Where is your studio based and how did your studio come together?
Both is a Naarm/Melbourne-based branding and visual communication studio that we (Sigiriya Brown and Dan Smith) co-founded in 2010. We first met at university, where we had the opportunity to work on "real world" projects together as part of our Honours year. After working together on a few projects, we realised we were a good creative match; each of us bringing a complementary perspective and way of working. When we finished university we decided to start our own studio, mostly so we could continue to have full control over the projects and people we worked with.
What part of being a designer do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?
Being a designer is all-consuming, which can be both a positive and a negative. We care so much about the work that we do that it’s impossible to switch off, which can be a challenge as we try to lead “balanced” lives. The flip side of that is that we really enjoy the work and we take a lot of enjoyment from getting to know our clients and being a part of their successes.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Intentionally keeping Both small means we're involved in every aspect of the projects we take on; from conceptual development to print production, so no two days are alike. The structure of our day depends on what stage the various projects we are working on are at; sometimes we will spend most of the day working on a concept for a visual identity, other days are spent making finished artwork files, and some days are totally absorbed by meetings and emailing.
Is there something you do today that you wished you had known to do years ago?
As boring and practical as it sounds, implementing accounting software into our process a few years ago has been life-changing. Also, making the time to work on our studio, refining our own processes and documents, is something we wished we'd made a priority earlier. Over the years we’ve also learnt to be somewhat flexible; it can be impossible to control creativity sometimes, so plans change… sometimes it takes literally days to find the “right” typeface for a project, so we just work through things as they come, trying to prioritise tasks as much as possible!
What type of work environment do you prefer?
It's important for us to work in a space that fosters inspiration; our studio is filled with books, art, and pieces of furniture and objects by people whose work we admire. We’re also big advocates of getting away from the computers whenever we can, so we try to take regular walks or have brainstorming meetings in cafes or even a park; anything to keep things a bit more dynamic and encourage creativity.
What projects are you most proud of and why?
It’s hard to choose specific projects; we like different pieces of work for different reasons! We work across an intentionally broad range of industries on projects of various scales; we find all of our projects rewarding but for very different reasons. As an example, it’s really nice to see our designs on a tram or as large-scale street posters around the city, but it’s also really satisfying to work closely with a small business and play a part in their success through something like a new website. The “best” projects to work on are when we have trusting clients and we can create something special together, no matter the scale or scope of the work.
Where else can we find you?