After 30+ years of working with brands I had many lists of values, behaviors, personalities and archetypes that I'd collected over the years but no systematic way of diagnosing brands or uncovering potential new strategies. Like all strategists I'd used the traditional 12 Jungian archetypes but they were too narrative, flat, familiar and unsurprising. There were no tensions that would lead to something great, fresh or exciting. It was difficult to make them inspire actions and behaviors that would differentiate a brand and propel it forward on a new trajectory.
I saw patterns in my lists and discovered I could group almost everything into 6 core human motivations and drivers that had remained the same since the beginning of time. These were validated by everyone from Hippocrates, Alchemists, Jung, Alder, Holland, Kiersey (and everyone identified on the Nockwood 'key'). About this time I fell down the rabbit hole of Alchemy and magic and realized that the tools of ancient magicians could be as powerful today as they once were. Tarot and Chaos Magick specifically, had little mysticism associated with it. It was practical in its application. Cards were tools, diagnostic frameworks, to open our minds to new options, choices and actions that were previously unseen or unconsidered.
I decided I needed a deck of Brand Tarot cards that brought together behavioral archetypes with a procedure that could provided quick and accurate diagnosis and revelation. With that the structure of the Nockwood deck was conceived. At the instant of conception I knew the designer I wanted to design these cards. In all my years of working with some of the best designers and creative minds in the world, there was only one person that could design this interconnected matrix of beauty, magic and revelation.
“Graham Wood has been one of design's leading figures for more than a decade.” Patrick Burgoyne, Creative Review
"What Wood has created is a kind of ambient typography comparable to the ambient music and ambient video of artist-musicians such as Brian Eno, David Sylvian and David Cunningham." Rick Poynor, Eye Magazine
In 1991, after finishing a BA and MA at Central St Martins in London, I co-founded Tomato with Steve Baker, Dirk van Dooren, Karl Hyde and Richard Smith (Underworld), Simon Taylor and John Warwicker.
In 2006, I joined JWT New York as Executive Creative Director Visual Communication.
In 2009, I joined JWT London as Head of Art.
In 2012, I began working freelance.
In 2013, I co-founded Studio Heiss with Flo Heiss and Mark Cramphorn.
In 2014, I joined The Gild as ECD.
Exhibitions include V&A and MOMA Permanent Collection, MOCA (San Francisco), BFI collection, onedotzero, The Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, LaForet Tokyo, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Jacobson Howard Gallery New York, LEA Gallery London, Scarlett Gallery (Stockholm), AIGA Design Archives etc
I've been interviewed by/work featured in and on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Wallpaper Magazine, The Times, Guardian, Independent, Observer, Telegraph, Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Idea, Creativity, Communication Arts, Shots, Campaign, Lurzers, Creative Review, Grafik, Baseline, U&LC, Print, and others.
Clients, brands and people I've made things for have included Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Scott Walker, Levis, Unilever, JBO, Shell, Malcolm McLaren, Sony, Microsoft, 4AD, Samsung, Nine Inch Nails, Orange, Ford, Porsche, Lexus, Subaru, The Cocteau Twins, Electrolux, Philips, RCA, Rough Trade, Selfridges, Sketch Bar & Restaurant, MTV, VH1, Kiss FM, The Fast Show, Procter and Gamble, Bacardi, Smirnoff, MAC Cosmetics, Dead Can Dance, the Guardian Newspaper, Macy’s, the BBC, Channel 4, the Science Museum, Reeves & Mortimer (Randall & Hopkirk), Helly Hansen, Pepsi, Sunglass Hut, Radisson Hotels, Simple Shoes, DeBeers, Tesco, Underworld, Converse etc.
I have worked with agencies worldwide including Wieden and Kennedy, Leagas Delaney, Goodby Silverstein, Crispin Porter, Lowes, TBWA, Chiat Day, Abbot Mead Vickers, Saatchi, Dare, Cheil, SapientNitro, CHI and Dentsu.
The areas I have worked in range across strategy, creative direction, direction (live action and motion graphics), web, mobile and gaming technologies, installations, events, live motion graphic/visual performance, interior and product design, branding and identity, print art direction and design, books-design as well as publishing/authoring (tomato; process, 1996, tomato; bareback 1999, tycho’s nova, 2001, gasbook, real and imaginary flowers), exhibitions (London, New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, Munich, Milan, Paris etc) music, drawing, painting, photography, film-making, sculpture and typography, workshops, talks, performance and consultancies at colleges and institutions worldwide inc, Glastonbury, Cambridge, The RCA, Hyper Island, RISD, SVA, Cooper Union, Konstfack Stockholm, Art/Government programmes in Tokyo/Sapporo, and at events in Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, South America, The US and Canada.
Awards include AICP/MOMA, D&AD Pencils, Webby (Peoples Choice & Honoree), FWA, Cannes Lions, BIMA, One Show, Tokyo Type Directors, BBC Design Awards, Charleston Film and Video Festival, Epica D’or, XYZ digital typography, Studio of the Year (numerous times) etc.