AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed pays tribute to Dan Wieden

It is a word from AKQA Group founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed to colleagues on the dying of Wieden+Kennedy founder Dan Wieden.

Expensive Workforce,

With deep unhappiness, I realized this night, that Dan Wieden, co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy, handed away on Friday. Dan was 77 and died peacefully together with his spouse by his facet.

Along with his razor-sharp wit and piercing knowledge, Dan was a rare inspiration to me. His firm turned the world’s most influential promoting company. As the biggest impartial, it paved the way in which, proving that dimension and skillfulness may be symbiotic.

At a time when many query consumerism, the angle Dan set in movement is figure that’s typically extra memorable than the merchandise it promotes. However it’s silence, not economics, that’s the actual crime.

Nike’s founder famously launched himself to Dan’s company with the declaration: “I’m Phil Knight, and I hate promoting.” Dan would defy conference to current a serious reassessment of what the occupation may very well be. He enabled Nike to find its voice and use the ability of that voice to construct bridges, break boundaries, proper injustices, right societal wrongs and redress prejudices — all of the whereas inspiring extra individuals to train.

We shared purchasers, geographies, and awards. We additionally shared an ethos. At one level, we even had conversations about merging AKQA into W+Ok. Throughout certainly one of these discussions, Dan gave me a tour of his gorgeous HQ in Portland, Oregon. I complimented him on the constructing. He spoke softly for somebody who created a tradition of remarkable work that makes a lot noise. “The query is, who actually owns this place?” he requested me. “You do, Dan,” I earnestly replied. Realising from his lower than effusive expression that — as an apprentice — I had given the flawed reply, I corrected myself with a extra thought-about response: “The individuals do, Dan. It’s for everybody.” At this, the brightness reappeared in his eyes.

Dan all the time understood the interior bond that pulls one particular person to a different. He has given generations of artists, writers and administrators a canvas. Regardless of his company’s phenomenal success and immeasurable contribution, Dan by no means misplaced observe of the dignity of the human soul. He mentioned: “We have to get to youngsters who don’t know what we do. We have to open the doorways vast and allow them to in. There are numerous undiscovered voices on the market — voices that, towards all odds, can stand up and enrich this tradition and maybe change the very nature of {the marketplace} for the higher.”

In our hearts, in honour and remembrance of Dan Wieden — who helped form the course of recent trade, and so many careers, together with mine.

I can even be donating to Caldera, Dan’s basis.