China success for city design experts
Nottingham Post, February 2014

Commending the opening of the new Studio Output / Beijing studio, Nottingham Post quizzed the North team on what this might mean for the future of Studio Output. Managing Director Michelle Jamieson, Creative Director Alun Edwards and Group Strategy Director Rob Coke gave their thoughts.

After creating a music video for Ellie Goulding’s number one song ‘Burn’, a Nottingham business has been launched in China.

Studio Output, a multi-disciplinary agency working in image-making, branding, design, campaigns and art direction, has been commissioned to provide a digital backdrop for a cultural show staged in the Chinese capital’s 91,000-seat Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium.

Michelle Jamieson, who heads Studio Output’s operation in the city, said: “Part of China’s Olympic legacy pledge was cultural use for the stadium.”

“The client, Nestyle, saw a viral we’d created for the Sony Entertainment Network to promote movies and they loved it. They came to us and asked us to create and deliver the concepts for the digital backdrop to the stage.”

“It was a major undertaking and a major contract for us and proved to be our breakthrough in China.”

Studio Output was launched 11 years ago by Rob Coke, Dan Moore and Ian Hambleton – all remain with the business as creative directors and partners.

As well as its Nottingham base, in Broadway, the company also has offices in Beijing and London. It employs 35 people, including seven in Nottingham with two more likely to be taken on next year.

The move into China has impacted on growth targets for the year – the business is targeting a turnover of around £3 million in 2012-13, rising to £4 million in the UK and £400,000 in China.

In 2014-15 Studio Output (UK Group) is forecasting a UK turnover of about £6 million, with the China operation looking at £1 million.

Mr Coke, group brand strategy director, said: “Investing properly in a mix of international and local talent is really starting to pay off for us in China.”

“It’s not a source of ‘quick’ money there, but something to build upon for future growth of the whole company.”

The company’s UK clients include Speedo in Nottingham, the BBC, Sony Music, the Ministry of Sound and Durex. Hyatt and Greenpeace are among the names already working with the company in China. Last year, the agency recreated the Glastonbury identity for the BBC, the One Campaign’s Agit8 projection on Tate Britain and Ellie Goulding’s music video.

In November, it launched a campaign raising awareness of sexually-transmitted diseases for Durex in conjunction with MTV.

The company was charged with the branding, strategy, design, event management and implementation of the entire “Someone Like Me” campaign across digital channels, targeting young audiences.

Alun Edwards, creative director at the Nottingham office, said: “We love new experiences and let them inform our work, that’s core to what we do, it’s what excites us, keeps our work fresh and always moving forward.”

With moving image now seen as core to its creative future, the company will now look towards further possible acquisitions, having snapped up London moving image studio, The Found Collective, early this year.

It is also looking at potential expansion into further emerging markets.

The company is one of the Nottingham’s Growth 100 companies, being given help and advice by Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham.

This article originally appeared on the
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