Everything is fast becoming a series of systems connected by data, so we’ll probably see ideas like ‘The internet of things’ becoming more prevalent. ‘The web’ will likely focus on function and feedback for the connected devices, objects and activities in your life. Or not? Who can say...

question Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

Ex-residents of AKQA and Ogilvy, London. Creative/UX leads for Volkswagen, Ford, AMEX and Unilever brands.

Last year we co-founded Clubhouse Studios; a new kind of design studio that specialises in interaction & UI design, app development and digital entertainment.

In our first 12 months we created Creature Greeter; an industry-recognised iPad experience that uses beautiful illustration, AR-Facial-Recognition and thermal printing for a truly unique ‘check-in’ experience. We worked with Lipton on their largest and most successful digital campaign, and we released FWA-winner Equilibrium; our first product that pushes creative boundaries for mobile gaming.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Google (obvs)

Hype Machine

Dropbox (more of a service really)

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Creating a company. There’s still a long way to go and we’re learning every day! Lots of designers talk about having their own studio but the reality of starting one is something you can’t prepare for or underestimate. Creating your own products and carving your own path makes it all worthwhile.

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

Depends really. We’re quite small at the moment and our core multidisciplinary team is involved throughout projects to ensure output is balanced and the right technologies used. This obviously limits the number of projects we work on at any one time, but as we expand we’ll slowly increase the amount we take on; allowing us to maintain the quality we strive for.

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

We quite like pixelmator. It still has a way to go but it’s already a pretty competent program. If they add cross-compatibility for PS and AI files it’ll become more useful to us.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

Berg - We like magic gadgets.

Ustwo - We like UX.

Frog - We like smart thinking.

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

Very. When working with global clients like Volkswagen its easy to fall inline with an existing ‘framework’ or strip back features to leave a bland result. Making globally-accessible products takes time and imagination, and the reality is you also need a client who’s willing to put the needs of their users in the same standing as their business requirements. 

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It looked awesome. Don’t you worry about that...

What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

The ‘Liptagram’ campaign we created for Lipton was the first instagram competition to be run globally and simultaneously across 11 countries and 7 different languages.  As Lipton are all about sharing positive moments it was particularly relevant for their increasingly younger target audience. They not only embrace digital but use platforms like Instagram in their millions to share moments of positivity with friends and loved ones. By tapping into and branding this existing behaviour rather than force new ones, the result was something which felt inherently natural and authentic.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

360 thinking is not only important it’s absolutely essential if you’re planning on being useful and relevant. It’s very rare you’ll be able to say with complete confidence where a user might first come into contact with one of your touchpoints. It’s even harder to predict what they’ll do once you do have their attention. Consistency is key.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

Everything is fast becoming a series of systems connected by data, so we’ll probably see ideas like ‘The internet of things’ becoming more prevalent. ‘The web’ will likely focus on function and feedback for the connected devices, objects and activities in your life. Or not? Who can say...

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

Its more of a product, but Creature Greeter went down really well with the public and industry. The natural use of the iPad gestures and technologies really brought the little critters to life.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

Absolutely. It’s harder, but if you’ve got the vision you can do (pretty much) anything. Qualifications are great to get noticed by companies at the start of your career, but work experience becomes much more useful as time goes on. When we interview people we rarely look past their portfolio of work and demonstration of thinking.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Believe in your product. Make sure it has a purpose. Make sure it’s awesome.

How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

Very, especially when you’re a young company. Credentials are important (and proving your credentials is even more important!). For us, every hire for our team must share the same passion for visual quality and UX, and saying it doesn’t necessarily mean you do.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

We’re still learning. We try different things all the time. There’s definitely no formula but past glories help so it’s good to keep creating them! 

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

Dan gets sent a lot as he runs the digital inspiration blog fuelforthoughts. Otherwise just general tech news sites and Chinese whispers.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

Brazil has an awesome community of young creative talent. A lot of decent agency work is coming from that region; BBDO in particular. For tech and digital start-ups you’d struggle to beat London and Berlin as innovation hubs. Companies are collaborating and exploring data to produce really interesting products and services, like our friends Vamos in Berlin, for example.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

Anything Red Bull - Call us!

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Check out our house rules...

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

It’s been a pleasure, we’ll see you soon.



Creature Greeter

Equilibrium - Choose our Destiny
Equilibrium - Choose our Destiny

Equilibrium - Choose our Destiny

Lipton - Liptagram
Lipton - Liptagram

Trendgine - The trend engine
Trendgine - The trend engine

Volkswagen - Global Configurator
Volkswagen - Global Configurator

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