People: Clive Piercy, Designer

People: Clive Piercy, Designer

By Raan and Shea Parton

Photos by Ken Tisuthiwongse

On December 17th we caught up with Clive Piercy at our neighboring shop Alchemy Works. Our mutual friend, Jeffrey Cerciello of Farmshop, introduced us to Clive a couple years ago and we continue to be thankful for his British sense of humor and sincere friendship. Piercy has an inspiring view on design with a unique foundation of over 30 years of experience, studying and practicing both design & illustration. Clive helped us gather the following images to summarize his work and humored an interview to first preview with our new column over at and to help all of us better understand the life of a leader in the design world:

Rumor has it you don't say yes to just any new project. What kind of people do you love working with?

Working for people who will put you on the spot, are the people who will drive you to create the best work. The best chemistry in partnerships is a combination of an expectation of excellence combined with trust that you will deliver.

When you're teaching your Advanced Graphic Studio course at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, what is the most important message to convey to your students?

There are plenty of designers in the world; we are doing perfectly well without you. But what there is a true lack of are great graphic designers. So that is your obligation if you are in this class, to be great. And the greatest thing you can do as a designer is have work that is representative of your character, that reflects who you are, that is a manifestation of your taste.

If you could give designers a quick word of wisdom what would it be?

The most compelling part of good design is the soul of it, all good things have to have a soul and a design integrity that is recognizable, otherwise it is worthless.


Clive Piercy was born in London and has been a design force for the past 30 years, based in Los Angeles as the owner and creative director of the agency Air Conditioned. Clive attended school in Britain to study both design and illustration, as the combination of designer and illustrator was a highly acclaimed focus for designers in Europe in the seventies and made its way to the West Coast in the eighties. Clive came to the U.S. in 1982 on a whim to be the creative director for Rod Dyer. He was there for five years and decided to move on from the entertainment industry into a partnership with Michael Hodgson; they created their own design office called Ph.D. Twenty years of design work later with Ph.D, Clive decided to take on projects he was truly passionate about, strictly working within creative industries, and after decades of collaborating with a variety of people, he came to the conclusion that working with those who are passionate about what they do was the real barometer for meaningful work. We are thankful for Clive's friendship and willingness to be an Apolis Nomad, a group of inspiring friends that contribute to the Apolis Journal and regularly field-test our collection on their travels to help us improve durability. For more details of how to become an Apolis Nomad, email us.

We decided to put Clive to work and asked him to hand-select his favorite Apolis items for limited savings through Sunday, January 12th. Then we coerced him to join us on Tuesday, February 11th, as our third Apolis Nomad to host a Common Table Visionary Session at Apolis: Common Gallery (5-7pm). The goal of our Visionary Sessions is to invite Apolis Nomads to bring their inspiring talents and stories to our local community with a FREE hands-on workshop and Q&A session. The first 75 people to will receive 20% in-store savings, only available on Tuesday (Feb. 11).

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