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Election 2015: how will the results affect the design industry? Elmwood, Pearlfisher, Lambie Nairn discuss


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

May 8, 2015 | 5 min read

As the results of the 2015 general election continue to roll in thick and fast what might the outcome mean for the design and creative industries? Here, heads at Elmwood, Pearlfisher, Taxi Studio, The Partners and Lambie Nairn share their opinion.

David Godber, group CEO, Elmwood

Whilst the vote isn't finalised yet it would seem continuity is what we've got this morning. As for the commercial creative sector and the digital economy, well I believe there's a huge amount going on around the country and I remain optimistic. Specific pockets of excellence in technology exist and examples can be found around the country in a number of hubs including the silicon roundabout, in the "connected digital catapult" or in the University of Dundee.

Funding frameworks are also in place whether it's direct via Innovate UK or via the UK's R&D Tax Credit regime. So I do believe there are good organisations, institutions and framework conditions in place, albeit I would always say the grant funding and tax credit incentives could be more accessible and simpler to apply for. As for the standard of creative talent coming out of the UK's college and Universities, well from what I've seen this remains of an extremely high standard and the continuity of University funding should also provide for continuity in this area.

Overall I'm optimistic. But I would be arguing for regional consideration and support: for additional FE and HE funding for courses in creativity and technology; for the continuity of support for centres of excellence and creative and technology clusters; and for more simplicity in funding and R&D tax credit application processes.

Jim Prior, chief executive, Lambie Nairn

Design and democracy are uneasy bedfellows: design by committee rarely yields good results. What creativity benefits from is strong, assertive leadership, pragmatic vision and charismatic ideas - which is what I think motivated the results of the election that we now see. I can't say that I believe the Conservatives showed that in spades through this election but Labour certainly did not. Labour's vision for business and the economy was negative, their ideas lacked energy and the leadership was unfollowable. This is a good result for business, creative and otherwise, and it's clear that in politics, design by committee works.

Jonathan Ford, founding creative partner and CCO, Pearlfisher

As I write it appears the future business intersection of graphic design, digital and data is vibrantly preserved by both the BBC in house design team and an ongoing Conservative government. In my view the improved economy, thriving entrepreneurial community, and diminishing pain of radical adjustment over the last four years is worth continuing for business, brands, consumers and the UK creative agencies that foster growth, which in turn are the envy of the world. I see return on investment in a continued stable political leadership will benefit the UK for the next 5 years rather than upheaval at a point of critical progress in changed world.

Spencer Buck, founder and creative partner, Taxi Studio

Deciding between the parties in this election is much like deciding whether you rather be eaten by a shark or a bear. That said, having a single government in power will be better for us than having a squabbling, paranoid, second-guessing coalition. Whether the conservatives will be making an effort to support the creative industry, an industry that contributes almost 10% to our GDP is anyone's guess. Personally, I'd like to see them place much greater emphasis on creativity within the curriculum! It should be a recognised subject with equal importance with left-brained subjects such as maths and science.

Greg Quinton, executive creative director, The Partners

As we wake after the night before, we look in the mirror and sigh with collective relief as the threat of the Purple Pimple has imploded. It’s safe to look in the mirror again… But then we realise we are still wearing those oh so dull Conservative pyjamas.

We might not be able to change the situation for now, but the Conservatives need to wake up to the creative sector’s contribution to the UK’s GDP and to the world.

The government needs to stop meddling with creative education and throw its full support into the commercial creative sector. Successful businesses have learnt the value creativity can add and the Conservatives need to wake up to that too.

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