“From there, our Instagram account was born, and I started reposting projects I liked,” Elliott explains, noting the few contacts he had at the time (or industry experience, for that matter), “but it seemed to resonate with people, and our following grew quite quickly.” Before long, Elliott had made a simple Squarespace site to host his curated design showcase, giving himself the space to be more celebratory and in-depth in his editorial writing. “The evolution to get to where we are today has been slow, iterative, lucky and taken many, many hours of work,” Elliott tells us, “but more than anything, it is down to all of the great studios and designers that have supported us every step of the way.”
Since then, TBI, Elliott’s relationship with the latter, and the industry itself have changed considerably. “The main change has been the evolution over the years from a solo side project, to solo full-time project, to real business with a team,” Elliott explains. “The fact we’ve been able to do that,” he warmly adds, “is something I’m grateful for every day,” an on-brand tone and character that persists in the way Elliott continues to curate TBI’s index—featuring an eclectic and diverse array of projects, people, products and studios from across the globe. From commercial powerhouses to individual independent practices, Elliott’s own taste is perhaps indicative of the industry’s movements. “‘Big’ clients seem to be much more willing to work with ‘small’ studios,” Elliott details, “there is much more of an acceptance that great work can come from anywhere and from anyone,” noting the decreasing relevance in the size and scale of your team and CV, and an emphasis on the quality and presentation of projects.