Stephen Doyle

by whitewirestudio


Stephen Doyle, of Doyle Partners, was recently awarded the 2010 National Design Award for Communication Design from Cooper-Hewitt. As part of Debbie Millman’s “Design Matters” series, she interviewed the man of the hour and you can listen to/download it (just under 30 min) here on Design Observer.

For many—dare I say—superstar designers, I realize I know a lot of names, but not a lot of information. Maybe because I’ve lumped so many of them together? That now they’re just famous and uninteresting. Same reason the cool people shun the music on the radio, right? Well, shame on me. I enjoyed Doyle’s talk and finally took a closer look at his work… and yes! I like. He says during the interview that he was surprised to be chosen for the National Design Award as his work isn’t very “flamboyant.” Instead of falling back on the tried and true, each outcome is a product of generous thought and is created with only that specific job in mind. It’s not to win awards (though, it’s easy to say that when you’re already winning them), but to be considerate and articulate about each message. He also says he’s always concerned about failing; always worried about falling short of his potential. Perhaps neuroticism loves company, but it’s always so nice to hear about “successful” (whatever that means) people who still worry about not doing great work. And it’s the worrying which keeps both you and the work from becoming complacent.

Additionally, he talks about borrowing and transforming ideas, how to infiltrate spaces without leaving such a huge footprint, and why book covers are a young designer’s job.

Other interviews from this season of “Design Matters” will include: Eric Baker, Marian Bantjes, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Tina Roth Eisenberg, and James Victore; writers Dominique Browning, Ralph Caplan and Steven Heller; and writer Alexandra Lange with Jane Thompson, founder of Design Research.