G-CHECK #10

ANTHONY HARRISON

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF DESIGN CULTURE AT ADIDAS

The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. Meet Anthony “Bones” Harrison, a brand new Amsterdammer from NY, a passionate advocate for equality and a man who knows all about the value of wavelengths in life.

“My name is Anthony Harrison and I am a 48-year-old creative based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I was born in north London and when I was a teenager my family moved to New York.”

“My formative years in England really had a profound effect on me and have stuck with me to this day. I got loads of encouragement from my parents at home, but I remember primary school in the early to mid 80s being much the same. It was a time for my classmates and I when you were heavily encouraged to be creative and told that you could be anything you wanted. The year 2000 was on the horizon and there was a wild excitement about the future. Television was huge! The imagination of children’s programming and the subversion that I only recognized much later, had a great effect on me. Sports, particularly football, was a major passion of mine and is what introduced me to graphic design before I even knew what it was. At that age I was constantly drawing and writing. I was obsessed with the supermarket, TV commercials, product packaging and logos. This also carried over into sports as many sponsors started to appear in the football landscape in the form of logos and word marks.”

“Moving to New York in the mid 80s was nuts. Having seen the social, political and racial strife up close as a kid in London, NY was no different. I attended high school in Yonkers, NY which was deemed the most segregated city in New York State. That landed me smack in the middle of ‘bussing’ which is government-forced integration. These were times where us teenagers were attacked by adults. The harsh social and political climate that came with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reegan drew a huge response from youth in the UK and US which manifested in music and art. Fast forward to today and I still use that experience in everything I do. I don’t mean celebrating ‘the good old days’ – I mean by understanding my own path, I get a better understanding of what’s happening now and have some kind of idea of where we are going culturally. I’d like to think that my best work is in front of me, so it’s important to stay hungry and objective. “

Describe your life right now in 5 emojis.

🌎   👁  💥  🧠  ✨ 

What new skill would you like to learn?

Creative writing (not sure why, but quite a few graphic designers end up as writers later on). Animation and motion are super fascinating but extremely time consuming. There are only so many hours in the day.

What is your go-to quarantine dish?
Lizzy’s curried chicken.

Who or what inspires you right now?

I’m admittedly quite fidgety and can’t sit still so this changes every few days really. Today I think it’s Fargo the TV series. I’m a huge Coen brothers fan and watching Noah Hawley adapt these true crime stories from this specific region in the US during these different decades is mind blowing. It’s like a 10 hour film, so they are able to tell stories in a really rich way. Flawless from top to bottom. 

I’ve been obsessed with IDLES’ new album ULTRA MONO. It’s like a soundtrack to 2020. I put that song ‘WAR’ on when I leave the house. Also the Black Thought – Streams Of Thought Volume 3 is just so damn good.

Best 2020 moment so far.
Moving to Amsterdam.

What’s your favorite recent brand campaign?

Definitely the STAY THE F*CK HOME Campaign by Netflix this past spring where they presented spoilers from some of their top current series as billboards. It was a really timely and poignant message and a sign that they know their role in popular culture at the time of lockdown.

What’s your favorite off-screen activity?

I’ve loved crime novels since reading my first in high school (i.e. George Pelecanos, Elmore Leonard, Richard Price)

What should we be watching?

HYPERNORMALISATION by Adam Curtis, Fargo (film and series), The Trial of The Chicago 7, Borat 2,  The Pharmacist (documentary).

What should we be listening to?
  • TOP FLIGHT TIME MACHINE Podcast
  • BLINDBOY PODCAST by Blindboy Bookclub
  • ULTRA MONO by Idles. 
  • UNTITLED (Rise) by Sault. 

 
Anything else you’d like to share with us?

This has been a rollercoaster of a year and I don’t know where it goes from this point. It has shown me that right now it is most important to have clarity of mind and to be grounded in base reality. 

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