Vale Gary Wilson, an icon of our industry.

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I read with great sadness this morning that Gary Wilson had passed away.

Gary was the first design professional I met, reaching out to design students of Melbourne in the 1980s to introduce them to paper, print and the industry as a whole. Gary was a visionary who saw the possibility that a paper company could connect, support and build relationships with the design industry in a more rich and valuable manner than a sales rep. If Gary didn’t invent the concept of personal brand, he was certainly the first proponent of it I ever met, and what a brand it was.

With that thought, Gary created Paperpoint, which became the go-to place for designers to choose the paper stock for their print projects. Gary kept step with the vanguard of design in Melbourne, supporting and pushing the industry forward in equal measures. No design industry party was worth its salt until Gary Wilson arrived – and most of the best ones were hosted by him on behalf of Paperpoint. Long will I remember Gary greeting me at the door of an industry event with a big, gregarious smile, a firm hand on the back and one of his infamous ‘mood improvers’ – a cocktail guaranteed to lift the stress of running a design studio and replace it with a few hours of carefree partying.

When we launched Art with Heart many years ago, Gary was a firm supporter, doing all he could to help build the event into the success it is today after 15 years. That was simply the way Gary operated.

There are few people in any industry as universally loved and respected as Gary. He single handedly raised the profile of paper in our industry and re-wrote the rules about how you best sell its product to the design community. We considered him one of us.

Gary, you may be gone, but you wont be forgotten mate.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pic Courtesy AGDA

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