2 Minutes With ... Sarah Moffat, Global Chief Creative Officer of Turner Duckworth

Her career arc, from Virgin Atlantic to McDonald's

Photo illustration by Ashley Epping

Sarah Moffat was born and raised in the North of England. She ventured south, graduated from Kingston University and joined global branding and design agency Turner Duckworth in London. After working in the U.K. studio, she headed across the Atlantic to join the San Francisco team. 

Currently, as global chief creative officer, Sarah is responsible for the strategic and creative output of all three Turner Duckworth studios—in New York, San Francisco, and London. She heads up teams for clients such as McDonald's, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Beam Suntory, United Healthcare and P&G. 

We spent two minutes with Moffat to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Sarah, tell us ...

The town where you were born, and where you live now.

Penrith, Cumbria, in the north of England.
Western Addition, San Francisco.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

A forensic pathologist.

How you discovered you were creative.

Born that way, we all are … for me, it's less that you discover you are creative and more likely that one forgets.

A person you idolized creatively growing up.

Roald Dahl.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

Accidentally volunteering to spend a month building classrooms in India.

The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.

Fairport Convention.
Brume.

Your favorite visual artist.

John Baldessari.

Your favorite hero or heroine in fiction.

George of George's Marvelous Medicine, by Roald Dahl.

The best book you've read lately.

Beastie Boys Book on Audible. Also, High Five by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.

Your favorite movie.

Time Bandits.

Your favorite Instagram follow.

@ortu_animae, the highly creative project from our highly creative MD.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on, and why.

Virgin Atlantic amenity kit, my first professional creation, designed to evoke security X-rays. It flew all over the world to countless exotic destinations and hopefully raised a smile or two. Twenty years later, I'm still laughing at my own jokes. "Pardon?"

Your favorite creative project from the past year, and why.

McDonald's global visual identity system. It was a chance to work with an amazing team, internal and external, and an opportunity to celebrate the power that design can have to create change. They surpassed $100 billion in sales last year; the scale and potential for influence is mind-blowing.

McDonald's | Turner Duckworth
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.

Absolut Mandrin, 1999, by Shaun Bowen at Pearlfisher. So effortless, so simple, so I-wish-I'd-done-that.

Someone else's creative project that you've been envious of lately.

David Pearson's book covers—all of them.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Seeing what others don't.

Your weakness or blind spot.

I'm sensitive. It's a blessing and a curse.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Dumplings.

One thing that always makes you sad.

House fires.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in design.

If I wasn't in design, I'd probably be in therapy.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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