Variety is the spice of life at Firedog
Let us take you on a safari through the innermost workings of life at 43/44 Hoxton Square. Bumping into Jarvis Cocker in the courtyard, staff being mistaken for celebrities and peculiar client requests feature among the daily occurrences at Firedog. Here’s an overview of what it’s like to work with us, tightly packed into a nutshell of one day.
After consuming his breakfast of Oreo-filled porridge, the phone calls come flooding in for Account Manager, Lucian. While everything generally runs smoothly, clients can make some interesting requests. Today, a client from the world of horses proposes allocating official job titles to the most cherished four legged friends on the company’s web page. The brief: to reflect the extent to which the company values their horses. The design team chew the ends of their pencils: who takes pride of place on the web page – the staff or the horses? And how will we voice this query in the most polite manner possible? Also to be considered: which horse would make it to CEO – Angel’s Glory or Dakota Dreamer?
Head of Digital Sam and Managing Director Cliff are in Amsterdam, preparing for a pitch the following morning to a huge potential client. Getting the presentation together has involved a few blips, though, and Web Developer Ammar generously stays in the Firedog studios until around 1am ironing these out. While spending the night with Dropbox was not what he had in mind for his Monday evening, Ammar is happy to help Sam and Cliff.
Meanwhile, Account Director Hannah is spending five days in Korea, mixing with people involved in the world of technology. UK Trade and Investment have invited 15 people from the UK out to Seoul as part of a government scheme promoting international business collaborations. Despite the 18 hour days and suffering from severe jetlag, Hannah’s enjoying mingling with the likes of Samsung and LG.
Back in Hoxton Square, Lee is dealing with an extremely specific design request. A client has envisaged the “perfect” image for their website: a panoramic shot of a woman sitting on a bench, chatting on her mobile phone with a notebook on her lap, while a red London bus and a suited man holding a briefcase are passing her. On top of this, a storm is raging. The clients are set on these precise details: the absence of a red bus or storm simply won’t cut the mustard.
While Lee muses away, junior designer Ale works on recent client feedback – rejecting the use of red, the company has a penchant for purple. While making these alterations, Ale changes up the Firedog Spotify playlist. This playlist is great because everyone adds what they’re into, enhancing the studio buzz. Today has so far ranged from Van Morrisson to Jay Z to Cat Stevens.
Lunch time always evokes the debate over where to grab something to eat. With so much choice in Shoreditch, Firedog favourites are Franco’s, Red Dog and the Mexican burrito van on Old Street. Some opt to stretch out in Hoxton Square, while others spend their time surfing the web for the latest design trends. Lee enjoys a daily scrutinise of rebranding projects showcased on Brand New, while Ale scrolls down Designspiration to get inspired. Another popular lunchtime activity is the iPhone quiz app: Front End Developer Matt reigns over the others on “Name the flag” and “Name the logo”.
Back to work, and Cliff sends round an email asking everyone to pitch in with examples of brands that use three letters.
While ruminating, Social and Publicity Executive Hannah F is separating skittles into plastic bottles. These “happy pills” are only a small part of what’s been prepared for a client function that night. The “pin the tasche on the Hoxton Hipster” game is sure to go down well – we’re looking forward to blindfolding clients and spinning them around.
Hannah’s also preparing a PR piece on Cliff’s recent talk at Digital Shoreditch, where he spoke about the history of the internet in all its glory, together with a closer look at its rather seedy underbelly. https://firedog.co.uk/thinking-space/news-opinions/grey-matters/the-history-of-the-internet/
The next door cat comes in for a snoop – while the girls coax it into staying longer with much fussing, Lee, allergic to cats, sneezes away in the corner. Miriam offers around some homemade Spanish tortilla to cheer Lee up – the multicultural nature of the Firedog studio has always involved sharing traditional delicacies. Lucian nips out for a client meeting after this. Since working at Firedog, he feels like he knows London off the back of his hand, as meetings are mostly held at clients’ offices.
Throughout the day, Studio Manager Cara has been running various errands. In between these, she bumps into singer MIA in the courtyard – there’s a recording studio beneath us. Last week, Razorlight were seen strumming their acoustic guitars, and Russell Brand strolled past Hoxton Square. But Sam’s sighting of The Edge and Jarvis Cocker tops it all.
Later on, there’s the staff video shoot for our Barbican Classical Music Campaign. As well as shooting the models in-house, we’ve also taken it upon ourselves to produce the video that complements the campaign. Despite aiming to look his best, unfortunately, Ale got his dress code wrong: his summer shorts will be featured in the winter campaign. On the up side, a passerby insists on him being a big celebrity and asks for his autograph – David Schwimmer, perhaps?
On returning to the office, Lucian deals with a new business enquiry – someone optimistically hopes that we can get a website and rebrand completed within a week, and for around £100. We get quite a few start-up businesses making these kinds of calls. They’re in for a shock, though, as most projects will take around three to four months and definitely won’t be done for £100. Last week, spirits were lowered by a new business prospect. After having created a proposal for a large, multinational potential client, said client then asked both us and another agency to complete the whole project; they would pay the one that they chose to use. Needless to say, we didn’t go for this. These kinds of occurrences may be disappointing, but they come with the territory and make the next win taste that much sweeter.
As the day draws to a close, Cliff’s heading out to a glitzy awards evening – we’ve been nominated as finalists for the COOH Awards. The actual ceremony doesn’t start until almost 10pm, and Cliff’s on a three month detox…He’s also got a two hour journey back to Kent ahead of him and needs to “tuck the chickens in” before their bedtime.