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#TheFutureByDesign: The future is function

This piece was first published in #TheFutureByDesign. Click here to download the publication with insights from leading marketing, creative and advertising minds.

The future will be filled with more cake and less decoration. That’s a prediction from Clayton Sutherland, creative lecturer and academic head at Red & Yellow, the advertising and marketing school that’s turning brand learning upside down and inside out, to inspire creativity. Future By Design speaks to him about the future of creativity.

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#TheFutureByDesign (FBD): Who are you?
Clayton Sutherland: I don the four-cornered hat of academia (with tassel) in my role as academic head at Red & Yellow, but balance this deftly with the pork-pie hat of a creative lecturer in both graphic design and art direction.

FBD: Describe how you think.

It seems I have an innate desire to break anything that prescribes to creativity and foster this in my students. Nay to pretty things bereft of an idea even if it’s a wedding invite or calendar. More cake and less decoration s’il vous plaît. ~ Clayton Sutherland

FBD: How will technology impact creativity in advertising?

It already has and there has been a tad of a panic to have what everyone else has, but now we’re learning how to really use new technology, rather than tick off the digital menu with a website, microsite, app, banner and perky LinkedIn or social media page. ~ Clayton Sutherland

FBD: What change in thinking is needed?

Ironically, not much. It’s still heavily based on creative, critical conceptual and strategic decision making. Coming up with the big idea in industry parlance and then choosing the appropriate media channels to best communicate to your chosen target audience. Consumers now have the ability to interact with brands so it’s crucially about creating a dialogue and engaging with them. ~ Clayton Sutherland

FBD: Which ad people will be most sought after in the future?

It will always be those with ideas, those who can create well crafted narratives based on a real consumer insight. ~ Clayton Sutherland

FBD: What do people entering the industry need to know about the future of creativity?

Creativity has been around for aeons and change keeps it alive; from frescos to Facebook it’s seeing these new tools as now being able to extend and interact way beyond a magazine ad. ~ Clayton Sutherland

FBD: Any other thoughts?

Be brave, be curious and fail at things. Learn. Then repeat… ~ Clayton Sutherland

About Clayton Sutherland

Clayton Sutherland is the academic head and graphic design and art direction lecturer at Red & Yellow. He previously headed up the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography as programme director, as well as holding the position of faculty head of visual communications at AAA Cape Town, where he lectured final-year graphic design students.

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