We’ve been working onsite in partnership with our friends at Publicis Sapient, to help them grow their design function and futureproof their hiring strategy.

I’ve got to know the team pretty well, and I’ve been amazed by the intelligent, inspiring, and genuinely lovely folk that make up the organisation.

So I’ve invited a few of them to share their stories with you all as part of FFS (Futureheads Five Stories), our regular interview series where we speak to people who have interesting stories to tell.

And we couldn’t resist the acronym.

Malin is Design Director at Publicis Sapient. Hailing from Sweden, she’s worked and studied her way around Europe, and speaks four languages. She has worked across fashion, editorial and illustration before steering onto a digital path. She is influenced by fine art and tries to illustrate and paint as much as possible.

What’s the story of your career so far?

I’ve always loved design; from painting and drawing to woodwork, interior design and all kinds of making. Torn between architecture and fine art, I opted to study graphic design. It felt like the middle ground – creative yet functional.

I studied abroad so flew home a lot to visit my family and found the process of booking a plane ticket so painful, that I designed my own flight booking website. That led to an internship with AKQA, which is a “digital” agency, whatever that meant. And I’ve been doing this “digital design” thing since.

What does visual design look like within Publicis Sapient?

Visual design is always visual design – we don’t do it differently here. It’s a way to solve a problem, to create an experience, to tell a story.

All the designers here are craftspeople, but also rational people. We always have the end customer in mind and everything we do is about the service we are building for them and the value that our products give. Naturally, UI is second nature to us, but we think bigger than that. We design a purpose, a strategy, a feeling – the whole end to end experience. This includes VR, AR, voice, animation, motion, environmental design and whatever the future brings.

What do you love most about what you do?

I just love making things better by design, to see that what I do has a direct impact in someone else’s life through creativity, innovation, art and craft. It’s also fun to work in an industry that evolves quickly – it challenges you to constantly learn and grow.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?

Work with people you like. A tight team will create a better output, and you will all have more fun.

What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge in our industry over the next twelve months?

There’s a huge push for purpose-driven work these days – work that uses creativity and technology to do good in the world. I think there’s a challenge for us as consultants to guide our clients and help them realise the brand value of thinking beyond themselves. And in an industry that is ever more focused on streamlined user experiences, I see a challenge for all creatives to maintain the brand experience and storytelling layer, whilst still catering for accessibility and usability. So, in short: make work that matters, and don’t sacrifice craft for usability.

Want to find out more about working with Publicis Sapient, or fancy being interviewed yourself? Come and say hello at andrew@wearefutureheads.co.uk.

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