A Design Journey. Chapter 1, The Big Idea

“Hey, you know what we should do? Let’s start our own design business! We’ve got the skills, the experience and we’re confident in our abilities. We’ve seen how multiple agencies, large and small, work from the inside. It’s simple – no guts, no glory. Let’s do it.”

That’s pretty much how the conversation started, and now that the chaos of C-19 had calmed down, it was time to make it happen. 

Primarily, it was fuelled by a genuine passion for design. We yearned for the chance to unleash our creativity and design things that truly mattered to us. In addition, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? We craved more autonomy in our work, the ability to choose clients that aligned with our values, and a fantastic work culture that we could create.

I (Jack) was a senior designer and Mat was my line manager and creative director at the time. If you’re familiar with us, you’ll know that we’re basically the creative version of Ant and Dec – inseparable, but maybe not as hilarious (Mat likes to think he is). Our individual skillsets balance each other and we’re both mega hardworking, problem solvers and project managers; a safe pair of hands. Not only that, but we have a solid creative network that we’ve built over the last decade of working together that we could lean on if necessary. 

We were excited by the prospect of being our own bosses – being able to offer real value, make an honest living, and not rip people off. A small, nimble agency model would reflect this. Low overheads and a responsive approach. Us designers are trustworthy individuals, you trust us with your brand, so you should trust us when it comes to pricing too.

Naming ourselves and creating a brand – it’s a designer’s dream come true. But with great power comes great responsibility. If we mess this up, will anyone take us seriously? It’s like trying to drive an F1 car on the ceiling – a seemingly impossible task.

We spent hours upon hours brainstorming, texting various word configurations to one another, and even resorted to flipping through the dictionary. Let’s be honest, all the good names were already taken. We felt like we were in a race against time, and we were losing badly. We knew we needed something that was memorable, catchy, and reflective of our creative spirit, as well as our roots in the motorsport industry. After all, we had spent years designing graphics and branding for some of the biggest names in racing. Eventually, after weeks of brainstorming we agreed on Downforce Creative. It was like a lightbulb had gone off in our heads. Not only does it nod to the racing term, but it also embodies our commitment to helping our clients stay on track to get ahead of the competition. It may not have been the easiest decision, but it was definitely the right one. 

So let’s take a deep breath, summon our inner courage, and hand in that notice like the badass, job-quitting superheroes we are. The future awaits!

To be continued…

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