This week we spoke with the multi-talented Tim Jarmain-Groves, an expert in marketing, design and branding based in London that has spearheaded a variety of well-known projects over the past few years. Some of the most well know projects include the Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre and the annual Edinburgh Comedy Festival. Today Tim shows us his world and lets us in on his views of the industry.
Hi Tim, thanks for meeting with us today for this interview. To get started, please give us the “elevator pitch” on your company and what you do?
TJG: Of course! Graphic Design London provides quick, brilliant, can-do digital and design.
We create beautiful bespoke websites, branding, original concept artwork, print design and all types of digital design, including HTML5 animation.
What does your average day look like?
TJG: We start every day with a team meeting where we each talk about our ‘to do’ list for the day.
We prioritise artwork that is due first and then set to work. For larger projects like websites, we often start the date by sending an email update to the client.
What made you decide to start Graphic Design London and why?
TJG: I have a background in marketing, having worked as both a Head of Marketing in entertainment companies, and in a busy West End marketing agency.
Finding a great design team, who you love working with, is so valuable as a marketer- and so I thought about why I kept going back to the same designers.
It came down to their can-do attitude, the price and the speed they turned artwork around.
So I decided to start Graphic Design London with those principles – quick, brilliant design that doesn’t break the bank.
What made you decide to provide multiple services such as branding and flyer design in your business?
TJG: Well, flyer design was very much one of the first things we offered. Coming from an entertainment background, many of our clients are theatres or producers – so you’ll often find us tinkering away on the leaflet for a play or the flyer for a circus show.
Branding comes hand in hand with that – often a show’s branding is just a twinkle in a producer’s eye before it comes to us!
Do you believe it’s better to stay freelance or develop a team and eventually a business later down the line and why?
TJG: I think it’s best to grow organically. If you’re happy freelancing then why change? But when word spreads and you have more work than you can handle on your own, it’s great to build a team.
Also, freelancing can be lonely! Having people around you to bounce ideas around with is a lot more fun.
What was your most memorable experience working in design, and why?
TJG: Every day brings a memorable experience! But this year we’ve been lucky enough to work on some really exciting things.
Underbelly, the live entertainments company, launched a brand new venue called Circus Hub at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, and we were asked to create the branding and artwork for it. The team at Underbelly had some great ideas and allowed us the freedom to really explore them – and we were really pleased with the results – a clean, cool brand inspired by the buildings themselves.
Also, we’ve been working on our first website for a West End show – Showstopper! The Improvised Musical opens at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on 24 September 2015. Each night, a brand new musical is created on the spot by the incredible musical comedians The Showstoppers. We’re really proud of the website we’ve created, which also contains an archive of all 591 different musicals performed so far!
When starting Graphic Design London, how did you aim to differentiate from the rest of the industry?
TJG: We’re the guys who say yes when your regular design team say no! By looking at a project differently, we can often meet a tighter deadline and still bring it in on budget.
How important do you feel photos are to your work and what are your philosophies on using photos in your work?
TJG: Photos are hugely important to our work. We regularly start the conversation about artwork with “how good are the photos”.
If you have a good photo, it will do your marketing for you. And as designers, we can usually take a bad photo and make it good, but we can take a great photo and make it spectacular!
If your artwork contains photography, we recommend starting by selecting your very best photos. And remember to always credit your photographer.
What’s your opinion on social media photography and do you use social media photography in any of your work?
TJG: Absolutely! We work on many shows and live events, where the best photography comes from the public, via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Photography from social media sources tends to be lower resolution than we can use in print, but sometimes that perfect shot is only available on Instagram.
If we have permission from the photographers, using crowdsourced images are a fantastic way of showing the depth and variety of a live event.
A massive thanks to Tim for his time!
Follow Graphic Design London on Twitter at: @shutupanddraw
If you want to check out more great articles like this, check out our interview with Vee Ladwa, a multi-talented Digital Designer and Illustrator with a love for all forms of art.
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