People to Watch in 2011
VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL DESIGN
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
David Butler is responsible for leading the global design vision and strategy for The Coca-Cola Company. Since 2004, he has led the design thinking for some of the world’s most loved and valuable brands. Coca-Cola has been recognized with numerous design awards including the prestigious Grand Prix from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In 2009, Butler was dubbed by Fast Company as a “Master of Design.” His career experience includes leading brand, product and experience design with numerous fortune 100 companies. He is a frequent lecturer and strong advocate for design education, and is currently based in Mexico City.
Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
I was born in St. Petersburg FL and currently live in Mexico City, Mexico. I would say what has most affected how I think about design is working at Coca-Cola. Working for a company that does business in more than 206 countries has given me a truly global perspective. Traveling around the world, I have developed a much better understanding about how global brands and businesses can use the power of design to focus on giant wicked problems and opportunities.
If you were not a designer, what would you do?
I love to think about systemic problems and design system solutions. If I weren’t a “designer” I’d probably just apply that same passion in a different way — for instance in medicine or agriculture.
What advice would you give a design student or young professional just starting out?
Focus on the design of the world and less on the world of design.
Ray and Charles Eames
Favorite TV Shows?
The Medium is the Message, Thinking in Systems, Good to Great
It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Fine Artists?
New Year’s Resolution?