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Brand Experience And Experiential Design (W/ Tom Gilbert At Design Bridge)

Brand Master Podcast logo

Brand Experience And Experiential Design (W/ Tom Gilbert At Design Bridge)

Mr. Tom Gilbert is the founder, and executive creative director at the Design Bridge which is a 35 year old global agency with studios in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York and of course Shanghai.

Design bridge have worked on some amazing campaigns with some amazing brands as well, including the likes of Durex, Guinness, Smirnoff TNC, and Save The Children to name a few.

Tom shares his journey to such a coveted position in such a prestigious agency, as well as his ideas and philosophies on the processes of global branding agencies.

Such as on how all work includes strategy on how experienced design is the bridge between brand and marketing.

So if you want to get a taste of what it’s like to run strategy sessions with global brands and how to design experiences into your brands, then stick around for this article

Brand Experience And Experiential Design (w Tom Gilbert At Design Bridge)

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How Did You Become An Executive Creative Director At Design Bridge

Stephen Houraghan

So there’s a lot of interest in top agencies, the processes they go through and what’s important to them.

Can you tell us first, a little bit about your journey to how you became a founding partner and an Executive Creative Director there at Design Bridge in Shanghai?


Tom Gilbert

I was one of those kids who started in a very creative zone because even as a kid I was really interested in art and things like that and making things. 

But it wasn’t until teenage years that I started to realize what that could eventually be. So kind of naturally grew into being an industrial designer, which is what I’m trained to do.

So in 2010, I ended up moving to Singapore and joined Design Bridge, so I’ve been with company for 12 years and in that whole time period, I’ve again meandered a little bit in different roles, but it’s mainly been started in industrial design lead and just design team here in Singapore.

As things developed and experienced design started to become terminology within the industry, we also started to evolve and we went from just industrial designers to having CGI artists and environmental designers, events, designers, digital designers, motion design.

We started expanding the team into a really kind of mixed discipline team and a lot of collaboration to the point where we’re doing lots of projects globally for some of our studios until 2017.

When they gave me a new chapter to go to China and part of my title is that I’m the founder of the Shanghai studio. 

I’ve been the ECD of Shanghai ever since there was one tiny blip in that is that I’m now in Singapore because of the pandemic.

So I’ve been working remotely ever since, but in some ways that’s also been an interesting journey because I’ve now become this kind of accidentally become a bit of an expert in remote working.

Using lots of different tools that you weren’t using before to keep things working. 

How Is Your Agency Positioned And Who Is Your Target Market

Team discussing with projects and plans

Stephen Houraghan

I understand from my role that there are so many different facets of design when considering the brand, but even I hadn’t considered the industrial element of brand design.

It’s kind of great to see that in anybody who hasn’t come across Design Bridge before Google them and have a look at their work

It’s some awesome work. It’s really great work and then I like to have a look at what top agencies are doing there because it’s just to kind of get a feel for that top level work.

It’s really awesome. The work that you guys do is really great. 

How would you actually position ourselves or how do you position yourselves as an agency? 

What’s your target market? 

What’s your position and do you have a focus on branding and brand design? 

Tell me a little bit about that and a little bit about your target market

Tom Gilbert

We have a global brand design agency that’s how we describe ourselves to people. 

Obviously that’s quite broad so how would position really is working with, very close relationships with multinationals.

So we’ve got a lot of long-term relationships with multinationals and Design bridges, 35 years old. 

Some of those relationships go back 35 years we’re talking about companies like Unilever or Diageo and the big multinational companies like that.

We did a lot of FMCG consumer goods, branding, but over that 45 year period, obviously we’ve diversified as well and work in a variety of different sectors.