My name is Chris Maclean, I’m an award winning creative director with over 17 years of experience. Originally British, I’ve worked across the UK, Australia and US as creative director for Wolff Olins, Gretel, Re and Interbrand. I’m a dual British / Australian and am now reside in the UK.
I started my career as a graphic designer, but nowadays that doesn't seem to sum it up. I am a problem solver, writer, technology nut and designer of brands. Not just brand identity, but complete brand transformation, both inside and out. For me, branding means influence. The power to make things better, to inspire whole populations, to change minds, and on occasion change the world.
My work has helped transform brands such as Apple, Slate, Paramount Network, Optus, Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, Griffin Theatre Company, Darling Harbour, Alzheimer’s Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and Australia’s biggest brand, Telstra. In 2012, I was recognised as one of Australia’s Power 20 by Australian Creative magazine for bravery in the creative industry.
I have been recognised by some of the world’s most prestigious awards bodies including D&AD, AGDA, Red Dot, Clio, Type Directors Club and IDCA. And I am a frequent writer, public speaker and lecturer on the subject of design and branding and their ability to change the world.
The world faces some significant challenges nowadays, due to the mistakes of previous generations. It’s the creative people in the world who will be asked to fix them. Everything must be rethought to be more efficient, more intelligent, and ultimately, more exciting.
It’s our duty, as creative people, to put our talents to work on creating things that are truly useful for the world. To ask ourselves, what do people need that they don’t already have? To be dissatisfied with the way things are. To make the world a little bit better than it was before, and on occasion, to change it forever.
Design isn’t just a skin we put on existing problems. It’s a way of thinking, seeing and doing things differently to solve those problems at their root cause.
Graphic design is one weapon in the creative arsenal, but there are so many more. Emotion, language, film, animation, product, technology, even presenting, are just a few. These are the tools I use to create things the world has never seen before, and in unison they are immensely powerful and influential.
That is how I see my job, and it’s the best one in the world. The day I stop believing this is the day I stop being a designer.
This website is a document of my journey as a designer. It’s been a near-vertical learning curve, and one heck of a ride that’s taken me from the UK, to Australia to New York City and some other incredible places along the way.
I hope you enjoy.