Studio Series: Black & Ginger

Last month, award-winning design agency Black & Ginger oversaw the branding for the Sea Odyssey – Giant Spectacular. We spoke to Creative and Managing Director Alex Frech to see what makes them tick…

Please describe your space. The space is designed to be a breath of fresh air. It’s so open so you don’t feel too restricted. You don’t feel like you’re in work. It was becoming zoned around the desks so we put a couple of chill-out spaces in there. Coffee machine, magazines and books. It’s all there but people still tend to sit at their desks! As long as you can turn yourself on to work as easily as switch off, it’s cool.

What work do you do here? We’re a full-service design and brand consultancy. We cover all bases, starting with research and brand identity, then through to creative strategy and implementing that. The biggest project we’ve worked on to date was the Giant Spectacular Sea Odyssey. We loved that they took a chance on a relatively small Liverpool agency, and trusted our ability. One thing we’re working on at the moment is the John Moores Painting Prize.

What helps you work? The environment [in the studio] does help me work, but not just that, it’s the people here. You need people to be eager and positive, who can take direction but run with things, too. I get a lot of inspiration from fashion and travel. Every time we go away the camera’s out, looking at typography, interiors, anything really. I’m told we have a European flavour, but our British heritage is key as well.

Describe your three favourite possessions in the studio. The coffee machine is up there! Fire engine red, it basically provides fuel for the day. The MacBook air is one of my favourite things. It’s like a more active version of my brain, it’s genius. Also The Misfits game I’ve had since I was a kid.

If your studio could speak, what would it say? Those flap jacks look really tasty. I wish I had a mouth. I can speak, fantastic. I wonder if the guys will give me a job as an account handler?

If you could share an important piece of advice with aspirant designers, what would it be? You just have to be very self motivated. You’ve got to ‘go for it’ and listen to advice from the right people … listen to opinions. I’ve always been my worst critic, so I think you just need to be critical of your own work and try and take it to the next level. With regard to graduates, make sure you go to agencies for experience, it’s invaluable. And learn to communicate. No matter how talented a graphic designer, if you can’t communicate, how are you going to make it in a working environment? Don’t be scared to make a cup of tea on your placements!

Posted on 04/06/2012 by thedoublenegative