Who is Byron Rex Phillipson and what do you do?
I am Executive Creative Director and Co-founder of Starling Creative Technologies. I have championed design and creative technology initiatives around the globe for the past 20 years.
How would you define your style or craft?
When it comes to visual design, I believe my style is defined by the story that I set out to tell. It is always underpinned by a certain sense of balance, vibrancy and a kind of depth that draws one in and asks to be looked at a little closer. When it comes UX or UI design, I tend to approach things from a user’s perspective first. I believe that design is truly successful when it has been reduced almost to a point of being invisible. The user is then allowed to be fully engaged in the experience itself, without being distracted by unnecessary ‘design’ elements.
What is your definition of good Design
I’ve been asked this question a lot. Each time I find myself answering differently. Sure, there are a few principles that will always be universally recognised as the foundation or framework for producing good design. Gestalt theories of Asymmetrical vs Symmetrical balance; and my personal go-to resource: Ten Commandments of Good Design as laid out by Mr Dieter Rams in the early eighties. Ultimately and aside from these principles, design, like all art, will always remain subjectively experienced. If there is an honesty behind it and passion that has gone into it, it will hit home on a human level.
What inspires your work?
I get a kick out of having my own viewpoints and perception shaken up, so I am constantly inspired by emerging creative talent. I think that variety of stimuli is important to stay inspired, so I might find inspiration in submersing myself in the world of Japanese typography one month, and then completely unplugging from anything related to design for a while to ‘clear my palette’, a kind of sensory depravation I guess.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a nice mix of Experiential and Product design. I like to keep a variety of projects on my plate at any one time, and I find that being able to shift my focus from something as amorphous as Experiential to something as solid as Product design keeps me really interested in what I’m doing.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Focus on the work. Give a shit. Never stop learning.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
There have been many. I would have to say that being recognised for the innovation behind creating the worlds’ first African Emoticon App (whilst I was Executive Creative Director for the great team at FLINT n TINDER) by being awarded the Grand Prix for Digital at the Loeries last year would top the list.
Where to next for the digital future of things?
I whole-heartedly believe that we are looking at shifting from a ‘marketing’ of things to a product-based offering from brands in the digital space. This truly excites me as I believe there is no greater way to win the hearts and minds of people than by offering something of real value.
Where can our readers follow your work?