If you look at the year 2017 compared to 2012 – where is communication design?
Jochum: In our industry, five years are a damn long time. The speed and the changes with all their possibilities of the last years have been disproportionate compared with those of the preceding 20 years. With big data and today’s very valid data transparency, we see a lot more clearly, and with more distance. This allows us to offer even better strategic recommendations and to adjust priorities, if need be. Communication design has made a quantum leap during this period. It finally managed to revamp its identity and to exert a new, highly noticeable influence on just about every aspect of our lives. People expect orientation and attitude. Good design is an essential expression of that.
Heumann: It has also become more differentiated again. For example, it’s no longer frowned upon to say how effective TV and print are. A recent study showed that print has a much greater impact than digital approaches on a particular target group. thjnk doesn’t sell something just because it’s hip. And thanks to our virtuosity, our clients can expect to get a customised offering.
And what will thjnk influence in the next few years? Is there a certain place where you want to be in five years?
Jochum: Ideally, thjnk is not supposed to depend on us. The brand is bigger than the individual. We want to give our colleagues the chance to grow with the success of the brand. Seeing that we develop our expertise and talent on an ongoing basis, they can expect to go a long way with us. However, we have to start thinking about how this can happen, seeing that the brand’s decisive lever is, after all, “people business”. I wish for thjnk to remain a pulsating brand. In fact, this is the aspiration surpassing everything.
Heumann: Yes, thjnk took on a life of its own. For this reason, we’re primarily concerned with giving the next generation a chance as we continue to develop and sharpen our performance portfolio. The “best” is the one who manages to make her- or himself superfluous without the overall performance suffering for a second. And even if it would sadden me if I ever was to not do this job any longer, my goal is for others to do it even better, and for thjnk to continue.
Last question: Why do you apply for the Red Dot Award every year?
Jochum: There are competitions and there are competitions. From the start, we targeted those with a far-reaching impact and that would get us ahead in terms of challenging us in the type of work we do. We therefore opted for those that have a substantial meaning that goes beyond the advertising business press. Red Dot has done a great deal for the visibility and recognition of design and also has an excellent reputation. In addition, it scores points with regard to the orientation and focus of the competition and the work of the jury, all of which takes place at a highly professional, international level.
Award ceremony of the Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2018
In 2018, thjnk was awarded 17 Red Dots and 5 Red Dot: Best of the Best. The creatives will be officially honoured for their latest achievements during the Red Dot Gala in Berlin, Germany on 26 October 2018. This is also the day of the award ceremony for the Red Dot: Agency of the Year 2018. The new title holder will receive the “Stylus” challenge cup as a symbol for this extraordinary success from its predecessor thjnk.