We won’t remember the commercial, the logo, or the jingle, but we will always remember how a brand (and in turn, a designer) makes us feel. In this 99U interview, legendary designer Michael Wolff shares lessons from a career spanning over five decades.
What separates a good designer from the rest of the pack, says Wolff, is an unlimited amount of empathy. To do this, approach the world through a child’s mind and have an insatiable curiosity. Ask “why” whenever possible.
“As you question things you have empathy for people in these situations,” Wolff says, “and then you’ll start to see, [the world] doesn’t have to be like this.”
A founder of Wolff Olins – among the world’s most iconic design companies. Now, as Michael Wolff and Company he works with clients around the world both as a designer and creative advisor. Amongst his recent clients are The Ministry of Sound and The UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board in the UK, Citigroup in the US, and a Bank called Pyjom – “Let’s go” – in Russia.
A former President of the CSD and the D&AD, Michael has given talks and interviews in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Latvia, The Netherlands, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Singapore. He’s a visiting Professor at Central St Martins (The University of the Arts in London) and at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town South Africa). He’s a Senior Fellow at the RCA (The Royal College of Art), a member of the UK’s faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, and is the ‘Inclusive design champion’ for the UK Government.