Marketing vs Design: Mark Ecob interview

Mark Ecob is Creative Director of cover design company Mecob Design Ltd, Associate Art Director at Unbound, and is speaking at our next event: ‘Marketing vs Design, which matters more?’. Prior to setting up Mecob, Mark worked at Hodder & Stoughton, The Orion Publishing Group and as Art Director for Canongate Books.

1) When did you first know that you were interested in a career in design?

I could always draw and had lots of ideas at school, and before I knew what design was I was producing things like posters and theatre programs.

Thanks to some great teachers and lecturers, I was gradually nudged towards graphic design. I fell into book cover work in a desperate attempt to find a job alongside thousands of other graduates, and loved it. That was sixteen years ago.

2) How do you work with marketers in your current role? 

Most of the time, cover designers just package the books. Even though I believe we should be part of a team which brands authors, their books and their campaigns as one overall entity, the industry doesn’t seem to agree, which I think is a real missed opportunity.

Sometimes I’m asked to pitch for a branding project, where my design can translate across mediums, but it generally stops there. Indy publishing is an exception, where authors have to take ownership of their own design and marketing, and look for designer’s help and advice out with just the book’s packaging.

3) Any tips for designers who need to communicate effectively with their colleagues in marketing?

Push to be involved in marketing, even just to consult, but acknowledge the expertise of marketers. Link in with them, translating your designs into brand values that can be taken through to a successful campaign.

4) What might we hear about in your talk on November 2nd (don’t share it all…)?

A rally cry for everyone to work together more.

You can hear Mark in London on 2nd November at Marketing vs Design: Which matters more? Grab a ticket here.