May 9th: An Audience With Drew Ellis.

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The Samphire Club and Not Working Networking join forces with Like Minds to present a series of evening events at Hotel du Vin, to hear local business leaders tell their entrepreneurial journey. Over canapés and a welcome drink, our first guest is serial entrepreneur Andrew “Drew” Ellis at 6.30 pm on May 9th. The talk will commence at 7 pm.

Drew began his career whilst still at art college in London when he went to interview the partners of the seminal record sleeve design team, Hipgnosis, for his second-year thesis. He was recently profiled in the Netflix documentary “Squaring The Circle“.

During his interview, they asked him to join them as a design and photography assistant where he stayed during his second and final year at art school, skipping a few lectures to earn a few bob. It was whilst there he was invited to be the tour photographer for Pink Floyd’s final shows at Earls Court, London and designed sleeves for 10cc, David Gilmours’ “About Face” solo album, The Alan Parsons Project “Ammonia Avenue”, Rainbow and many more.

Post his degree he freelanced at Island Records, working with U2, and Zee Records as well as designing sleeves for Polydor Records, and Stiff Records he was the tour photographer for the 1980 Madness tour of the UK joined by Humphrey Ocean RA, as the MC who had also illustrated a sleeve for 10cc for Hipgnosis a few years before.

In 1983 he founded his own design agency Icon. He went on to work with some of the music industry’s leading musicians like Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and The Alan Parsons Project, (for which he was nominated for a Grammy award for best sleeve design). DuranDuran, Nik Kershaw, ABBA, Diana Ross, China Crisis, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Phil Collins and many, many more.

It was during this time he created the “Choose Life” series of slogan T-shirts for Katharine Hamnett and designed the art bottles for sponsor Becks Beer for contemporary artists private view events such as Richard Long, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Tatsuo Miyajima. This led him to create a brand “Event Brewing” supplying record companies with bottled beer for artists’ album launches featuring their album covers.

After opening a second design studio, Icon America, in Los Angeles in 1988 he sold the company in 1989 to a UK printing group PLC.

In 1994 the internet became a focus and he resigned from the PLC to found one of the first digital agencies in the world, Eyetoeye. There the team developed websites for some of the first startups, such as MoneyWorld (now This is Money) and Pets2Vets along with the global web presence for accountants Arthur Andersen, law firm Clyde & Co, the intranet for the House of Commons and the database for the leading dot com networking event group, First Tuesday.

In 2009 he co-founded Like Minds, in Exeter during the first rush of social media platform launches and has run over 100+ events featuring key entrepreneurs and business leaders in Exeter, London, New York and Helsinki. The keynotes are available to watch here.

In 2021 he co-founded DENA Partners, a project finance company helping large-scale property developers and international businesses receive project funding.

To stay digitally curious and connected, he has been involved in The House of Lords All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI since 2018.

There will be a Q&A afterwards.

Book Tickets

About the author

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Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform delivering world class events on business development, knowledge and insight aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders to engage, stimulate and empower them to become global businesses of the future. We also offer a bespoke service for corporate clients and training programmes under the Like Minds U brand. For more information please email