What On Earth Do You Do All Day?
In Lab, we like to make sure we keep up to date with residents, both old and new. Design Integrity are a creative design studio that have been with us since 2017, and we’ve seen them grow and develop so much! They have had a truly amazing first 18 months in business, securing big name clients, making that all important first hire, perfecting their website, and ensuring they never lose their unique, high-end production value. We’ve worked really closely with them and we couldn’t wait to show off all the great things they’ve achieved!
Name: Stephen Murray
Organisation Name: Design Integrity
Organisation Age: 18 Months
Lab: Tell me a little about Design Integrity:
Steve: We’re a creative studio, working in brand, digital, film and print. We’ve got really varied clients, from Ford Motors, to Shared Lives Plus, Birmingham City Council, Liverpool Anglican Diocese, and Data Recruitment. It’s been a great start-up year, with us taking on Nola full time in January of this year, with the view to possibly hiring again soon. We’re a brand-led studio, which is my own term. That’s really important to us, because I see too many quick fixes and off brand design, that maybe show what the company wants to be, but isn’t. We believe that branding should suit the tone of the organisation, and that tone and position should drive design. Our challenge is to create something authentic and unique.”
Lab: As a creative studio, what inspires you and drives the business forwards:
Steve “My inspiration comes from successful, innovative agencies like Wolf Olins and Moving Brands- companies that really helped their brands grow through their work. I really like the idea of growing a brand, and telling a story, creating the narrative of that brand. I think narrative is really important and I want to bring those ideas and innovations to the North West.”
So tell me about a day in the life of Steve:
Steve: “I never seem to do anything I plan to get done. Um, I spend a lot of time checking my inbox, and keeping track of ongoing projects and provide a creative direction. It’s lots of things, sending invoices, planning projects, looking for networking events, nurturing new business leads. Oh, and some actual design work!”
Have you managed to find time to access the mentor network:
“Yes, Chris set me up a meeting with Neil, who works in creative branding. He gave me some really useful advice on managing the day, which maybe I need to revisit, looking at how much I actually do! It was very helpful though.”
How do you think being at LAB benefited you:
“It’s been good for partnerships and development, and it’s really enjoyable to be there. There’s lots of light, and it’s a relaxed interior, it’s a nice space. Chris has a network of resources which is really really helpful, and advice is always available. The whole atmosphere is approachable and supportive.”
So- you made your first hire a couple of months ago- how was that process for you?
“It was great, it was a really smooth process. I met Nola at a networking event, and she started freelancing for us. It was working out so well that I offered her a permanent job. She really gets the company, what we’re about, and our design style, it’s great. We’ve had loads of HR support through LAB which made this process to smooth, Chris organised a year of free HR support for us, which really made a huge difference in making sure we could hire Nola. Chris has been ace, he really alleviated a lot of pressure. We just asked for help and it was there, it was amazing really. There’s been constant, ongoing support”
That’s what we like to hear! It sounds like exciting times for you going forwards. What’s the plan for the future?
We’re just looking to consolidate bigger projects at the moment. We are in a position right now where we can triple our revenue by building on existing clientele, we’ve got a really solid base to build on and begin to expand even more. Hiring Nola was such a success that I’ve even started to think about hiring again. We’re looking to triple our revenue by building on what we already have, so it’s a good time for us.
It’s clearly super exciting times for Design Integrity. With a massive year one, personnel and clientele growth already happening and only on the up, and a bright 2019 ahead, we know that Stephen, Nola, and whoever else they get on board will have a stellar future. Seeing them grow has been a privilege, and we so glad to share the good news with all of you!
**EXTRA GOOD NEWS** Yesterday, literally right before we posted this (14/03/2019) we got some more amazing news from Design Integrity. Through LAB and Chris, Stephen has been connecting with MSIF Finance Hub, who in turn have connected him to St Helen’s Chamber of Commerce. They have helped Stephen with funding to cover the salary of a recent graduate, meaning that he can establish his own graduate scheme. This not only keeps talent in the city and provides someone with amazing training and development in Graphic Design, but also allows Stephen to grow his team and push Design Integrity to the next level! Even better- Na, the graduate in question, was recommended to Stephen by his old tutor at Liverpool John Moores University. Through making great connections, with a little help from LAB, Stephen has set himself up to have a stellar year. With two new hires and free HR support, a funded graduate scheme, and an ever expanding client base, he’s on the road to massive growth and success. Congratulations Stephen!
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