Designing Through the Years: Inside a Creative Agency
We are very happy to share our studio’s article feature with the Design Council:
Design Council’s key goal is to make life better by design. Since 1944 we have adapted and progressed dramatically in tune with the advances of technology. We have learnt that being agile welcomes change and with this insight, we wanted to explore the story of one of London’s design agencies, Minx Creative, to learn how a small team turned similar challenges into opportunities.
Roz Nazerian takes us through their journey:
Young, courageous and bold
When our new bank agreed to give us a start-up loan after two face-to-face meetings and reviewing our business plan, Nic and I felt happy. We still do when we speak about it. It’s archived and sits proudly on our studio’s timeline. At the ages of 25, we were both raring to run; shoot for the big stars but remain focused in how we feed our appetite and enthusiasm to design.
A typical design agency/consultancy/studio in the late 90’s was different to where we are now. Things were changing and we were at the start of fundamental (technological) industry shifts, its magnitude would affect many irreparably. We knew we had to navigate these changes and embrace the digital innovations unfolding around us.
Our micro-sized stature helped and challenged us equally. We had to plan out a streamlined model with our processes and methods as well as how we engaged/delivered our business. Small worked out well — our size and green industry experience helped us to identify the power of being super agile and adaptive.
As emerging founders, our path of learning ran in parallel with growth, we had much to learn, experience and eventually achieve. Every meeting, conversation, event, project contributed in adding to our knowledge bank which slowly and surely fed the sense of confidence we needed to keep pushing forward.
Over the next decade we experienced all types of business impacts (including a global financial crisis), each pushing our young minds to understand the depth of challenges and how best to resolve. We became well versed in keeping ahead (of serious impact). Our speed in identifying and delivering change became our advantage.
By 2009, we embarked on the next chapter.
Knowledge gained, knowledge shared
A new wave of emerging designers began this chapter. With them came fresh dynamic, creative input and personality. Their trajectory of growth and contribution kept us shifting gears. Our collective in-house knowledge alongside our external partners, provided a focused pathway for learning, training and encouragement. Whilst we had expanded our core team, we had also begun a mentoring platform which continues to this day.
The studio had grown organically, working with client organisations from varying backgrounds and on projects of all types and sizes. Much of our engaged work carried multiple tiers of delivery objectives and problem-solving, integrated projects and invested stakeholders. We continually defined and refined the types of projects that we were best suited to and vice versa.
Technological innovations continued to unfold at pace and we welcomed the positives that came with them. Our production processes were being continuously refined until tasks and elements became obsolete, affording us greater headspace to focus on project strategy and design thinking. This also allowed us to sharpen our studio’s deployment practice of planning, positioning, values and strategy.
We had already set a sustainability manifesto in 2007 which we were determined to realise (within the parameters of what was on offer at the time). The foundation for change existed across the country from previous years, we simply structured it within our core model. Today, it spearheads much of our decision-making and work processes.
Looking ahead, we continue to uphold our beacon of diversity and inclusivity. We welcome progress and covet betterment — we are learning even with wisdom in tow. We often discuss the journey of the studio, be it a project, client organisation, Mac model or software — the conversation is always rich in its narrative, it’s anecdotal, sometimes funny, sad or proud. Much may have happened over our time but our appetite for and to design has not budged since we started. It’s still big.