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Creating a Logo Archive with Richard Baird

An interview with
Richard Baird


LogoArchive is an online gallery and series of collectable monthly ‘zines’ focused on researching and restoring mid-century logo design, featuring work by designers such as Burton Kramer, Rolf Harder and Tomoko Miho. This is one of the self-initiated projects founded and run by Richard Baird, a British freelance designer and writer.

In this episode we discover how Richard started his career, why he focuses 50% of his time writing, and have an in-depth discussion about Logo Archive.

Richard Baird Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: I understand you studied furniture design for four years, then started your career freelancing as a designer for a small furniture business, where you had opportunities to work on furniture brand identity and packaging. Could you tell us a little bit more about that early part of your career and why you eventually made your mind up to focus on visual identity?

Richard Baird: Absolutely. I left university in 2005 and I had no idea what I wanted to do, that I hadn’t secured a job. So, you get that moment where you’re sort of scrabbling around for any kind of opportunity. And luckily, a former graduate, who graduated at the same time as me, Milo, he’d moved away. But while he was at uni he’d worked on a live brief with a furniture company in the city, which I hadn’t. And he’d impressed them and they’d asked him to work on a project for them after university.

As he’d moved away, as had many, in fact everyone except for me, who decided to stay in Nottingham because I didn’t really want to go back up north, he’d passed on my details. Milo was a significantly better designer than I was. And so, it was very lucky that he’d just thought of me and knew I’d stayed there, and had passed my details on.

This company had got in touch and what they really wanted was some headboard designs and some visualisations, I’d had some experience working with 3D studio Max. It was a very, very simple project and at the end of it I’d been given this cheque for £300 and I had no idea what to do with it, in terms of tax. And I rang my dad up, who has always been a very good person to go to in terms of business, being a freelancer himself and having had a business in the past. And he said, “Well, what you need to do is just register as self employed and then you can pay tax on the cheque.”