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Northumbria Design Graduates Who Are Making Their Mark On The World

From Jony Ive of Apple to IDEO’s Tim Brown, we take a closer look at some of the influential designers who started their journey at Northumbria School of Design.

1. Sir Jonathan Ive -  Chief Designer of the iPad, iPod and more

Apple products - jony ive apple design

Dubbed ‘the world’s most famous industrial designer’ by the Financial Times, Sir Jony Ive gained his BA with Northumbria University in the 1980s. It was during this time that he began to make a name for himself, winning two Royal Society of Arts’ Student Design Awards consecutively in 1988 and 1989.

He joined Apple in 1992 and climbed the ranks quickly, taking over as leader of the design team in 1996. With over 5,000 patents and numerous design awards under his belt, and no doubt more to come, he has been responsible for overseeing the look and feel of some of Apple’s most iconic products - including the iPod, Apple Watch and iPad. Ive also influenced their packaging and user interface, as well as the layout of retail stores and even more. In 2013, he was knighted for his ‘services to design and enterprise’.

After more than two decades with the brand, in the summer of 2019 Ive announced he would be leaving Apple to start his own design company, LoveFrom... We can’t wait to see what he does next.


2. Rob Law MBE - Entrepreneur and Founder of Trunki

Trunki suitcase

These days, you’d struggle to make it through an airport lounge without seeing at least one child sitting astride a Trunki. However, did you know that these bright, colourful and innovative “travel solutions for families on the go” were created by Northumbria University graduate, Rob Law?

Since they launched in to the market in 2006, almost 4 million suitcases have been sold in over 100 countries worldwide. This success has led to Rob and his team picking up a host of design, trade, consumer and business awards over the last decade, including being named SME of the Year (National Business Awards) and 42nd in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2012. To top it all off, Law has been awarded an MBE for his ‘services to business’. 


3. Nicola Morgan - Fashion Designer 

Lanvin Paris logo

Adidas, Stella McCartney, Karen Millen, Givenchy… the number of fashion giants listed on Nicola Morgan’s LinkedIn CV is incredibly impressive. 

After graduating with a first class honours degree from Northumbria School of Design in 2009, she went on to study a Masters at the Royal College of Art, before entering employment and making her mark on the industry. Since, she has held the senior designer position at some of Paris’ biggest design brands, including Lanvin and Thierry Mugler, and now sits as the head designer of LA-based Perfect Number


4. Tim Brown - Chair of IDEO

IDEO logo

IDEO are a global design company on a mission to make a positive impact on the world. Made up of a team of over 700 people in nine locations, and over 23 design capabilities, they are at the forefront of creating change through design with design thinking at the heart of everything they do.

Tim Brown joined their ranks in 1987, after leaving our Design School in 1985, and progressed to CEO in 2000. He held that position for 19 years, and shaped the company into what it is today, before finally stepping down in and assuming the responsibility of chair in August 2019. 

Over the course of his career, Brown has earned numerous awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery, Tokyo, the Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. If that wasn’t enough, he also advises senior executives and boards of global Fortune 100 companies and has written a number of notable books, such as Change By Design, and articles for Harvard Business Review.


Ready to Make Your Mark on the Design World?

At Northumbria School of Design, we want to help all of our students gain the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to achieve their professional goals throughout their career.

Our distance learning Design Management MA is perfect for people looking to operate more strategically, think more innovatively and take the next step in their career. 

Be ambitious: learn more now. 










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