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Behind the scenes - who we are

Posted on October 28, 2019 by Sarah Robertson

Following our rebrand, and the launch of our new website, we’d like to tell you more about the creative duo behind IfLooksCouldKill and share what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ at the design studio.

I’ve written a three-part series which covers who we are, what we do, and how we work. And over the course of the next few days, I explore our ‘why’; why we were inspired to work in the design industry, what we do from day-to-day to keep the business running smoothly, and how we encourage clients to return to us time and again.

Design studio - who we are

The team behind the design studio

Jonathan and I are partners in life and work and our paths crossed in 2005, the year I launched my first design business. But it was 2009 before Jonathan made the leap from employment to join me.

In our time together, we’ve lived in three cities, travelled the world, acquired IfLooksCouldKill and welcomed our daughter, Cora. It’s been a busy decade since we became co-directors, and our lives have changed in many ways, but our values remain the same; we love to listen, to learn and to explore.

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What I love most about working in the creative sector is the collaborative nature of it.

We started out our careers in different cities – Jonathan in Leeds, Sarah in Edinburgh – working for different kinds of companies. I landed my first job in marketing straight from school, aged 17, and was fortunate to be trained as an in-house graphic and website designer. This steered me down a different path to what I’d anticipated taking and eventually, I made the tough call to bypass studying at Edinburgh College of Art, a long-held dream of mine. But over the years, I’ve come to accept that taking an alternative route to my peers is what’s given me the skills I personally needed to set up my own business.

What I love most about working in the creative sector is the collaborative nature of it. I enjoy the experience of partnering with our clients on their projects, and of bringing designers and developers together around a shared vision, one that fits the brief and helps the client achieve their aims. It all stems from a firm belief that great work is built on strong relationships.

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We've always shared a passion for creating and running a business that fits with our lifestyle.

Jonathan was hired straight from his degree show in 2004, a role which took him down the route of video production. He worked with one of Yorkshire’s biggest and most successful digital agencies for five years before joining me and offering clients online video to complement our design services.

We’ve always shared a passion for creating and running a business that fits with our lifestyle. And Jonathan’s desire to adapt our offering to support our client’s needs, paired with my passion for creating the right team for every project, gives us the perfect opportunity to upsize when we’re busy and downsize during quieter times. And it means that when we do take on new clients, we can do so with the confidence that their needs can be met.

Design studio - behind the scenes

Our specific roles in the business

As a creative director and graphic designer, my role generally involves supporting clients in the early stages of their project, helping them to generate ideas and craft a brief that supports the aims of their business. I enjoy working on identity and print design projects and from time to time oversee the branding of websites and apps.

As digital director, Jonathan works on the design of any websites and applications, overseeing the development of all digital projects. He also works with clients longer-term, supporting them with the upkeep of their websites and with putting any new ideas into action.

Of course, as with any small business, we each wear multiple hats! So tomorrow we’ll dig a little deeper into what we do day-to-day to keep the business thriving.

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