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This article is taken from PN Review 259, Volume 47 Number 5, May - June 2021.

in conversation with Phil Cleaver (Part II)
Intelligent Design, cover
Designer — Phil Cleaver ( Part II )
Andrew Latimer
Phil Cleaver is an award-winning designer, author and artist. The first part of this interview was published
in PNR 258.

AL—You have worked with a variety of clients, from individual authors and small art publishers to large corporations such as Bank of Indonesia and Visa. Are there particular types or size of projects you prefer working on?

PC—You start off at the bottom of the design world and you gradually go up the ladders. I was Creative Director at Allied International Designers, the Corporate Division. And suddenly you end up doing less and less design and more front-end meeting and dealing with clients, or writing reports. It was all great learning, but in the end, I always preferred doing design as opposed to talking about it. My greatest skill is that I still love doing it, whereas most designers stop. When I started work on the Vietnamese Bank, we were in competition with some large design companies. But the CEO intervened and said ‘No, he drew Visa, I want him. It’s him I want.’ So often you’ll go to design firms and you’ll meet people like me, but it’s not them doing the design work. They are very good and competent design companies, but when you go to them and say I like this piece of work, there’s no one left who worked on it. I’ve been through the hoops, and it’s this, I think, that means that I’m still surviving in the design world which is mostly full of young people.


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