Fuse Speaker Spotlight: Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director, Pearlfisher

As we look forward to Fuse 2012 we'll be featuring some of our exciting speakers here on the blog.


Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director at Pearlfisher should be no stranger to readers of this blog thanks to her recent series on iconic brand design. She will be sharing the podium at Fuse later this month with Tom Barr, VP Coffee Design at Starbucks. Now we are pleased to present an interview with Tess as a prelude to her session at Fuse.


First off, can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming session at Fuse?

Tom and I are going to take everyone through the job we did of rethinking the way our coffee is classified - how we thought about it - what we were trying to do, the result and how the idea went out into the world and was integrated into the world of Starbucks.

Starbucks has revolutionized the coffee experience, what was it like working with this brand on a strategic design approach?

We spend all our time thinking about icons and how they use design to express big ideas so to work with one of the biggest icons in the world who has design firmly at the heart of all they do what obviously a bit of a thrill.

Personally, do you have any favorite brands and why do they speak to you?

My favorite brand is the Sound of Music it is timeless, meaningful and uplifting - it means a lot to me because I model myself on Julie Andrews - I want to be innocent and good (how do you catch a cloud and tie it down?) straightforward ("Well someones got to say it: you never listen to anyone else: Just love them Captain Love them) and brave (climb every mountain).

What was the best career advice you ever got?

Jonathan (Ford, Founding Creative Partner of Pearlfisher) told me to come and work for him - that worked out pretty well for me.

What’s your dream project?

It would be cool if a brand won the nobel peace prize - given their power I'm not sure brands aim very high.

To hear more from Tess Wicksteed, join us at Fuse for her session "Starbucks: Nurturing and Inspiring the Coffee Buyer." We're pleased to offer readers of the Next Big Design blog 15% off of registration for this year's conference. Register with code FUSE12BLOG to save.

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