James Sommerville founded an agency in his grandma’s attic with zero business knowledge or experience at the young age of 19. Fittingly, the agency was named ‘Attik’. The business that began at his grandma’s house eventually grew to establish a foothold globally, with offices in New York, San Francisco, LA, Sydney, and London. James also worked at Coca-Cola as the VP of Global Design, leading incredible campaigns across the world for this iconic brand. Most recently, he launched an innovative platform called ‘KnownUnknown’, that’s rethinking and innovating the creative agency model on a global scale.
Far from the well-established titan of industry and entrepreneur he is today, James began as a street artist, which he did with dedication for three whole years. After a time, he, along with his friend, decided to bring their talent indoors and establish their presence through their own design agency, with no prior business experience. His business found its feet when James received his first seed fund from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust Charity in 1986.
James recently departed the corporate world to explore what he believes will be the next revolution in the creative agency model through his latest venture ‘KnowUnkown’. He believes that the future of distributed creative production begins by finding the greatest talent, wherever it may be. James’ vision is that in the new era of distributed creativity, talent will be able to work on their terms. James is also an avid speaker and industry mentor, having spoken at over 250 events over the past 25 years. He has also played an advisory role to over 50 design agencies, both big and small, over the past two decades.