Creative minds: Mirco WüstholzInterview from "Designbote"
Mirco Wüstholz already knew at school that he would pursue a creative profession later on. After graduating from high school, he added a university education on top and studied communication design at the University of Applied Sciences for Design (FH Gestaltung), Mannheim. After gaining several experiences in the agency scene, Mirco Wüstholz became a founder in 2010 with VON HELDEN UND GESTALTEN together with co-founder Verena Mayer. Since then, the agency has grown steadily - especially in the design and digital areas - and currently employs 50 people. Recently, the Stuttgart-based agency expanded to include its own technology location in Novi Sad.
How did you get into creation?
I took art as an advanced course at school. Even back then it was clear to me that it would be something in this direction. Everything visual has always fascinated me - so it was only logical to study something in that direction.
Which project are you particularly proud of?
With the Leadership2020 project, we successfully accompanied the cultural change at Daimler as a lead agency over a period of three years. We reached 290,000 employees with our ideas, developed attention-grabbing campaigns, but also formats that make change understandable. We built a completely new communication and exchange platform, networked locations with each other, helped to think about and design events, and helped to build our own ambassador network. It was a lot of work and a great success for us.
What was the most painful defeat and what did you learn from it?
After my studies (final grade 1.3), I didn't make it through the probationary period in my first job and had to come down to earth abruptly: There is still so much to learn! Experience, that much has become clear to me since then, is really valuable in our profession.
How much does the Corona pandemic influence your creative work?
At first it was an adjustment. In the meantime, we have found a model that is stronger in my eyes than before: we cultivate creative exchange compressed in agency spaces that are geared towards meeting. Focused work takes place in the mobile office. Great!
What are you currently working on?
We are currently involved in major change and digital processes for medium-sized brands as well as large corporations.
Creative role models - do you have one?
In the past, during my studies, I was more oriented towards people: Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh, David Carson, etc. Today I'm more interested in exciting agency results, e.g. from Locomotive, Wieden&Kennedy or Dogstudio.
Inspiration - How do you come up with new ideas?
Before the Corona pandemic, new ideas often came to me while travelling, e.g. in metropolises like London, Berlin or Amsterdam. To be honest, I'm really looking forward to that when things really get going again. But I also find social media really inspiring: Here you can also observe exciting trends from the design sector from afar, for example on Instagram at type01_ or fvckingdesign.
What role do you think communication and design should play in society?
Communication should contribute to advancing companies (but also people) in their work, to elevating them to the next level. In my opinion, the importance of communication and its impact is still mercilessly underestimated by many companies. Both in the much-cited "war for talents", as well as in internal processes and, of course, in the direction of customers/consumers. Especially in the digital age, design, clear content and usability play an even more important role in communication.
What do you find particularly exciting about your job and what advice would you give to young people?
Teamwork, variety and constant learning. The best thing about my job is that I get to know a wide variety of people and companies. The tasks are always new, it's never monotonous or boring, simply wonderful!
What will be important in branding and design in the future?
I am sure that all brands need to become more authentic and approachable in their communication. For branding itself, I hope that we will achieve a turnaround again: Out of the interchangeability of corporate designs, web and social media presences and towards more edge and courage. I'm looking forward to even more moving images and animation, which will give every design even more drive.
Article in "Designbote" – Kreative Köpfe Teil 11: Mirco Wüstholz (German)