It’s 8 years to the day that I finally decided that I was going to fully commit to that freelance project that I had been doing called the loft. Somehow, and looking back I have no idea how I managed it, I had kind of made the transition from being a car designer to a graphic designer to a branding guy. There would be no going back to full-time employment, no return to car design, it was time to make a decision and get on with it and 8 years later – hey presto – we’re still here. I am delighted to report that we are doing better than ever, and despite the craziness of the current moment – I am more excited about the future than ever before…
So to celebrate, I thought we’d take a very quick swing through memory lane and celebrate 8 of our finest moments…
1) Thank you PSYBT
One of the greatest things about 8 years in business has been the peer-to-peer support from so many different people/organisations – The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurial Exchange, E-Spark, etc, etc… However, it was The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which really helped us get going. The PSYBT Growth-Fund as well as the mentoring support I received in 2013 was, and still is, completely invaluable. For that we remain incredibly grateful.
2) First Designers, Ruth and Alejandro
By 2013, we really were on the move and during the most incredible weeks ever in October – we moved into our first premises and hired our first designers. This was their first day at work, picking up their I-Macs from the Apple Store. Our new studio was fully-operational by the end of that crazy Friday. Ruth and Alejandro have moved onto pastures new but did an incredible job and retain a very special place in the company’s history.
3) Altia Solutions, the start of something special.
It would be difficult to talk about our company history without mentioning the amazing folk at Altia-ABM, or Altia Solutions, as they were known back then. We began working with them in 2013 and to date have carried out more than 100 creative projects together. They are all wonderful people but their CEO Ian Watson remains one of the company’s and my own personal best friends. (Here’s a little photo of me sketching some ideas for their old logo.)
4) Early Mornings, Late Nights…
This isn’t one moment in particular, but a quick nod to those countless, countless early mornings and late nights that characterise our studio’s work ethic. We are proud that we road-test so many concepts, go into more depth to get it right and simply put more into each and every single project than many we know. Our version of creative chaos.
5) A 3-Year Chase of bus company, Alexander Dennis
Anybody that knows me will know that I can be pretty persistent – in fact, very persistent. After hearing the amazing Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis, give a brilliant talk during a business dinner, I decided we would one day work with this exceptional bus company. We somehow managed to get his phone number, chased him down, sent him ideas for a company Christmas card, ideas to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. (Anybody that knows us, knows that if you ignore me too long – I will just start sending you ideas anyway,) talked to his Marketing Director, talked to his Group Corporate Affairs Director, talked to a new Marketing Director. Not entirely sure now how it happened but 3 years later we finally managed to work with them on a creative project. It was, and still is, a great honour to have worked with such a fine company and definitely a lesson that Persistence Pays.
6) First Creative Provider of PETEX
Petroleum Experts are one of Scotland’s finest technology companies with a world-class team, leader and product. They had been going for 25 years without ever using a marketing/design/creative/brand agency and we were truly honoured to be the first that they would work with to bring their ‘Digital Oil Field’ software concept to life. Receiving one of their little glass statuettes of the visual we created for them remains one of the happiest moments of 8 years in business.
7) Obesity Action Scotland, First Big Pitch Win
Winning a pitch – either big or small – is a special moment and we were thrilled that our ‘Organg’ concept was selected by Obesity Action Scotland to raise awareness of the potential dangers of Obesity. Four years on – we still love this creative idea.
We have been so lucky to work with some great organisations and some wonderful people – one of these is the BBC who we worked with a few years ago. We’ve worked with lots of great organisations – big and small – over the years but there remains something quite special about working for ‘Aunty.’
9) MCR Pathways
We can’t really celebrate 8 years of business without briefly mentioning the amazing MCR Pathways. We’ve loved each and every one of the 11 Talent Tasters we have carried out, the creative work we’ve done together and the immense personal support Iain MacRitchie has given myself during my business journey.
Ok, one more than we really should have, but at the loft, we have a motto of always doing more than we’re paid for so 9 it is. To be honest, we could have spent all day listing them. Thanks to all of the wonderful people that have supported us, you know who you are, and here’s to another tremendous 8 Years…
Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.
‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.
He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.
His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.
He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business