Part 18 – 1990s Picking up the Crumbs

So many of our competitors fought over blue-chip accounts where the perception was of a ‘sexy’, prestigious addition to their portfolio.

We, on the other hand, often pursued slightly lesser known areas of the client’s business, where the fees were just as good, and we were left alone to get on with the job. A great example was Honda’s Power Equipment Division, which included lawn mowers, pumps and outboard motors – an account on which we worked for several years, while others pursued the cars and bikes.

We produced some very good work for Honda, an account brilliantly managed by Ellen Wheeler with some help from me on the production side. It used all our skills; good design, excellent location photography, thoughtful account handling and huge production values.

This Lawn and Garden brochure presented special challenges for our design team; the photography had to show beautifully manicured lawns bathed in sunlight for a spring launch – a big ask when the work was carried out in the wet and gloomy autumn

Out with the old…

One of the most interesting aspects of working for Honda (and similar clients) over such long periods was knowing how to handle the inevitable ‘new brooms’ that arrive, determined to do things differently.

There was the anticipated meeting with the new marketing director, who was ready to fire the incumbent and appoint his own people, but somehow we managed to persuade him that we were the right team for the job.

Quad bikes were an important part of the division’s revenue stream at Honda, and we had to take great care to present them as hard-working vehicles rather than leisure accessories.
Marine was also an important Honda division, and the promotional material gave our designers the opportunity to move away from red.

My journey as a graphic designer, an introduction

Part 01 – 1960s In the Beginning: Undergraduate work

Part 02 – 1970s The Royal College of Art & The Advent of Colour

Part 03 – 1970s Starting Out in the Real World

Part 04 – 1970s My First Major Client

Part 05 – 1970s More Than One Man

Part 06 – 1970s Striking It Lucky

Part 07 – 1970s Embracing Ground-breaking Techniques

Part 08 – 1980s Changing Roles for Designers

Part 09 – 1980s Our First Technology Client

Part 10 – 1980s Growing Through Recommendation

Part 11 – 1980s The Dream Client

Part 12 – 1980s Moving into Corporate Design

Part 13 – 1990s Ramping Up the Workload

Part 14 – 1990s Graphic Design goes Global

Part 15 – 1990s A Steep Learning Curve

Part 16 – 1990s Working for The Nation’s Favourite

Part 17 – 1990s The Challenge of the Future

Part 18 – 1990s Picking up the Crumbs

Part 19 – 1990s Vested Interest

Part 20 – 1990s Setting the Standard

Part 21 – 1990s Still Growing after All These Years

Part 22 – 1990s New Business from Old

Part 23 – 1990s Keeping up with Demand

Part 24 – 1990s A Full-Service Consultancy

Part 25 – 1990s Into the Unknown

Part 26 – 2000s Learning New Tricks

Part 27 – 2000s Lifestyle Publishing Moves on

Part 28 – 2010s and Now…