A DESIGN FOR LIFE
“My business isn’t just about innovative visual communication and first-in-the-world products,” says Graham Shapiro, CEO and founder of Graham Shapiro Design (GSD) and its sister company, Reggie, which produces digital registration platforms. “I also want to inspire, advise and guide the design talent of the future. It’s important to give something back to the industry.”
To this end, Shapiro now presents workshops and provides business mentoring to young people, and is recognised by Cambridge University Students’ Union as an ambassador of innovation. “I enjoy highlighting new initiatives and ideas, and supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs and innovative students,” he says. “I want to help them to believe in their dreams.”
An award-winning inventor, designer and digital entrepreneur, and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers and Chartered Institute of Marketing, Shapiro founded his eponymous business, which has its head office in Nantwich, Cheshire, 22 years ago. While still at university, he invented the Interloopmailer, an interlocking cardboard mailer that folds back on itself, and which has been used by a host of global companies including Apple, Philips and Siemens.
THE GO-TO DESIGNER
Since then, he has created many other groundbreaking products, including the Reggie® Education app, which is used in many schools and colleges in the UK to take the student register, both in the classroom and on tr ips out. The invention won two International Business Excellence (IBX) awards in 2016, which were presented by the Crown Prince of Dubai. This year, Shapiro was asked to chair the awards.
GSD started out as a gr aphic design business before it moved into digital and new media. It has since established a name for developing visual communication techniques, both online and offline, employing the latest technology in an ever-evolving market. Clients have included Liverpool FC, Philips, Porsche, Samsung, Siemens and Typhoo Tea. Recently, the company has been working alongside luxury watchmaker Rolex on its digital strategy in the UK. It has also completed car websites for Fiat, Jeep and Alfa Romeo. Shapiro has just appointed a new Chairman, John Mohin OBE, who was previously Managing Director of Wedgewood, the fine china company. “John Mohin is a commercial figure with an innate understanding of business innovation and development,” says Shapiro. “He has been working with luxury brands in international markets and brings the skills we need to take GSD forward. Mohin is also a business mentor for Commonwealth First and an Ambassador for the International Festival for Business 2018.”
DIGITAL CRIME PREVENTION
Always innovative, Shapiro is currently collaborating with Sir Ronnie Flannagan, ex-Home Office Chief Inspector of Constabulary for the UK excluding Scotland, to create a new app, Reggie® Bike; a crime-prevention tool that will register new bikes at point of sale. “Currently, 400,000 cycles in the UK are stolen every year,” he says. “The app should help police identify stolen bikes and see who registered owners are, hopefully reducing bike crime in the UK.”
On a more personal note, Shapiro is currently studying a master’s degree in Leading Innovation and Change. “I believe that mobile digital communication is where it’s at, at the minute,” he says. “Mobile technology is key to so many different things. I consider that there will always be a need for printed literature and design for print, but digital platforms are the future.”