Kevin Finn / Graduate Profile

Having begun his career in Dublin with the studio that produces all the design material for Irish rock legends U2, Finn left Ireland to explore the world. This led him to Saatchi Design, Sydney, where he held the position of Joint Creative Director for seven years, winning numerous national and international awards. Following this, he set up Finn Creative, an independent design studio which for the first three years was based in Kununurra—a remote town in Western Australia. Finn is also the founder of Open Manifesto, Australia’s first journal of critical writing on graphic design culture, which includes contributions from Edward de Bono, Noam Chomsky, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher and Peter Saville, among many others.

In April 2008, Kevin was elected as one of three Australian-based designers to judge the prestigious D&AD awards in London. Most recently, Kevin was selected as one of [American] STEP magazine’s 25 Best Emerging Talents 2009, published in January 2010. Kevin was nominated by New York based author and critic Steven Heller and is the only Australian-based designer to have been included in this prestigious list for 2009. In March 2010 Finn was invited to be the first speaker at the inaugural TEDxBrisbane event and later the same year Finn appeared as one of 100 international designers in the Thames and Hudson book “Graphic: Inside the sketchbooks of the world’s great graphic designers.”  Other design luminaries included in this book are Stefan Sagmeister, Bruce Mau, Milton Glaser, MIchael Bierut and Irma Boom, among others.

advice for students:

Most people will tell graduate students what they need. I prefer to tell them what they don’t need:

A: You don’t need fear
- You have a voice – use it.
- You have an opinion – share it.
- You have fresh ideas – prove it.

B: You don’t need arrogance
- You don’t know everything!
- You need to listen – a lot!
- You’re not a superstar – yet!
Instead of having fear or arrogance, graduate designers should be confident and humble.

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