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My Creative Hero: Sir Jonathan Paul Ive


Bogdan Teodorescu, creative director at VMLY&R COMMERCE Romania explains why the British industrial and product designer is his hero

My Creative Hero: Sir Jonathan Paul Ive

Having started his career in 2005 as a web designer, Bogdan Teodorescu worked as a senior art director for Kinecto, Grey and MRM//McCann before joining Geometry as head of digital and later creative director at VMLY&R COMMERCE / VMLY&R Romania.

During his 17 years of experience in the digital industry, Bogdan successfully worked for many clients from various industries, including Lidl, Coca-Cola, BRD, L'Oreal, Lipton, Danone, Milupa, Carlsberg, Raiffeisen Bank, Bancpost, Vodafone, Audi, Citroen, Colliers, UPC and Bayer among others. Many of the campaigns were award-winning across some of the industry’s biggest advertising festivals including Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Golden Drum, Effie, Fibra, and more.

His career has also been helpful in his personal life, as creative storytelling works like a charm when people ask him about his fishing getaways – he always goes for the big fish! 

LBB> Who would you say is your creative hero? 

Bogdan> British industrial and product designer Sir Jonathan Paul Ive, probably best known as chief design officer at Apple Inc. for over two decades. Or on a friendlier note, Jony Ive. With more than 1.8 billion Apple users in the world, shouldn’t we really just consider ourselves one big family. Haha. 

LBB> How long has he been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting him or coming across his work?

Bogdan> I started my advertising journey roughly 15 years ago as a web designer in one of the most famous digital agencies in Bucharest. Our options at the time were limited – essentially Macromedia Flash and Apple more or less. Of course, Apple was my creative lighthouse and immediately I started obsessively venerating Jony and all he’d done at Apple. Budgets were pretty tight though, but after about a year I managed to grab a second hand MacBook Pro. That was probably where my real respect for him began – or 'ignition procedure' was initiated so to speak.

LBB> If it’s someone you personally know, how did you get to know him and how has your relationship evolved over the years? If you don’t know him, how did you go about finding to learn more about him and his work?

Bogdan> Absolute lift-off took place when I got my first iPhone – the 3GS.  Although I can look back now and laugh, it was state of the art back then. Of course, I didn’t know Jony Ive personally, but our unilateral relationship started with that phone. That's the point where I realised he as one of my favourites – a creative hero so to speak. I started reading more and more about his work. I read his biography and would sit quietly mesmerised every time I heard him speak (I’ve probably watched every YouTube video from seminars he’s spoken at).

LBB> Why is he such an inspiration to you? 

Bogdan> If I could only choose one thing, I'd say his passion for innovation – specifically using innovation as a fuel to turn the page and begin the next chapter. I think this skill was deeply influenced by his silversmith father. Crafting jewellery is all about originality and innovation, similar to Jony's own work. 

LBB> How does he influence you in your approach to your creative work? 

Bogdan> His influence on my work is two-phased – how he influenced me and what exactly influenced me. Let's take the 'how' first. Jony is fanatically devoted to excellence with an insatiable curiosity. He once said, “Good is the enemy of Great”. I think that can be applied to anything, not just creativity. Never settle, always push for that small improvement. 

Then there’s the 'what'. I think there are high chances to succeed in different categories if you apply almost the same principles – pushing the boundaries. 

There are great state-of-the-art products that have been shaped by his mind and fingers, which beyond being great also focused on usability and consumer mood. For instance, he once designed a pen. A very functional product, right? The difference with this pen though was that it had a ball on it specifically meant for a user’s compulsive behaviour. A modern-day fidget toy so to speak that actually served a purpose – before we even really understood what fidget toys were. But his thinking – which pushed boundaries – allowed for the design of a pen with purpose. 

LBB> What piece or pieces of his work do you keep coming back to and why?

Bogdan> For me anything from his hands is state of the art.  It’s not really about one particular product, but instead the entire mindset around Jony's work. In a world where the focus is mainly on function, he managed to simplify, draw, and rethink a new behaviour – one where the user is the central element. I still remember how complicated it was to use a Walkman – the time spent unwinding the cassette, the tangled tape, the buttons that wore out quickly, the robust size, the headphone design, the low life AA batteries … the list went on and on. And then on the other hand, there was the iPod. 

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VMLY&R COMMERCE Romania, Fri, 28 Oct 2022 08:50:05 GMT