Wednesday, July 18, 2012

RIP. Tom Gloesener 1976-2012

It was during my time as Vice President and President of BEDA, from 2005 to 2009, that I was first introduced to Design Luxembourg's representative Tom Gloesener. He was elected to the Board at only 29 or 30 years of age, (BEDA photo taken on his re-election to the new Board in March 2007).

Although I knew that Tom has been fighting cancer with enormous optimism and bravery for some time now, I was deeply saddened yesterday to hear of his unexpectedly sudden death at the age of 36.

Truly passionate about design, Tom was a dedicated member of the BEDA Board committed to raising the standards of professional design practice and design procurement across Europe – in particular, working towards the elimination of free pitching. We benefited greatly both from his expertise as one of Luxembourg's leading graphic designers and his wisdom as President, (for four years), of Design Luxembourg. His counsel was calm and insightful.

Since then, I have had the opportunity to work as a consultant with Tom, his close friend and business partner Silvano Vidale, (with whom he set up Vidale Gloesener in Luxembourg in 2000), and their senior designer and strategist Heike Fries. We worked together on a number of key projects for clients including Rothschilds Bank and the identities of newly formed energy companies Enovos and Creos, (which emerged out of a complex merger process). More recently in January, we worked together on a major tender process as part of a large consortium, pitching for work in the Middle East.

Through working with Tom and his team, I have gained a deeper understanding of the role of simple ideas, beautiful typography and infinitely well executed graphic design in shaping identities and building brands – in making communication meaningful.

But much more than this, I am happy to say we became goood friends and although we were not able to see each other very often, (thanks to the English Channel), I had the privilege to benefit enormously from his generous, warm and open spirit. He was great fun to be with. It is such a shock to have suddenly lost him.

My heart goes out to to Silvano, Heike and the team as well as to his partner, family and friends. He is sorely missed. I can only be grateful that I had the chance to know him, even if only for a short while.

RIP 17 July 2012

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