David Johnson

Publisher and Chairman, Trends Media Group

Keys to Success
Management Style
Why Publishing?
The Origin of Trends
Early Years

  David Johnson


"We started with a fundamental concept – ‘Do it once and use it often.’ And now, there are so many ways you can tell your story."

David has an extensive background in advertising and radio that dates back to the 1970s.

In 1982, with partner Gordon Dryden, David formed the Dryden Johnson Group and grew the business into a substantial marketing and publishing company. The flagship product, the Trends series of titles, were initially designed for the Home Interest market, but were soon extended to include the Commercial Design market.

Over the next 20 years David continued to build the Trends brand and it now produces more than 60 high-quality publications a year, with specific titles for New Zealand, Australia, USA, SE Asia, the Gulf, China and India.

As the digital media landscape has evolved, David has kept Trends at the forefront of developments and innovations – from the initial establishment of the trendsideas.com website, through video production by TrendsTV, to the launch of the new Trendsideas Space digital platform in 2013.

"As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to have tenacity – no matter what happens, you keep on going."

In 1998 David won the Ernst and Young New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He continued his involvement with this programme, as a judge of the awards and through mentoring up to a dozen different entrepreneurs around the country.

In 2005 he was on the international judging panel for the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Monte Carlo.

He also judges a number of other Awards programmes in New Zealand.

David is a director on a number of other company boards.

“I learn so much from these experiences,” he says. “It’s a win-win situation.”

David is a firm advocate of online environments – an area in which he sees Trends developing an even stronger position in the future.

"The biggest change of influence at the moment is in the social environment. It's absolutely a total mindset change"

He is also committed to expanding the company globally, and offering the multiple media platforms in all the countries where Trends has a presence. In some countries, Trends has 100% ownership of its titles and platforms, and in other countries works with a partner.

Meanwhile, Trends is looking at further expansion with other specialty subjects outside the home and commercial design market.

The company is run from the 66,000sq ft Trends Design Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. David says Trends has shown that it is possible to live in New Zealand, and, from a base in Ellerslie, operate a multimedia company that takes on the global market.

The Trends Timeline

Trends Ideas Space - an innovative digital platform connecting homeowners, professionals and suppliers

Trends Agency - a full agency service across all media

Trends India - 10 issues a year

Trends Digital International - web, social media and other online business development and strategies

Trends China - 12 issues a year

Trends TV - a digital production unit creating online and offline video content for Trends and its clients

Trendsideas.com - one of the first media websites to give online access to all print content

Trends series in the USA - ten titles a year, distributed by TimeWarner

Trendsbooks.com - first Trends website

Kitchen Trends in the United States

Trends series in Malaysia and Hong Kong

Trends series in Singapore

Trends series in Australia

Commercial Design Trends in New Zealand

Trends Home series in New Zealand

Dryden Johnson Group formed by David Johnson and partner Gordon Dryden. The business grows into a substantial marketing and publishing company and evolves to produce the Trends series of titles