• A designer who builds successful brands with bright ideas, clear thinking and intelligent design.

Sunday 24th June 2018


Inspired' was a regular feature in Design Week. Each week a designer was asked what inspired their work. It was always short and sweet. I always thought it would be a great idea to compile them into a book. Now there's an idea...

In 1999, I was cajoled into running the New York Marathon. 

I'd reluctantly taken up running to keep the middle-aged spread at bay. The furthest distance I'd run was three miles. I had three months to train. I bought a book called How to Run a Four-Hour Marathon in Four Months. I started on month two. It was a steep learning curve. 

I discovered during training that the further I ran, the more euphoric I became. I ran to music, middle-of-the-road stuff like Eye of the Tiger and Simply the Best – music I'd never admit to liking in company, and yet it inspired me and I felt fantastic. As those endorphins flooded through me, I conjured up an endless stream of solutions to design briefs, solutions to the problems of the world and multi-million pound money-making schemes. 

I ran my first marathon in under four hours. This inspired me to run more. Last year I ran the London, Chicago and New York marathons. Running is my meditation, it helps clear my mind and focus my thoughts. Who said it was boring?

Gary Cooke