Roger Whittlesea, founding partner of Proud Creative
Hi Roger, great to catch up with you. Can you start by telling us a little bit about Proud Creative and your role in the company?
We’re a design company based in London with a skew towards branding and graphic design; and we’ve been going for about 13 years. We work with clients of all types and sizes. A lot of them are in the creative media sector although we didn’t consciously pursue that sector when we started; it’s been much more organic than that. One of our first clients is in TV; I think we built a good reputation from that and word got around and we haven’t stopped since.
You did all the branding, ident and packaging for Huckle so everyone reading this will recognise at least some of your work. How did that come about?
I think one of us used to have our hair cut by Chris, who owns Huckle, when he still worked at another salon. He was working towards his own thing and he had a clear idea of what he was going to do and how he wanted to do it. Working with a small creative client like Huckle is really interesting and rewarding. It’s a real passion project for them so it becomes a passion project for us too. The relationship is much more direct and much more personal.
I guess there are different skills and considerations when you are producing a wide range of work for a client. For example, with Huckle, it’s not just a logo and some headed paper, it’s packaging for hair products and everything in-between.Yes. But to be honest, whoever the client or the job, it’s essentially about trying to nail the bigger idea. You have to have that, regardless. And once you do, you can use it hang things on in the future as that business grows and diversifies, just like Huckle has done.
When you started Proud back in 2006 the internet looked quite different and how we used it was entirely different. Plus smartphones were a brand new thing. How have these technological changes affected your work?
Actually, as I mentioned earlier, our first client was a TV channel who we did a total rebrand for, so from the beginning we’ve been imagining brands that move. And we've always thought of brands holistically, so as the web has become more dynamic and responsive, this has played even more to our strengths.
Your offices are right in the hub of the creative industry in east London. How important is it to be where you are?
Well, we’ve always been within a couple of miles of the office we are in now so it’s really home to us. It’s a funny one, actually, and our industry loves to debate this quite a lot - where are you? are you working remotely?, etc, etc. But our clients are all around the world so we can’t physically meet them all the time anyway. So, in that respect, where we are isn’t important. And the same goes for the creatives we might hire for a job who might work in another city. But there is something to be said about being somewhere that inspires us and our team, and is attractive to bringing the best talent into our business.
Finally, why the name Proud Creative?
Ha, well it’s simple, really. It’s about us striving to make work that we are proud of. But, more importantly, it’s the notion that we can deliver something that the clients are proud of. And ultimately, it benefits their goals and their business.