Anthony Coulson, our Creative Head of Design Implementation, recently celebrated 10 years of working at AS&K. We asked him about the highlights.
You celebrated 10 years at AS&K recently. A decade is a long time – what have been your highlights?
I’ve enjoyed working on the bigger projects like the multi-day Med Ed meetings – some of which can take up to 9 months in preparation. I get great satisfaction out of applying the branding (that we create) across a diverse range of materials, working with the team to conceptualize how it will look around the venue, from both a delegate and client point of view, and being instrumental in getting materials out the door in the time given. This encompasses everything from the stage dressing right down to the (now eco-friendly) lanyards. And then knowing at the end that the project has been a huge success and the client wants to work with us again.
On the social side, the company parties are always fun, especially the summer ones where we get to spend a half-day in the park, chatting, drinking beers and playing games.
From your perspective, how has the company changed and grown over that time?
When I joined, the company really felt like a publishing company, with off shoots of agency work. That publishing aspect has really diminished and now we are a full-blown communications agency.
Has the industry changed much in that time?
Although digital is king now, the Adobe Collection of software we use has not changed too much over the years. On one level, it is a case of changing an artboard orientation size, working in pixels, using RGB, and clicking the check box to say export to a digital format rather than print. On another level, we now have more options around interactivity with these documents, and the ability to harvest data and feedback on behalf of our clients.
As a company we constantly keep an eye out for the next big thing in design and creative software. The software we use has always guided our ability to meet our clients’ needs, and as technology develops, we do the same.
What is it about AS&K that has kept you here so long?
It’s that old cliché of great people and constant learning. The goal posts may keep moving, but I enjoy the challenges.
What are the best bits about your job?
The best bits are getting under the ‘hood’ of the software to become a ‘power user’! This might mean learning how to use those tools that are hidden deep in the menu, finding ways to automate tasks, or adapting a newly added feature, all of which can be used to tackle the next challenge.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I start the day catching up on emails and all other messages that have come in over the previous evening. Then there is a Creative Team Scrum to discuss the daily and weekly workloads. After that it’s down to business, using the software, ploughing through the work, with the odd meeting thrown in here or there.
Can you sum up your role in three words?
Investigative, technological, adaptive.
If your role was an animal, what animal would it be?
A mongoose – able to take on big challenges while relying on flexibility, knowledge and experience.
How do you relax outside of work?
I like to spend time with my family, cooking and keeping sane by looking after my health (I’ve been on a running and cycling drive during COVID).
What have you missed most about physically being in the office in the past year (and a bit)?
The people, both inside and outside my sphere of projects.
What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?
I’m hoping that the ‘new normal’ will be a refined version of what we had before – and that people appreciate those things that we had previously taken for granted.