Member of the Month: February 2013
Bringing some Italian flair to GYP events, our talented amico, Benedetto, is the Creative Director and Founder of Glasgow-based design agency the loft.
What’s your background?
I grew up and went to school in Kilmarnock. I was mad about cars when I was a young boy so, from about nine, it was my dream to be a car designer. I graduated in transport design from Coventry University in 2005 and subsequently went onto work for Honda, Alfa Romeo and Stile Bertone.
By 2008 I had become more interested in graphics and visual identities, which is why I set up the loft. I always wanted to have my own company but I never thought it would happen so early. I just didn’t want to spend 10-15 years ‘climbing a ladder’.
It would have to be something pretty amazing now to part me from the loft. Funnily enough, after a difficult beginning, I have never received as many requests to join other agencies as I do now – right at a time where my sole focus is the loft.
Tell us about your company – why did you set it up, what does it involve, and what’s the best thing about it?
The loft is one of Glasgow’s foremost branding and design consultancies. As a company, we build emotive brands that resonate and have an emotional pull. This means that there is an edge to everything we do. We deliberately only get involved in projects that are ambitious and add true value to the client’s commercial goals.
Our tagline is ‘design with soul’. This means that everything we do is instilled with life, feeling and fervour; including anything from a bespoke website to a simple piece of print work. We never take the easy option, never cut corners and we genuinely suffer to ensure the quality of our clients’ work is high. Every time!
It’s tough, but I have ridiculously high standards and that’s what gives our work an edge. I think that, for a small company that has been going for only four years, we have an incredibly strong portfolio; a portfolio that I am happy to compare to those of larger consultancies. It’s what I’m most proud of.
If money and time were no object, what would you do?
Absolutely the same thing! I definitely want to travel and work in other countries again though. I am really working hard on laying the ground work for this: my aim is for the loft to become a truly global company in the next 3-5 years.
I also have a real desire to get into other areas of design, particularly cars where there is unfinished business.
I could mention lots of random flights of fancy, but for me, half the fun is in the chase…
When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?
I love keeping fit. I am a big gym-goer. The more challenging the better…
Hoping to do Tough Mudder this year if the knees hold up. That looks like a real challenge.
Tons of other hobbies/interests include sports like skiing, rugby, football, F1. Also enjoy things like fashion, but my love of design conquers all.
Coffee: I love chilling out at the weekend, sometimes just to sit and think. It’s been quite a challenge finding somewhere quiet and with lots of space in Glasgow city centre.
I have two places in mind but I am not telling you…
Quiet drink: Probably Bar Soba.
Night Out: Getting harder as I get older. You tell me? Rich keeps banging on about The Shed. I remain to be convinced!
Why did you join GYP? Any advice for new members or those thinking about coming to their first event?
It’s all Adrian’s fault!!
It looked like a cool thing from the outset and I do a lot of networking and enjoy meeting people my own age. Most of the networking I do tends to be with an older crowd whereas GYP has a good mix of younger folk, and Thursday night drinks are always good fun.
Any advice? Come with an open mind and if you’re still around at 9pm, there are likely to be shots involved…
What has been your favourite GYP event & why?
Loved the Summer BBQ and most of the ‘end of month drinks’ events have been great.
Are there any events you would like to see us run?
Events to run? I think there are a couple that would be really helpful. I think events that gently introduce things like sales/marketing/communications/networking/social media would all be good. Anything that gets professionals thinking about the well-being of their firms and contributing to their company’s success is a good thing. Most of the members come from large professional service firms and the more a firm can leverage the abilities of its employees to sell the company’s services the better.
Are you a member of any other networking groups?
Just the Glasgow Chambers for the moment…