How does your project-based work usually come about?
Clients find us through a mixture of word of mouth, recommendation, repeat business and us approaching companies or organisations that really fit with our ethos. It has to work both ways; we need to be right for them but equally they have to fit with our philosophy.
We’ve turned down work because there was a conflict between our ethics and those of our clients. For example, we were recently approached by a potential client who, after some digging, we discovered had an offshore account in a tax haven. Having done a lot of work with Global Witness to help them expose such companies it just didn’t feel morally right. Which was a shame because the budget was great!
How collaborative is your work?
Our best projects have been born out of a genuine collaboration between us and the client. We tend to find that the more collaborative we are, the more interesting the outcome. One of the best examples of this is our #StopTorture campaign, which was co-created by TEMPLO, some of the world’s leading human rights lawyers, journalists and investigators. A very rare scenario. Usually designers come in at the end of this kind of project but we were heavily involved right from the beginning, which meant we had a lot of influence and the ability to push unusual outcomes through.
I also like to collaborate with other creatives, animators, illustrators and copywriters. It’s about them taking ownership and showing me something that I would never think of. I don’t have all the answers so I want to see how other creatives put their spin on something.
What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
Running my own studio allows me to spend time with my wife and daughter and gives me the freedom to work whenever and wherever I want, which is the ultimate reason why I do this. The downside is finding new business and the energy it requires. Luckily our managing director keeps on top of that side of things.