MARTIN NIXON / NIXON DESIGN
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1. Tell us about your company/project.
I founded Nixon Design in 1992, having returned home to Cornwall following five years working as a graphic designer in London. We help our clients build compelling brands, design and develop distinctive websites, and create engaging content both in print and online.
Nixon now employ a very talented team of fifteen lovely people, comprising designers, web developers, writers and project managers- and me!
2. What is your deep reason for choosing the path you're taking? Your “why"?
I became a graphic designer because I loved drawing, so luckily I knew at the age of 11 what I wanted to do as a career. I love working with interesting people, across a range of different sectors and knowing that we can make a real difference to their success.
3. What is the big dream, or legacy you're creating?
The dream is to ensure our business helps to reposition Cornwall as a location where the creative industries flourish. When I started our there were few creatives operating here. Over the years this has changed dramatically, and I’d like to think we’ve played a part in that.
4. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self? and at what age would this be?
Never assume anything! I’ve pinched that from a hero of mine actually, Sir Paul Smith. It’s very true though. I’d also like to take my 18 year old self quietly to one side and explain that dreams can come true- but you do need to work really hard, so start now!
5. What companies/projects inspire you?
All our clients are inspiring, I’m not just saying that. Genuinely, one of the things we ask ourselves before we consider working for a client is ‘do we believe in them?’
The renaissance of Jubilee Pool has been the most inspiring (and exhausting) project that I’ve been involved with. I love that it’s an modernist design icon, a pleasure palace, a field of dreams, and a catalyst for the regeneration of Penzance. My long term view was that the café there should operate as a social enterprise to benefit the pool, it’s been very rewarding to see it flourish.
6. What does your industry/Cornwall/location need to see more of?
Creatives in Cornwall should in my view be more confident. We are ‘living the dream’ despite some of the challenges inherent by our peripherality. Cornwall as ever faces the risk of inappropriate development and the real danger of losing its sense of difference. I fear Cornwall may end up looking like the rest of the south coast of England.
7. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on now?
Nixon have opened a London office in Clerkenwell, with the amazing folks at MARK Product. It’s an opportunity to export our creativity from Cornwall to the world and I’m very excited about the potential, not only for us but for the wider creative and business community in Cornwall.
Jubilee Pool is about to embark on an awesome new project. A geothermally heated section of the pool, which will turn it, and Penzance into an all-year round destination, that’s definitely different.
8. What problem in the world do you see that you’re fixing?
For me it’s all about communicating to each other more clearly. I struggle with that myself occasionally, but above all, I just like to bring people together.
9. If you could go back, what's one thing you would have done differently?
I would like to have travelled more, or even better worked abroad. Graduates nowadays go on a gap year- I got a job!
10. Who has been the most help to you along the way? And why?
My parents, I was lucky enough to have three of them. And my lover- who also happens to be my wife! Emily my wife is Tigger to my Eeyore. She’s unquestionably the best person I know, and I feel blessed to have raised our family with her by my side
Feel free to give some love to anyone else out there doing great things, we'll mention it on the page.
Anna and John from MARK Product are quite brilliant, and in my opinion leading the way for all Cornwall creatives. Jubilee Pool Café- if you haven't been yet- please do go! Plastic Free Penzance- jointly formed by Rachel Yates and Oliver Nixon, (who also happens to be my son) have been doing fantastic work on reducing single use plastics in Penzance. Last but no means least, my wife Emily Nixon who does awesome things with gold and silver.
Who do you need to be connected to? Who can help you?
Anyone who like me, wants to spread the word about Cornwall having a wealth of talent across so many sectors. I am particularly keen to spread the word about creative Cornwall.
How can people get in touch?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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