Inside the Offices of Creative Consultancy Watson & Company

Design work mixed with personal mementos

Art was always my first passion, having piqued my interest early on. When I was 16, I worked for a startup called the Affordable Art Fair, whose goal was to upset the status quo of art buying by leveraging a more inclusive and less intimidating environment that allowed people to buy art at more affordable prices. It was then that I realized that artists of all statures, even those who are lesser known and have little to no provenance, have a story to tell. I learned that if you are able to uncover that truth and tell the story, you can better connect with an audience. This experience formed my early understanding of building brands. Now, storytelling is at the heart of what we do at Watson & Company.

Our New York City office tells its own story. 

Below is a wedding invitation from the one that got away, and a framed photograph of the one that didn't—my 2-year-old daughter Lola. This was taken at one of our team dinners last summer on our rooftop, where I designed the invitations and cooked for everyone. Lola joined us as my surprise guest. 

I like to have a bottle of Harris gin on hand from my friend's brand new distillery, not far from where I grew up on the west coast of Scotland. We have a library of magazines that we update regularly, and LOVE is always on the shelves—Katie Grand does really inspiring work. The invitation, in Yves Klein blue, is from our yearly collaboration with Douglas Elliman/Knight Frank at Art Basel Miami, where we continue to create an interactive gallery for their top properties around the world, while also getting to see the best of what the art world has to offer. Behind it, our art book design for our friend and architect David Adjaye with publisher Rizzoli. 

Our label design for Lagoon Hill, a New Zealand-based wine range. The rugged hand-drawn logo was designed to disrupt on the shelf. The teak box was made by my brother David Watson, a cabinet maker. It houses material from our work with 10 Bond, beautifully crafted residences in the heart of NoHo.

Anna Karlin is a dear friend, and I love her work. This is her brass-plated side table, designed to look like a chess piece. Atop the table are the books I designed back in the day for Rizzoli and the estate of Stephen Sprouse, which remain a favorite of mine. Adjacent, our concept to celebrate 25 years of the esteemed Andrea Rosen Gallery, a limited-edition 25-book volume highlighting the most memorable exhibits. 

The Burberry chainsaw is part of an installation I made. I like the fact that it reminds me of my British roots. The piece on the wall is by artist Iván Argote. I love the gestural line work combined with its graphic quality. Although only a small portion of it is visible in this shot, it takes up much of the space on the wall closest to my desk. 

The works on my shelves are constantly evolving. I like to showcase examples of our work at the top, and personal mementos on the second and third shelves. A few of my favorites are the table model made by my brother David, the Anna Karlin glass water carafe on my desk, and my Cherner chairs.

I love my team, but my favorite time in the studio is very early in the morning before everyone arrives. It gives me the space and peace I need to gear up for the day, and the studio is flooded with such beautiful light. 

These boards are looking unusually tidy, as the creative process is quite messy. In the middle are some cover explorations for Drome magazine, which we are in the process of redesigning right now for a fall launch. 

I designed the studio to be as open, light and bright as possible. We have this cool lounge area in the center, with this amazing Vladimir Kagan sofa. It took us five hours to get it up the staircase to our top-floor office, but I have to say it was worth it. The front desk and coffee table were both custom made. I designed the glass top to be removable, so we could use it to display our most recent work. 

This is a view of our design area, which is where you are most likely to find me when I'm not at my desk. Our design team consists of a diverse group of creatives who also maintain entrepreneurial and artistic pursuits outside of the office. This has become paramount to our hiring process. I've found that the strongest creatives maintain their practice outside of the office, which enriches the work we do within it. 

Our lounge area doubles as an immersive digital presentation space. There are five screens and projectors arranged to create a room within a room. I like to step outside the formality of the conference room whenever possible, and this is a very effective way to bring the client closer to our process. I must admit we did use these to watch a few of the World Cup games.

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William Richmond-Watson
William Richmond-Watson is founder and chief creative officer of creative consultancy Watson & Company.

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