Malcolm Garrett is a celebrated graphic designer known for his work with musicians such as Buzzcocks and Duran Duran. He is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic - now Manchester Metropolitan University - and was an early adopter of digital technology and founder and joint artistic director of the Design Manchester festival. 

Hi Malcolm. You’ve taken a seat on our judging panel for the past few years. Why did you decide to get involved with Big Chip again in 2018? 

I think it’s so important to recognise and support all the designers and agencies doing great work across all creative sectors in Manchester and the North. This is not to be at all parochial, but to reward work that is exceptional wherever it originates, yet might otherwise not be noted on a national level. The agencies that the Big Chip Awards reward tend to be less concerned with national notoriety, but are no less concerned with producing work of the highest standard.

What in particular are you looking for in this year’s entrants? 

I’m always looking for the unexpected. Something fresh, something arresting. I realise that’s quite a broad challenge, but when you are presented with exceptional work in this competitive environment you generally know it immediately. I’ve judged a lot of awards over the years, and the common thread is that judges are invariably agreed right away on what constitutes great work, and what deserves rewarding. It is always obvious what should win, and there is seldom argument over really exceptional work. Debate is reserved for what falls short of the mark in some way.