Man sitting down and looking at the camera

Marc Ortmans

Marc Ortmans interview

Directed by Mark Craig and produced with funding from the Shiers Memorial Fund/Royal Television Society

About Marc...

While studying graphic design from 1974 to 1978 at Southampton College of Art, Marc Ortmans became increasingly interested in filmmaking, which ultimately led to a successful job application to the BBC Television Graphic Design Department in 1980.

In his interview above, Marc talks about having to learn quickly to produce ideas and visual solutions that were appropriate for the task in hand, but not necessarily reflecting his own aesthetic taste. He recognises the stimulus and benefit of working in the same building as other design disciplines at the BBC, like the Visual Effects Department, and the collaboration and co-ordination required generally to bring a designer’s original concept to the screen. He believes that the personal drive to keep pushing the boundaries and to achieve something that had not been done before is a constant challenge uppermost in the mind of the designer.

Marc left the BBC in 1985 and joined Channel Four Television as Head of Graphic Design, working on promotion campaigns and branding for strands like ‘Film on Four’. In 1988 he co-founded the creative agency Ortmans Young International together with former BBC colleague Haydon Young. Over a 15-year period the partnership worked successfully with national broadcast and commercial clients across the UK, Europe and North America, including launches for UEFA Champions League and First Direct, winning awards from BAFTA, D&AD, BDA, PROMAX, EBU Connect, Paris Cité, The Royal Television Society, and The New York Festivals.

From 2000-2019 he was Director and Board Member of Promax BDA UK, a professional body representing creative broadcasting promotion and marketing. In 2007, while working as an independent strategic and creative brand consultant, Marc helped launch the Global Entrepreneurship Network, now actively building ecosystems in 200 countries. Today he is co-founder and Chair of GEN UK, leading a range of programmes for women entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth, supporting female founders from Ukraine in the UK, and connecting policy makers with innovators working to achieve Net Zero.