Graphic Design alumni visits students to share his knowledge and expertise as Design Director for web at Coach

2009 graduate David Boddy delivered insightful talks to BA (Hons) Graphic Design and MA Luxury Fashion Brand Management students this February

David with students from MA Luxury Fashion Brand Management
Camera icon
David with students from MA Luxury Fashion Brand Management

An alumni from our BA (Hons) Graphic Design course recently returned to NTU to lead a number of guest lectures. David Boddy, who graduated from the course in 2009, has quickly progressed and is now in the role of Design Director for web at luxury American brand Coach, based in New York.

David returned to campus to deliver talks to students on both our BA (Hons) Graphic Design and MA Luxury Fashion Brand Management courses, the latter of which will help students currently working on an industry live project set by Coach, in which they are being challenged to consider the brand’s European presence and positioning for global audiences. With expertise spanning user experience and web design, art direction and much more, David was generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise with the groups of students.

When asked about his time studying at NTU, David told us: “Graphic Design at NTU to me was a really formative experience. It was only years later that I really truly understood that I was learning my design process; it never really hit me at the time. A few years later when I was in industry, I looked back and discovered this whole new area of user experience design, and it all clicked for me that what I was trying to do at university – understanding narratives and journeys, and mapping everything out – was exactly that: user experience design. I honestly think that if I hadn’t had that time, I never would have been able to make that connection.”

“Ultimately my time at NTU gave me the confidence to continue to tread my own path."

He continued: “Ultimately my time at NTU gave me the confidence to continue to tread my own path - knowing the principles of design and being able to turn them into experience design. At Coach, my team and I work on curating experiences, and user design is just a different way of applying those principles. In a sense, an artist in an art gallery is an experience designer; musicians are creating experiences for audiences; I’m just trying to help Coach create the right experiences for their audiences in the right ways. That’s where I bring the best value – being able to target them is where the commerciality comes in.”

He added: ““I don’t think I would have had the confidence to pursue this path without those years of experimentation and learning my craft at NTU. But I certainly didn’t recognise it at the time - it was only afterwards. And I’m pretty honest about that! I thought my work was terrible compared to others, and actually it wasn’t terrible, but rather a different type of work. Others were trying to create these final outcomes, and I was stuck trying to work out what the right process was to create the right thing. I hadn’t heard of user experience design at that time, so I just thought I wasn’t doing well.”

David in the Fashion Management, Marketing and Communication teaching space
Camera icon
David in the Fashion Management, Marketing and Communication teaching space

On the value of creative courses and the creatives industries, David commented: “It would be foolhardy to suggest that the industry hasn’t changed, even in the years since I graduated. But the principles still remain. The teaching of those principles is still as important as it ever was.”

On NTU’s reputation, David told us: “The reason I got my first job at Next was because the university had an equity high enough to attract designers from industry to the annual degree show - they attended the show based on that equity the School of Art & Design has.”

Alex Hanford, Principal Lecturer for MA Fashion Management, Marketing and Communications told us: “The Coach project presents an amazing opportunity for our MA students to experience the challenges and risks associated with a real world situation. David's recent talk about his role in the fashion industry and his in-depth knowledge of the brand has brought the project to life. The students have been inspired to succeed from the career path taken by David, and from his obvious passion for the industry.”

Graphic Design alumni visits students to share his knowledge and expertise as Design Director for web at Coach

Published on 11 February 2019
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Current students; School of Art & Design

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418