Always Push Yourself and Always Be Curious With Kyle Wilkinson

Kyle a British designer living and working in Yorkshire who specialises in creating bespoke display typefaces for brands and publications, designing visual identities, and developing innovative typography and imagery that is both dynamic and powerful.


He’s had the pleasure of working with clients worldwide, of all shapes and sizes to deliver innovative and engaging ideas, from launching small Silicon Valley startups to working with huge businesses such as Adobe and Bosch.


Kyle’s Key Points

  1. Always push yourself and always be curious for what’s out there.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone because it will lead to something.
  3. Embrace the unknown.
  4. However long you search for the answers to all your questions, you will never answer them all, there has to be a leap of faith.


Guest Links


Top Quotes

  • I left school and felt the pressure to go to college and study something quite academic.
  • I studied geography, phycology, human biology and maths for some reason.
  • I did that for 2 years then crashed and burnt by failing the courses which caused a re-assess.
  • I decided to take up photography as it was something I was already interested in.
  • Straight away, I fell in love with that type of thing and coming up with ideas.
  • I wanted the top grade and to get the A*.
  • Three-quarters of the way through the course, I ended up in the hospital.
  • It resulted in me missing an exam that I couldn’t resit.
  • My tutor at the time said, “Why don’t you do the design course”.
  • At that point, I didn’t even know what design was, I took it on his advice.
  • Anything that you can imagine, you can create with a pencil.
  • Design for me is the thing that I was here to do.
  • I rustled a portfolio together and they offered me a job there and then.
  • Thankfully they let me go out for the few hours a week to study my course.
  • The senior designer left a week after I started and my responsibilities went up.
  • I once sent a magazine to print all wrong, I won’t do that again.
  • We had our normal Friday meeting and was told I was being made redundant.
  • It was literally, pack your things and get out.
  • A friend of a friend said he might have a job for me and I said: “I’ll take it, just tell him I’ll take it”.
  • The work was shit and I knew it wasn’t going to be a long-term thing.
  • I knew, even at that early stage that I had a goal even though I didn’t really know what it was.
  • I became their go-to guy for when they wanted a project launching or doing.
  • One day someone brought a magazine called Computer Arts into the office.
  • I was introduced to all this wonderful work and all this work that people were doing for big brands.
  • I realised then, that every “thing” is designed.
  • I started to get burn inside, wanted to be in that magazine.
  • Looking back, that’s probably when my publishing career kind of ended.
  • We started doing things on evenings and weekend, running surely on passion and tequila.
  • You are only really as good as your last job.
  • We set off to provide a quality service and the work we wanted to do.
  • We didn’t have a month where we didn’t get paid.
  • It’s a case of putting the brakes on sometimes and making sure everything is considered.
  • We realised that we had a collective skill set that worked really well.
  • We all clicked personality-wise, it was so exciting.
  • By capturing the imagination for things we’ve never done before, the showcase came out of nowhere.
  • The show attracted a record number of visitors for the Civic.
  • The message is, go and try something.
  • We give our clients what they’ve never really seen before which is what they want.
  • This came directly off the back of trying something different.
  • If you just try something, you don’t know where that path is going to end up.
  • You don’t know where this next project will lead you to.
  • Things can snowball into so much success.
  • Turning points can move and send you into the stratosphere on such a small movement.
  • One of my ultimate goals is to work for TIME.
  • Working for Fortune magazine lead to us working with Adobe.
  • My work is on millions of computers out there.
  • Of course it scary to do something when you don’t know how to do something but at one point you didn’t know how to walk.
  • It is difficult when you don’t quite know how to do something, you don’t know where to start and it’s crippling.


Key Timestamps

  • 0:35 – Back to the start
  • 1:15 – Crash & Burn
  • 3:28 – Failing ill
  • 6:41 – My tutor’s advice
  • 7:27 – Instant love for design
  • 8:11 – My first freelance work
  • 10:07 – Thrown in at the deep end
  • 13:14 – One Friday meeting
  • 14:06 – Ear to the ground
  • 14:51 – My new boss
  • 17:57 – Blagging my way through my interview
  • 18:48 – Discovering true design
  • 21:23 – What if I started a company
  • 23:14 – Handing in my notice
  • 25:21 – The birth of Pixel One
  • 29:57 – Working with other agencies
  • 31:21 – Merging two companies which became HACKSAW
  • 33:03 – Enlightened Exhibition
  • 35:04 – Going full circle on my goal
  • 36:10 – The Northern Design Awards
  • 37:24 – The Brand Impact Awards
  • 39:10 – Craig David
  • 41:25 – One thing leads to another
  • 45:51 – Standout issues
  • 48:25 – The biggest thing
  • 50:45 – Guest links