Contrast that with his counterpart, Pepsi's design consultant, Peter Arnell, who titillated the blogosphere last spring with a 27-page memo he wrote called "Breathtaking," defending his new logo design. He cited inspiration from da Vinci's Mona Lisa to his Vitruvian Man, and described the "gravitational pull" of a can of Pepsi on a supermarket shelf. That was before he compared his genius at creating a 3-D Super Bowl ad to Thomas Edison's invention of motion pictures. Many designers were mortified, fearing Arnell had discredited the whole tribe with his claptrap.
In many ways, Butler is the anti-Arnell, a first-class designer who shuns the latest trendspeak. "I read all the journals. I love design theory. I'm a junkie for that stuff. But that's at home," he says. "At work, I don't use the phrase 'design thinking.' Here, it's about creating more value. How do we sell more of something? How do we improve the experience to make more money and create a sustainable planet?"