Timothy Jacob Jensen has been described as a contemporary design icon. He creates products that not only become an integral part of our everyday lives, but also win one international design award after another, and he now aims to revolutionise the design industry.
In early March 2021, Timothy and his design studio launched a new digital platform – Designers Trust.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many people to rethink. For Timothy, it was an opportunity to realise a plan building on a 100-year-design tradition:
“It’s an idea that’s been simmering in my head for many years. How to make it easier for talented, creative designers around the world to access projects? I think it can be said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst, because companies around the world have finally realised that services, including brilliant design, can be bought and managed digitally,” says Timothy.
Timothy’s long design career, including an active role in several international educational institutions, have allowed him to experience first-hand the challenges faced by designers who are enthusiastic about realising their creative ideas. The lack of networks, dominance by major design brands and the hurdles of international copyright law frequently prevent talented designers from realising their true potential.
At the same time, he has also noticed that many brands and companies find the process of creating new products needlessly burdensome and over-complicated. Often, their results are limited to ‘doing what we usually do’ and they miss the opportunity for new inspiration and stunning design.
Timothy and his team aim to connect the two sides of the coin, designers and brands/manufacturers, both of whom, in their own way, face the same challenge. His ambition is to enable both parties to do what they do best, and then help them with the practical aspects such as marketing, sales, legal matters and product development. Many designers cannot refer to their own work. Often it is the manufacturer or major design studio that reaps all the benefits from their creativity. Ensuring designers fair compensation and credit for their work has been a key challenge. Timothy calls it a ‘fair-share principle.’
The solution is a digital platform, where designers can present their work and companies can purchase concepts or hire designers. Designers Trust will curate, and quality assure completion of the projects:
“Personally, I have been on an amazing journey, developing the artisanship and profession that I inherited from my father, Jacob Jensen and his father, Alfred Jensen. Some people are worried that digitisation means kissing goodbye to the old virtues. But I am an enthusiastic advocate of the opposite view. The world is vast and beautiful. I believe that the key parts of creating beautiful products and designs are giving designers the opportunity to share their talent with the entire world and providing companies with access to sources of inspiration and talent from outside their normal sphere,” says Timothy.
Designers Trust has already generated considerable interest among design circles, companies and universities educating designers all over the world. Every day the creative pool of designers and design concepts is growing, among these Alasdair McPhail (formerly of Nokia). Meanwhile, designers from both Denmark and abroad have submitted entries for our first design competitions. Last week, the platform launched in India, and this week it launches in China.
“We have loads of ideas on the drawing board, so Designers Trust will be an agile concept, changing and evolving in response to the knowledge and experience we glean from our users. In many ways we are a start-up, which with 100 years’ experience under our belt, we’re now entering the digital age,” concludes Timothy Jacob Jensen.
To launch the platform, the team secured external funding from two more investors: IT entrepreneur, Vagn Nielsen, who is involved in ventures such as Boyum IT and moonsky.com and the seasoned branding and marketing expert, Claus Toftkjær, who has worked for Carlsberg and was most recently the Global Marketing Director for the Norwegian beverage wholesaler, Arcus. Both are on the board and play an active role in the company’s operations.