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Give back and help young designers

I think it’s important to give back and help younger designers coming into the marketplace – so when I was invited by Bristol Art School to be a visiting lecturer on their Fashion and Graphics courses it gave me an opportunity to see what I could do to help. Bristol Art School is a real hidden gem – a traditional Art School in the middle of the buzzy urban hotspot of Bristol….. When I discussed with the Tutors at the School what they would like me to contribute… they said they would be grateful if I would just start by telling the students about my career to date.

Well I sat down and started to write out a bullit list in chronological order and was frankly bemused by the amazing number of things I had done – from being a young fashion designer making his way in the early 80’s with my own collection of ladies separates and selling to Harrods and Pop stars and top end Boutiques in London, New York and Japan – to being one of the very first fashion designers to invest in Computer Aided Design. Gosh that cost a lot – I remember my first two computers, printer and plotters cost £32,000! I could have bought a house instead.. I always believed in being an early adopter and it’s led to my having a willingness to invest and take risks to be the best I can.

And no interesting designer has a linear career path – I have designed everything from ladies top end fashion to fast fashion, technical sports and outdoor gear to my current fascination with purposeful bag and luggage. It’s been a great creative journey.

if there is one thing that I really believe in – it’s that young designers need to be taught how money and economics are so important in design. There is no point in designing something that won’t sell – and so having a good understanding of marketing, how brands are built and how the money works to bring your product ideas to life is so important. Clearly there is still a need to help young creatives understand how they fit into the marketplace – and how they can make themselves relevant and benefit from the value of their ideas in partnership with entrepreneurs. I will always give young designers some time to help them – I dearly wish I had had more practical help at the beginning of my career.

If any educational institutions want a realistic and commercial designer to mentor any of their students – just get in touch.

This is personal post from Guy Mathiot Oct. 2018.

Farewell respected Product creator..Trevor Baylis

We would like to show respect to Trevor Baylis has passed away today. What an amazing man – he was the man who came up with the idea of the ‘wind up radio’ that has transformed lives in countries where they do not have reliable electricity supplies.

What we find inspiring is he made a business out of helping people bring ideas to market – which is exactly what we do – so we bow in respect to this Great Brit who showed how it could be done. Respect. RIP.



Over 30 years ago was invited by the RCA ( Royal College of Art) asked me to give a presentation about how to use computers in design.

At that time I was a very early adoptor of compter aided design as it was called then. I had invested in excess of the price of a house in buying two computers, tablets, printer and large monitors ( wow they were 19″ screens!) – and transformed our studio to be at the cutting edge of technology.

As I stood on the stage at the RCA I found myself inspired to tell the audience – not only how I designed clothing graphics and bags and how I could adapt and visualise so quickly and with greater flexibility than ever before ( with what in retrospect seems very primitive software now!) – but I diverged to tell them my dream of what the technology would lead too.

I waved my arms and said I dreamed of being able to ditch the mouse and draw directly into the computer screen, I dreamed that one day I could visualise in 3D – full size – how clothes would look on different sizes of models , I dreamed that I would be able to mould shapes and forms with my hands to “virtually” create forms and shapes of garments and bags in front of me ….

Well the hall was silent. As I walked of to muted polite applause I realised I had gone too far for them. They were still wondering how to simply draw simple garments, they were pondering the huge investment in equipment and training and struggling to see how this could be integrated into their businesses.

But I – just a individual designer with a vivid imagination had seen the future and grabbed it – and could see where this could go.

Well – we all know now what was to come to pass – (but we are still waiting for the ‘3D mouldable in real time’ products )- but who knows that may yet happen!

I am so pleased though to see that at very long last – while Apple has neen napping and lapping up the profits in consumer goods that Microsoft has leapt ahead and created the first computer that has got me so excited since I bought my first computers all those years ago. Here is it. The Surface studio. We are just waiting for them to launch it in the UK and – yes – it will be “bye bye” Apple!

Guy Mathiot. November 2016.


The #Brexit vote …!

One week on from the Referendum in the UK…
In the aftermath of the ‪#‎Brexit‬ vote – we, like many others, are feeling a little bit shocked. Maybe it’s just our enterprising mindset, but within minutes of the reality setting in we were thinking hard about the new opportunities this had opened up.

We’ve had a wide range of ideas about new products – and narratives to support them that we can develop around stories of British innovation and resurgence.
But we now have to face the reality that the £ has been devalued. However, that in itself offers exciting opportunities to do production in the UK that were less viable before; and for sure our overseas customers will like the fact our fees will have devalued too!

One of our first concerns was the impact that this would have on the confidence of our design and development clients – but, since the vote last week we have had not one but two new clients come on board with new and novel product ideas that they want us to design and develop!

We think this proves the point that – if you have a good product idea supported with a rational and enterprising business plan then the “world remains your oyster”!
So, in the last week following the vote in the UK, we have not seen any slow down at all in the surge of enterprising people wanting us to develop products for them.

These people are spending their own money on ideas and have carried out good solid market research and therefore they believe that they can make it happen with a bit of help from experienced and enterprising designers like ourselves. “On On!” is all we can say!

Today is the Anniversary of starting Design IQ

Today is our Anniversary of starting Design IQ in 1985. Since we started – we have designed everything from fashion clothing and sports clothing such as printed skiwear, football apparel and shin pads, promotional products for games companies, merchandise for big brands such as Coca Cola and Formula One teams to technical running and outdoor apparel and women’s fitness kit, tents and technical outdoor bags and luggage and gadget bags for IT kit…!
The variety of things we have designed, and brands we have worked for feels amazing when we look back.

As designers we love change and variety – which is why over the years our experience has evolved from our foundation in fashion clothing and developed along a fascinating path via a lot of different production and textile technologies to bags, luggage and a wide range of textile products – which is where most of our activities are today.

In the last two years we have experienced a substantial upswing in the number of projects being done for innovative start up companies where our real life commercial experience of working from market and product concept design all the way through to product specification, sampling and managing production – to delivery of the final product to clients has been our main focus.

Looking forward in 2016 we are enjoying the fun and challenges of working on a very diverse portfolio of client projects where our commercial experience and down to earth advice can help clients bring new and exciting brands to market.

We would like to thank all the customers, colleagues and suppliers who have been with us on various stages of this journey. You are the people who have made our current skills and experience possible.
On on!

Seasonal shut down…

Seasonal shut down – 2015 has been a most amazing year for Design IQ and we have had an amazing variety of new design projects in work for clients. We would like to thank all our clients for their custom.

We are now about to close for the Festive period, and we will re-open Monday 4th January 2016. We would like to wish all our customers a lovely holiday in the company of the people they cherish.

Design IQ.

A Brit Champion

OK, maybe we should not express preferences when it comes to sport – but we are thrilled that Lewis Hamilton has just won the Formula One World championship – for the third time. He’s such an exciting diver to watch – behind the sweet demenour is a hard core racer.

Our fascination with F1 started many years ago when we were hired to design all the premiums and promotional merchandise for the ( then ) British American Racing team which then became Honda and then became Mercedes!

We had a crash course in all things F1 – from the perspective of the sponsors to the way that different logo’s and colours were viewed in different countries like China versus the US, and our task was to interpret the often conflicting branding guidelines and match these with the values and message the racing team wanted to communicate. Then we had to come up with merchandise ideas that we could style and brand to make everybody happy! No mean task – and it all had to be done with offices and dominant personalities in three time zones. This was all very exciting and we produced some of our very best design concepts and presentations – that created substantial business for our clients – who said they saw us as an excellent marketing tool.

From a design perspective it was a great opportunity to work in high tech materials and one where being free to come up with exciting merchandise ideas was as important as the styling of individual items. Nothing much has changed now really – we are always as fascinated by the structure of merhandise offered as well as the product styling.

So when we watch F1 now – it’s just for pleasure, but we remember the challenges of the F1 world and are pleased to have been given an insight into the design challenges and business’s behind it.

Where to invest your money?

Is it better in these days of ‘next to nothing’ returns from the banks to tuck your money away in savings – or invest in your own bright idea’s, hire a professional to help you develop it ready for the market and – yes – “take a risk” that your ideas about the market are good.

Well if you want to do all this carefully, step by step and make sure you are happy every step of the way with your investment – then talk to us. We treat every project like we were spending our own money – and research and challenge every detail we can carefully.