I caught up with Mike from Surface View to find out more about what makes him tick... we talked books, bikes and British design.
What's the most important thing to know about you?
I guess my most important role is running Surface View. It has been great seeing Surface View grow and develop and with our newly launched website we are becoming more international and promoting Great British design around the World. I like to think that Surface View is an original British Company producing and manufacturing the highest quality products and products that people will love and cherish in their homes.
Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Surface View.
I think I realised a long time ago that there is no such thing as good days and bad days. If you can’t take the good with the bad and enjoy both then life can get very tough. My best days though are seeing orders from around the globe and I also love coming across Surface View murals, canvases and blinds and see how people can create their own unique interiors with the help of Surface View.
What inspires your ideas?
I think that what inspires me are those few people who understand the value of design. I love the independent genius of British Design, people like Paul Smith and Terence Conran, and would love to think that Surface View can become a treasured British brand.
Describe the process you go through to turn your ideas into products.
Surface View started as a simple idea of combining our fantastic print technology with original archived designs to create unique and wonderful interior design products. Now we spend our days developing new interior products that can be created with bespoke print. For instance we have just launched Beech Ply Prints where we print the design directly onto a Beech Ply and this creates a beautiful alternative to canvas prints and a real stamp of individuality.
What advice would you give to an aspiring print designer?
Understand the process of print and take advantage of it. Understand the skills and the history of designers before you; and before PhotoShop and Illustrator. Don’t let the technology dominate the design. Don’t overcomplicate. And generally ignore advice from me.
Which three designed items could you not live without?
I like solid things. I like the beauty of a good book. There is nothing I like more than looking around a bookshop. It is a shame that I don’t have time to read all the books I buy. I don’t think I will ever be a Kindle user.
I have just ordered a hand made touring bike built in Britain by Enigma and even though I don’t have it yet I already can’t live without it. Made to measure and hand made just outside Brighton I know this bike will be with me to the end and be a constant source of pleasure.
And finally I love stamps and I have a soft spot for British Stamps with errors. I love the fact that printer errors are now so valuable and collectible and they appeal to my inner printer. I guess I could live without all of the above but they are things I really do enjoy.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my wife and children. They control my raging neurotic personality and make life fun.
What's next for you?
Our next step is to take Surface View to New York and Tokyo. Both are great Cities that appreciate British Design and they are, coincidentally, my favourite cities as well.
And, finally, what's your favourite colour?!
My favourite colour is Blue. Although I also quite like Red.