A Special Interview With Vince Frost
Collette Swindells talks to the graphic designer who’s much more than just a graphic designer. Update: Vince Frost has today received an Honorary Fellowship to the International Society of Typographic Designers. Read more here.
With a career in visual communication that has spanned over three decades and several continents, Vince Frost is no newcomer to design.Melbourne correspondent Collette Swindells talks to Vince about two of his latest projects – a 6-hectare redevelopment of the former Carlton United Brewery site in Sydney, and his new role for Woolworths, South Africa.
So what are you working on at the moment?
“Well I am now the Creative Director of Woolworths South Africa – and I go there once a month with our CEO and help them with their strategy of repositioning their branding of various facets of their business. It is quite a phenomenal project, to be based across a brand which has 450 stores.”
So are you working in more of a consultancy role there?
“No, we are designing too. We just did a 300-piece range for their central [product] range, which we started off designing here, and rolled out through them. It was really great to see the success of that – there were some packs that there has been an 800% increase in sales.”
It must be exciting to be managing the complete communications package…
“Yes. We actually have been helping set up an in-house design studio within Woolworths.“It is very interesting to be in with the client, in their physical space, working with the whole marketing team. This is an incredible learning period for us and we are really seeing clarity in the communication.”
I guess the industry has changed quite substantially since you first started working…
“Absolutely. I think that what is exciting for us as a company is the development of the 360 approach – so it is not just graphic design, it is much more of an ideas-focus, and the medium is, in a way, secondary to the power of the idea.“Now it is a matter of growing a team that can work in different mediums, in the physical, digital and the print realms. Businesses are really beginning to understand the power of design.”
So I heard you guys are working with Fraser’s Property Group on the old CUB site. Tell us about that…
“Well Fraser’s Property are a client that we have worked with previously. We started working with them on the brewery site on Broadway around Christmastime last year. It is a 10-year, $2 billion development, and it is going to be quite significant for Sydney.
“It is a very large site, and it is in a very interesting area, opposite UTS. It’s really cool to see stuff like that, all of it [coming] to life and see the difference that you are helping to contribute to.”
So is built environment something you guys are keen to keep exploring?
“Well it’s not a new area for us. Graphics are becoming very much a part of the interiors – it is not just about plonking signage in a font onto a wall, it has become very much an integral part of the interior design.
“So we find that really exciting to be working with architects and designers and clients, at the early stages of a development where we can kind of help create this seamless approach to it, as opposed to doing it at the end.”