30/06/2022
Insight

Who the hell is Dan Capstick? 

We work with some pretty incredible people. And we want to introduce you to them. Join us as we chat with DixonBaxi team members about who they are in and outside of the studio. We caught up with Dan Capstick about weird,  Aphex-Twin-inspired animation, cycling, raving and what it’s like spending a decade with DixonBaxi. This is that conversation:

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Dan Capstick. My job title is head of creative. Simply put: I am a creative director of major brand projects in the studio; I define and shape our creative team–from talent spotting to talent nurturing; and alongside my fellow ‘heads’ I work with Si and Aporva to forge our future path. 

What’s your story?
I have been working in the creative industry for a little while now. I have always sought fiercely original co-creators, ones with a creative bar set high, with a passion for excellence, with a drive to do things differently. 

 I graduated in 1999, following a graphic design degree, exhibited at New Blood with a weird Aphex Twin inspired animated piece, got picked up by a cool agency and literally the rest is history. Over the years I have had the pleasure of working on music videos, films, immersive interactive experiences, ad campaigns, Olympic ceremonies and with countless brilliant clients.

I’m actually in my tenth year with DixonBaxi. A lot of my focus in that time having been on creating distinctive brands in the entertainment sphere. It’s a creative endeavour that has always been vigorous, rewarding, challenging and spectacular. The projects are often multi-sensory, combining identity design, film, motion, sonic and experiential, and that really makes it exciting. I love the drive for perfection, I love working with creative people who want that too: clients, collaborators and our entire team. I have had that in spades over the last decade with some insanely talented people on the way!

What are you working on right now?
As head of creative, I have oversight of a vast number of projects. As well as spending time on the vision for the company and the logistics of getting the projects done well, too.

My creative focus has recently been on a large and rewarding project. It’s a real honour to be part of something that will impact millions of people here in the UK. We so often work with international clients. This one, close to home, with a chance to define a new vision for a true household name, is pretty spesh.

“[Good design has] got to be alluring, unique and communicate with passion.” 

Describe your working style in 3 words.
Multitasking doesn’t coverit.

Tell us about some of your interests – what are you into?
I guess music is a big passion of mine. Coming out of lockdown I have been grabbing the live music experience firmly with both hands and rubbing it in my face. Being honest, I’m probably getting a little bit old for the all night raving… it’s hard to pull myself away from it! But I do love a good gig. 

I’m also an extremely passionate cyclist. And you’ll often find me in a Chain Gang whizzing around the North Downs on a Saturday morning.

Do you think design can change the world? How?
Changing the world through design, that’s a pretty bold statement. I’m not sure design can change the world per se, but even when you pair it back to something as simple as creating a mascot or an icon or a banner–extinction rebellion for instance–that helps facilitate a movement, inspires change and helps spread a message, I think that probably counts. 

I would definitely like to think design can make the world a more enjoyable place, that’s 100% true. Finding a way to enhance people’s lives, helping them smile and connect. We can start there!

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
One change is not enough change…

What’s the last song you listened to?
I’m in the midst of an autoplay playlist radio selection on Spotify, which is bringing up the goods perfectly right now. Loads of eclectic new tunes I’ve never heard, plus a smattering of classics too! Last played: Creel Etude by Clark.

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?
Hard to say. It’s probably in my blood. From an early age I was kicking about at the BBC, helping my Dad (who was a staff photographer there) and generally soaking up the creativity in the building. I was always fascinated by animation and moving image, and seeing iconic BBC idents getting filmed with massive Cyclops motion control rigs, whilst a dude fixed up explosives for the next take was probably a huge inspo.

Currently I think collaboration fuels me. With our team, expert talents we bring in, or our clients. It’s always a buzz to push boundaries and knock people’s socks off.

What’s your definition of good design?
It’s got to be alluring, unique and communicate with passion.