5 Big Questions: DOM BAILEY


Why is design important?

What is the story about the bears, the telegraph poles and the honey?

And are we using the word ‘purpose’ properly?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to design expert and business leader DOM BAILEY



  • Twitter: @baxterandbailey | @bom_dailey

Known for:

  • Co-founder & Strategic Director – Baxter & Bailey
  • Former Deputy Chair – Theatre for a Change
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Member of the Chartered Society of Designers
  • Member of the Design Business Association
  • Member of the International Society of Typographic Designer

The 5 Big Questions:

    1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
    2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
    3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
    4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
    5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“We’re not there to tell businesses what to do, in terms of their long term strategy. But without that in place, it makes our work very difficult, trying to breathe into something that doesn’t exist. Any good business, charity or organisation does need that plan.”

“We have this little mechanism, something that I’ve really carried forward in our working life. We call it the Three ‘Rs’, it’s Revenue, Recognition and Reward. Revenue is, yeah, we’re a business, we need to make profit. But the other two ‘R’s are really important: will it build the reputation of our agency, creatively, and does it feel good to work on? Does it enrich our team? You can’t always have all three ‘R’s in everything you do but I would argue that if you make the core priority revenue — and revenue alone — I think that’s a hiding to nowhere.” 

“It’s very important not to shout down creativity as it’s happening. We call it a kind of ‘divergent thinking’, we go wide, we create choice and once you’ve got choice your ability to make good choices is vastly improved.”

“When we talk about ‘purpose’, the way in which you collaborate will be improved if you have a shared sense of purpose. It’s not rocket science to say that but if you stop and think, does that client have purpose? Does this project have a purpose we can share? That will fuel the drive for better collaboration.”

“We’ve worked with businesses that have gone from two people to fifteen-hundred people in eighteen months. Incredibly hard to keep up with, with a small team.”

Useful links

This episode was recorded in November 2021

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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