Ford Motor Company, which will shortly see a driving change from their Dearborn World Headquarters but executed on a global scale.

Design For Anyone, From Anywhere  

In a 2018 pre-COVID, James decided the future of the creative industry should be on-demand and distributed and founded a platform where designers from all over the world could come together, collaborate virtually and reinvent the traditional creative agency. James said “I’m not a tech guy, I had no playbook in 2018 but I knew it was the model of the future, so I called it KnownUnknown”, where today thousands of the world’s best designers from all over the world join together as one network. 

 

“KnownUnknown will be the destination for all designers in the world to hire, share, collaborate and learn from each other. We are driving to have five million members in the next three years,” James said. 

 

Here, users can experience various activities such as mentoring and coaching, collaborations, talks, and more where they can experience professional growth through a new model that promotes camaraderie while upholding the craft, defining the true value of design, even a 1:1 portfolio review with James for the next generation of young rockstar designers.

 

Learn more about James Sommerville through his Instagram account or visit www.knownunknown.co

 

US Army Combat Veteran turned writer helps people reach new levels of success and influence with personal brand building. Luis also writes for Entrepreneur magazine and runs TEDx events and TED circles online. Mentored by Mark Cuban his eye for business and potential growth has been trained at a billionaire level.

Advertisement Become A Crypto Expert

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Entrepreneurship7 months ago

Navy Veteran Davis Chris Takes the Music Industry by storm

In life, you need to break down anything that might be holding you back and change course if need be...

Entrepreneurship8 months ago

5 Disruptive Leaders Paving the Way in 2021

Where there is uncertainty, lies a whirlwind of opportunity. 2020 was the year that had entrepreneurs learn a great deal...

Politics1 year ago

Brock Pierce Wants To Disrupt The Two Party System And Be Your Next President

We don’t usually cover politics much here at Disrupt, but when Crypto billionaire and friend of the show, Brock Pierce...

Business1 year ago

John Mcafee – Predictions For The Future

John McAfee is a world-famous tech CEO, computer scientist, civil disobedience activist, privacy advocate, and pioneer of the commercial anti-virus...

Finance1 year ago

Gaby Wall Street – Teaching Latinas to Thrive During The Crisis

It’s no secret we are facing one of the most challenging financial times of the last few decades as we...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Tony Delgado – The #1 Entrepreneurship Movement In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican online market is in constant progress. With many entrepreneurs who are coming here to start a business, it...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Elena Cardone – The 10X Ladies Conference Is Declaring 2020 The Decade For Women

The next ten years are meant for women to continue growing their potential and succeeding in multiple areas, including business....

Marketing2 years ago

How Josh Elizetxe Built Snow Into a $40 Million Dollar Business

There is nothing quite like an entrepreneur’s determination when starting a business. That’s my original quote by the way (pun...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

How Jason Capital Became A Self Made Millionaire By 24

Have you ever wanted to earn the respect of everyone who ever looked down on you at some point in...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is...

Trending

Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.