Mark Rowden, design background
I have a design background as a UK art director and graphic designer, best known for my corporate logo designs, especially in my application of the Swiss Style of graphic design. I formed my own design studio, Portfolio, in 1981. Based in Cambridge, Portfolio’s work became synonymous with the emergence of the so-called ‘Cambridge Phenomenon‘ – the beginnings of the hi-technology boom in and around the Cambridge area.
At its height Portfolio employed 30 staff and became acknowledged for its innovative level of creativity. Much of this work was ground breaking at a time that both predated many modern printing techniques, computers and, as these technologies developed, fully embraced them. My understanding is that Portfolio was within the first 800 users worldwide of the then new software application Adobe Photoshop. Certainly we were employing Applemacs the same year they were invented (1984).
With leading edge high technology clients it was inevitable we would also became familiar with the Internet from its earliest beginnings, later becoming firmly involved in the so-called ‘dotcom revolution’ – a leap forward in communications that shows no signs of stopping. Along the path of all of this myself and my team art directed countless projects, oversaw the imagery of hundreds of company start-ups, worked on national and international campaigns, both ‘above’ and ‘below the line’. In short, it was an apprenticeship much like a cauldron.