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Catching up with... Bruce Duckworth

We caught up with BA Graphic Design alumnus Bruce Duckworth who started his own Graphic Design branding agency Turner Duckworth, employing around one hundred people with offices in San Francisco, New York and London.

What did you study at Kingston?

Bruce Duckworth KU alumniGraphic Design BA (Hons)

What have you been up to since?

I've worked as a Graphic Designer ever since leaving. I have a great family, two children, one at Glasgow University studying History of Art and the other is hoping to do an Art foundation at Kingston.

Why did you choose Kingston?

Graphic Design had a reputation as being one of the best courses in the country and I loved the Art school feeling of Knights Park, all the creative people together.

What do you remember about your time at Kingston in three words? 

Work, fun, friends.

Have you been back to Kingston since graduating? 

I've occasionally been back to see the degree shows and I'm giving a lecture to Graphic Design students in the new year.

Are you still in touch with anyone from your Kingston days?

Yes, I married Jane Wrightson who was on the same course! and my best friend, Phil Howells, who was also on my course and is now a great Creative Director in Advertising, I see regularly, infact I saw him last week. And other Kingston friends I see occasionally. 

What did you expect to do after graduating? Are you still doing that now? 

I've been lucky. What I wanted to do is pretty much what happened. Luckily I graduated in 1985 at a time when designers were in short supply, I was offered six jobs at my degree show, I started working as a designer for some great companies and after eight years, I started my own Graphic Design branding agency Turner Duckworth with my partner. We now employ around one hundred people with offices in San Francisco, New York and London.

What's your greatest achievement?

Design Awards are up there, The Grammy was cool, D&AD Yellow pencil was ultimate design award for me, meeting the Queen was amazing and becoming the President of D&AD is my biggest honour. But I'm most proud of our business, seeing young talent flourish and reach their potential is my most rewarding professional achievement.

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self? 

Don't rush it. I was so desperate to get out to work that I didn't even apply to the RCA to do an MA, Now I wish I had.

What last made you laugh?

Doing the hola hoop challenge at the Christmas party.

What's your ideal weekend?

Family time, art exhibition, some physical exercise of some sort.

You are to live out your final days on a desert island...

  • Who would you take with you and why?
    Jane my wife, we're best friends and we have a lot of fun together.
  • What book would you take and why?
    A Smile in the Mind. It's the best graphic design book ever, it's why I do what I do and after thirty years I still love seeing really great graphic design.

Tell us something no one would guess about you. 

I qualified as a windsurfing instructor thirty five years ago and I still occasionally windsurf.

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