First of all, thanks everyone for your comments and tweets — it’s humbling to read what some of you wrote, and your interest and support is much appreciated.
I did smile at the speculation over my departure being announced in the same week that Carolyn McCall (CEO of Guardian Media Group) quit to run a low-cost airline. I’m afraid there’s no basis to the conspiracy theories; I’m leaving for two very simple reasons.
The first, as I said on friday, is that I just began to feel that I’d done everything I could at the Guardian. As well as doing the major redesigns of the paper and the website, I’ve redesigned Weeekend five times, G2 three times, etc etc you get the idea. Of course there are always new things to do (don’t mention the ip*d), and it would have been very easy to stick around. But if you stay in one creative job too long it gets hard to keep approaching everything with a fresh eye, and when that happens its time to move on. But I still have a great relationship with the Guardian and the plan is that I’ll continue to do projects with them in the future.
The second reason is that my private work outside the Guardian had grown to the point where it was becoming incompatible with the day job (not to mention the demands of my young children).
So that’s the strory. From April 17th I’ll be independent again for the first time since the mid-90s, and I’m really excited about it. I have no desire to get into the big studio thing — the smart way to work these days is small, fast, flexible and most of all, fun.
I’m already working with some newspapers in Switzerland and the Netherlands, and I aim to keep on designing printed papers as long as there are any left to design! But I expect a lot more of my work to be digital in the future, and it would be great to do more magazines too (I have one magazine project coming up in France but I’d love to do more). So I’m pretty busy in the short term, but I’m also up for talking about anything interesting that comes along.
And let’s also hope that I’ll now have the time to post here more frequently, and get my undernourished Twitter stream (@IamMarkPorter) flowing more freely… Watch this space!