Kontor talks to Paul Byrne and Seb Marling of Village Green to learn more about this exciting creative studio based in Clerkenwell and what they look for in a workspace.
What does the studio stand for?
Creative excellence and rigorous execution across any field that we work in.
Being creatively led means you focus on the output and we find our clients respond to that. In general this has served us well. You can’t always get your own way and you have to make it pay but good work makes opportunities for more good work.
What direction is the business going in?
Recently our work has been very much across three areas. Property, our ongoing work for Nike and work for arts institutions such as The Barbican.
Broadly we are involved in branding, image making and marketing creative. Property branding and marketing has been a really interesting sector for Village Green over the past few years. It takes a little while to get underneath the business but there are some genuine creative opportunities to be had.
Where do you aspire to be?
More of the same. You are always looking out for a bigger project or a new exciting opportunity but we have been fortunate enough to have some great clients. We feel very confident in our ability to create good work at any level.
What exciting projects are you currently working on?
We are currently creating the branding and marketing for two properties in and around the City / Shoreditch fringes. Both have been very exciting and as ever we are enjoying immensly. We also have a big project delivering for Nike which runs across image making, marketing, digital and retail environments and an interesting brief from the Barbican we are working on.
What is one of your favourite projects to date?
Alphabeta from a property perspective. We were brought in following our work on the Bonhill Building (home of Mind Candy and others) to brand and market a huge 220,000sq ft building on Finsbury Square initially called Triton Court. We needed to alter perspective so a strong branding aesthetic was brought in alongside a very understanding client. We developed everything from the marketing suite, to the agents presentation, interior wayfinding, all marketing collateral and website etc…good brief, good client and good results.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Never an easy answer to that. We are quite intuitive and the senior team have worked together for quite a while now so there are subliminal modes of understanding bouncing around the studio. That said, individually people have quiet different aesthetics and approaches. Like most designers, I imagine, It’s about the things that we see and take an interest in and how we research, share ideas and refine them.
Who do you admire within your industry?
From a creative studio perspective I think there are a lot of groups / people out there doing great work. Too many to list. Many we like do very different work to VG but if ever you see work you wished you’d done you admire it and take inspiration from it.
Turning to the property side of things what is it that you as a studio look for in a workspace?
An open area that we can make our own.
Given a blank canvas where would you be located?
Clerkenwell works well for us as its close to Central but also on the fringes of Shoreditch and The City.
What is most important to you?
Location, cost, transport and amenities are all important. It’s a balance of all.
How, if at all, has this changed over time?
At a previous agency some of us were based in West London as that was where many of the companies we worked for happened to be, but over time the work comes to you wherever you are and East London feels more like home.
Would you consider moving to areas such as Dalston, Haggerston and Hackney Wick or what about south of the river, Bermondsy, New Cross, Peckham?
All the areas you mention are interesting. As long as the area is well connected for all of our staff I think we’d be open to most of them; as a small business we are cost sensitive. Haggerston currently has many lovely spaces and is an area we are quite fond of.
To see more of Village Greens amazing work please see www.villagegreenstudio.com