I hated maths at school.
My parents spent a fortune on extra lessons. I told them not to bother, they didn’t listen. And predictably it was the only O level I failed – I didn’t care, I was off to Art School.
A few years after graduating I was talking randomly to someone at a party; she informed me that she had an MA in Applied Mathematics. I told her what I thought about Pythagorus, geometry and logarithms and said the only thing that was essential with numbers was learning how to add 20% on to a handling fee.
I was totally and utterly wrong.
I was just wrapped up in Graphic Design, and less than half an hour later my short-sighted and stubborn opinion had changed for ever.
She talked about the beauty and magic of equations and formulas, the fascination and sometimes lifelong dedication of mathematicians to solving particular problems.
She talked about the universe, the science of nature and the perfect mix of both the arts and mathematics – The Golden Ratio which has fascinated Intellectuals, mathematicians, artists and architects for at least 2,400 years. I learned about Alan Turin and his amazing code breaking work at Bletchley Park. (It took 2 years off the second World War and probably saved 2 million lives). So much for my instant dismissal of logarithms!
Since then I’ve always tried to keep an open mind about everything, and tried to see the beauty in the smallest task (I’m always caught staring at the amazing moving colours in washing up bubbles).
Starting with an open mind is now the one of NB’s core philosophies. It’s important to us as we work in a wide variety of sectors, on a variety of projects, from packaging to campaigns, brand identities to websites. Michael Wolff narrates in our ‘Why Us?’ video:
“We start with an open mind. Some people say an open mind is an empty mind, and in a way it is. We have to have an empty mind so that we can become your customer, so that we can become the people you want to connect with.”
BBC History: Alan Turing