From Debbie Millman's long-running Design Matters series to Chuck Anderson's venture Life+Limb, podcasts are part and parcel of design culture. Last year Playne Design's Ade Mills entered the fray with a new project that sees him interview inspiring figures from across the creative industries: The Design Jones.
Computer Arts is a proud supporter of The Design Jones. We first met Mills in Brighton at Reasons to be Creative 2014, and were blown away by his drive and passion for design.
Mills kicked off 2015 with episode five: Anna Mullin, aka Sneaky Raccoon – a fascinating 45 minute chat in which Mullin talks about making buckets of custom paint for Gromit Unleashed, collaboration with Kid Robot and what's she's doing under her Sneaky Raccoon alias.
Here's what happened when Creative Bloq's Sammy Maine sat down with Mills to find out more…
What's The Design Jones all about?
I've always loved to hear about people's stories and experiences within the creative industry. Since graduating I've been able to meet some of the people I looked up to and hear their stories first-hand. I set it up out of love for the industry, to give an insight into the people behind the work.
Where did you get the name from?
My second love after design is basketball. One of the guilty pleasures in my record collection is the Space Jam soundtrack and there is a song on it called 'The Basketball Jones' by Barry White and Chris Rock.
The song came on when I was trying to come up with a name and they described a Jones as "an obsession" and "the love of someone or something". It felt like a perfect fit and I couldn't think of anything better suited to the podcast.
Who can we look forward to hearing from?
There are so many sides to the industry, from designers and illustrators to developers and publishers, and everyone in between. In the first few months we have episodes featuring people like James O'Connell from Creative Spark and Gavin Strange from Aardman.
What topics will the podcasts cover?
We'll be covering everything from how people got into the industry and why they do certain projects, to the challenges they've faced along the way.
One thing we'll always ask is where they see the industry going. With all the developments and the rate at which they happen it's a tough question to answer, but the responses are always really interesting.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced with putting out a new podcast?
Figuring out what I want to achieve. I have no background or previous knowledge with sound, so having to learn on the fly is very challenging – but fun as well.
I also don't want it to sound too produced or like a set-up studio; it needs to be more of a fly-on-the-wall approach. So, stepping back from perfectly produced sound and focusing on the content was a tough mindset to get into.
What plans have you for The Design Jones?
Although it's just a podcast at the moment, I have a lot of plans for the future of TDJ. I want it to be an inspiration to listeners and serve as a platform for them to realise their ideas or to find a way of achieving them, in just the same way that it's helped me.
This article first appeared in Computer Arts 235: Branding Secrets, a special issue exclusively revealing the brand strategy secrets at the world's biggest agencies.
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