Base co-founder Thierry Brunfaut has just been announced president of the design category within the Creative Club of Belgium (CCB), an association bringing together professionals from the fields of advertising, graphic design, communication and more. His appointment adds a new level of authority and experience to the organisation’s design and branding area, and here he answers a few questions about his new endeavor and the overall future of the CCB, which is currently undergoing a process of renewal and change under its president Jens Mortier (founder of Mortierbrigade) and CCB operational duo Isabel Van den Broeck and Greet Wachters.
Thierry, congratulations on the appointment. What issues are you going to tackle as new head of the design section?
First of all I have to say that I’m very honored. It’s a very important task and of course great for networking and meeting interesting people. I really like that I have total freedom to organize the design category. The most imminent task is to prepare the CCB awards, which are given out every year for excellence in design and branding. This year everyone will gather in Knokke on 5th June at what you could call the Belgian Oscars of advertising and communication. I have to put together a high-level jury for the design division and guide it with a clear philosophy. But I can’t vote myself!
How important is the CCB for Belgian creatives?
I have to admit that with Base we actually haven’t attended this event for the last 17 years (!), because we felt the whole thing lacked credibility in design in a way. But as the CCB is undergoing positive changes we definitely want to be a part of its future, and hope that the new developments will also attract more people from the cultural sector, design and branding business. My objective is to make the design section more credible and open it up to new designers and new disciplines. In this context I’m part of an internal task force led by the CCB’s president Jens Mortier debating the future of the CCB.
Why the task force? What challenges is the CCB currently facing?
The CCB already exists since the 80s and for the most part has been driven by pure advertising. Although gathering outstanding communication professionals, it perhaps was all a bit of a self-congratulating affair, an old-fashioned club in a way. Basically advertisers were judging advertisers; it was all very closed, a bit like giving awards to your friends. But in the last years the world has changed drastically, and not just because of the whole digital aspect that has been added to the mix. Before, a small number of ad agencies handled everything, but now the landscape has changed a lot. That means CCB has to adjust itself to this new situation and fortunately its president Jens Mortier is doing that by trying to align the organization with a new reality. Our final objective is to create an institution after the image of the ones in London, New York or Spain and establish relationships with schools and the younger generation. All that with a typical belgian flair.