The Design Inc Team

T: +44 (0)1784 410380
E: info@designinc.co.uk

Daniel Gilbert

Managing Director

daniel@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Daniel Gilbert

So Dan, as Managing Director – what do you focus on a day to day basis?

Everything! But mainly account direction for our big name clients in private aviation. Of course I also monitor the development of new opportunities in other market areas too. For all our clients I aim to combine the strategic with the creative and practical to deliver effective marketing online and offline. After all – It’s what we do!



As Design Inc marks it’s 15th anniversary, the company has come a long way. What are your plans for the next 15?

In terms of our services and my clients I am aiming to serve the leading provider in each of the key areas of aviation: manufacture, infrastructure/airport management, aircraft operators, airlines, charter, maintainance, spares, training and security etc.

Keeping all our clients ahead of the competition with the use of emerging technologies for online marketing. 

For the business? continuing our organic growth to build a robust and sustainable business.

Winning more awards for our work – and recommendations as recognition for results always welcome!

When you are not working what do you like to do?

I am an unashamed petrol head and recently enjoyed a tour of the Lotus factory near Norwich. (I am a proud owner of one of Colin Chapman’s finest). I grow vines and have been developing my own ‘Chateau Staines’ appellation. I have a young family who keep me very busy – we all visited Disney World in Florida this year ( just an excuse for me to redo Star Tours!) but I do manage to play five-a-side football once a week with some of the other guys here and we even have some tinware to our name! Oh, did I mention the BACA golf trophy or the karting one too?

What you like about working for Design Inc?

Watching our gradual rise in profile and the increase in complexity and comprehensiveness of our projects and campaigns. Seeing the team grow and our skills and capabilities improve – making DI a real force to be reckoned with. Tomorrow’s challenges – bring them on.

Frank Norman

Client Services Director

frank@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Frank Norman

So Frank, what does the Client Services Director do in a marketing and design company?

Well, I lead the client services side of the business.That means the nature and quality of our services, account development, new business development, business profitability as well as contributing to the marketing and commercial direction of the company.

It is all about providing value to the client. The better the quality of our relationships with our clients – the better it is for both them and us. We work on a long term strategic basis for most of our key clients, however every relationship has to start somewhere and this may be a relatively small project in the first instance. What is important is that the client receives outstanding service & quality. And this brings them back to us for more support.

What does your time line look like and how has it equipped you for the challenges of Design Inc?

Wow, well I’ve been working in advertising, design and marketing for 25 years – client service has always been my core focus and today I retain ownership of the relationships with our main clients in the B2B sectors of: energy, engineering, healthcare, finance, IT, manufacturing, professional services and telecoms. The range of business sectors our clients come from is very wide so it important to be able to quickly adapt to their needs.

We may be proven specialists in on- and offline marketing communications, brand communications and creative concept development, but it is the gaining of an understanding of each clients’ business plus the surprise and delight factor will always keep clients coming back for more.

As Design Inc approaches its 20th Anniversary, what are your aspirations for the future of the business?

It has been so rewarding to see the company grow from a one-man band to what it is now. Our growth has been steady as our client base has grown. And this is how I hope to see the company grow over the next 20 years. To continue to take on the best designers, marketers and systems. More client wins, more successes. More recognition of our abilities & skills. Continually developing the quality of the work in our portfolio. And of course planning for and resourcing these goals.

When you are not working, what do you like to do?

I have a lifelong love of motor sport and once worked for Autosport magazine, was sponsorship manager of a Formula 3 race team and have even being involved in the publishing of the official Grand Prix programmes. These days my time behind the wheel is spent karting. I also like to keep fit and am a keen runner. Our son is grown up now so my wife and I have more time to enjoy overseas travel – we try to get across to Vegas once a year with the goal being to stay in every hotel on the Strip! Back home I enjoy gardening, metal detecting and am slowly building a collection of first edition Enid Blyton books. I am interested in the history of pop music and am proud to say I am a huge Adam Ant fan and have been since I was ten years old.

What is the best bit about working for Design Inc?

Having been directly involved in the growth of the company from a one man band, I am still highly enthusiastic regarding client acquisitions, campaign wins and building strong long-term relationships. Every day is different here and I enjoy managing the many diverse marketing requests we receive.
The best feeling is to see our clients benefit from our work and grow from the successes we help them gain.

There’s a theory that the number one song on the day you are born is influential on your personality, what’s yours?

The Beatles: Hello, Goodbye – analyse that!

David Parker

Branding and Marketing Consultant

david@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with David Parker

OK, David, you are the branding specialist – but what is your own brand built on?

Creativity, communication and commitment. The c words.

As Design Inc marks its 15th birthday what are your aspirations for the future?

More clients and more campaigns please.




When you aren’t working for Design Inc what are likely to be doing?



Well, I’m most likely to be doing something creative with my 2 young daughters – inventing new illustrations for Jacqueline Wilson or Roald Dahl books or building model houses for Shopkins or making dens under the stairs. Once they are in bed I love to go out to see live bands and am lucky to have a lot of great musicians playing in and around Richmond. The Eel Pie Club for R&B and other pubs for rock and pop and soul. You might find me browsing in TK Maxx for that umpteenth pair of shoes or watching retro b/w music clips on Youtube. Or rummaging through design/architecture/aviation books in a charity shop. Or cruising around Bushy Park on my Electra Cruiser bike, or even polishing my New Beetle. My parents and grandfather all worked for De Havilland. Best plane ever? Easy – DH 98 Mosquito, followed by DH 108 Swallow, followed by either Comet!

What is your favourite thing about working for Design Inc?

The look on a prospect or clients face when they see one of our ideas that they like.

Winning the Airbus Helicopters advertising account from Publicis.

The jelly bean dispenser.

Kelly Halford

Finance Assistant

kelly.halford@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Kelly Halford

So Kelly, you have only recently joined the company, in our accounts division. What is your role here?

My job is to manage all things financial, working closely with the Accounts Director. Ensuring that the clients & projects we take on are commercially sound for the company as well as ensuring the whole finance process is handled efficiently & effectively. 

What do you think of the company so far?

I enjoy the fun & creative environment as well as the variety of work and the quality of clients. It is also very fulfilling to see the design and production output of the team. Seeing a campaign being developed from scratch and rolled out successfully is very exciting.

Away from spreadsheets, invoices and payments, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a love of all things Carribbean – especially cooking. My taste in music is highly eclectic and you can find me knee deep in mud at many Uk festivals; R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Country & Western, Techno, you name it, I’ll dance to it!

And finally, as an alternative to astrology, at Design Inc we believe you can often get an insight about someone from the song that was number one on the day they were born – go on enlighten us?

Ha ha, yes, my birth song is so very appropriate. It was ‘Respectable‘ by Mel & Kim. And, of course I am!

Dan Moe

Head of Digital

dan.moe@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Dan Moe

As newest member of the Design Inc team – what are your first impressions of the company?

I have had to hit the ground running in terms of the taking and distribution of the “friendly bants”, but that aside the first thing I’ve noticed is the depth and breadth of experience the team has, along with the shared passion to deliver the best end product possible to the clients.

Coming on board as Head of Digital, part of your remit will be to review and develop our project management approach and processes for the larger website site builds. What are your initial plans in this area in order that we can continue to design, and build these sites efficiently and cost effectively?

Well, being from a design background I feel I can bridge the gap between designer and developer and ensure the process runs as smoothly as it can. My passion is user experience, so I’ll be looking to focus on that. Where project management is concerned, I have experience in working on sites ranging from small to big build, so hopefully I can draw on this experience to help streamline the process where possible.

Tell us a bit about Dan Moe the man – outside work? Avid gamer, trainspotter, Morris dancer? Come on fess up

I have a young family so my spare time is mainly spent rough and tumbling with my two girls. But away for them I have a keen interest in sport and enjoy taking part where I can. I’ve been known to get a little over competitive at times..!

Finally, we always ask what was the No1 song on the day you were born – it can be telling? And there are plenty of ‘golden oldies’ in the mix – what’s yours?

Going Underground by the Jam, more than happy with that!

Paul Goldring

Senior Designer

goldie@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Paul Goldring

So Paul, aka Goldie, When you first joined the creative team, what were your first impressions of Design Inc?

It’s a real team effort here with all projects getting input from all the skill sets which ultimately gives a better end result. I was also impressed with how many chicken tikka wraps are consumed at lunch!

You  work across all of our clients’ business providing integrated campaigns – are there any areas you particularly look forward to? Branding, advertising, digital or literature design?

I always look forward to getting stuck into a branding project and developing this through print and web.

All the other team members at Design Inc each have unique areas of commercial experience gained outside marketing and design before joining the company – these can vary from the sublime to the ridiculous. What are the unique experiences you will bring to the mix? Any good anecdotes?

I worked in many strange places whilst studying for my Graphic Communications course, killing trout was probably the most bizarre!

When you are not creating challenging concepts  for Design Inc clients what do you like to do?

Having two teenage daughters keeps me quite busy but I escape the hissy fits and dramas by chilling at music festivals and attending breakdance events….this doesn’t make me a cool dad apparently!

And finally, as an alternative to astrology at Design Inc we believe you can often get an insight about someone from the song that was number one on the day they were born – go on enlighten us?

Johnny Nash    Tears On My Pillow

Jon Turner

Studio Manager

jon@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Jon Turner

So Jon, you have the biggest desk in the studio – that must come with a lot of responsibility!

Ha ha, well yes as I have been with Design Inc since 2004 here, there’s not much I haven’t learnt about the overseeing and artworking of any design job that goes to print or programming. The devil is in the detail!

My task also includes the daily running of the studio, looking after our design tools and computer systems . As well as designing and the odd bit of project managing.

As well as artworking I specialise in publication design, 3D design, packaging industrial design – which involves me in projects for exhibition stands, POS, innovative calendar formats and trophy design

As Design Inc marks its 15th anniversary, what are your aspirations for the future?

Keeping up to date with digital marketing – learning new software and embracing innovative developments within the industry.
Being the first member of Design Inc’s Dubai office, ha ha!

OK Jon, when you are not working, how do you spend your time?

I like to travel, especially to new and interesting destinations. Like most of the other guys in the studio I like motor racing I actually went to the Singapore Grand Prix this year. I play champions league five-a-side with the Design Inc team. I am known for my challenging and eclectic musical taste in the office. I also like cycling and often ride to work from my home in Bracknell. And finally mtb gaming.

What you like about working for Design Inc?

The variation of working for different clients and industries, as well as being responsible for the daily running (technical) side of the studio.Plus it pays for next travel adventure, ha ha

Michelle Cox

Senior Designer

michelle@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Michelle Cox

Steve Barlow

Finance Director

steve.barlow@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Steve Barlow

So Steve, what is the role of a Finance Director?

I wear the two hats and am also upgrading the MIS software we are running which keeps me busy.

As Design Inc marks 20 years what are your aspirations for our future?

Well my first goal is to join up the seamless computer system. Once that is sorted then I can focus on more of Design Inc long term strategic plans when it comes to things like cost efficiencies in our tax and overheads. You know typical accounts tasks!

When you are not on duty at Design Inc what do you do?

I have many and varied vices and other interests beyond the realms of spreadsheets and bank statements! I have family in Australia who I visit when I can. I was down under over Christmas and New Year and able to spend some time with my grandson and granddaughter in Melbourne.

What is the best bit about working with Design Inc?

The company is so good to work for. The team are always positive, enthusiastic and it is obviously they all love their job. That, and the fact the company has just invested in a beer fridge!

Nick Bennett

Designer

nick.bennett@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Nick Bennett

So, Nick, you have joined us full time after a number of years freelancing. Why?

I have been able to develop myself as a designer during my freelancing years and have always admired Design Inc and the way you guys go about projects. The experience of the team is also fantastic and I look forward to sharing creative ideas with them.

You have joined our creative department. What specialisms do you bring to the team?

Amongst the studio I have been called the “David Copperfield” of Powerpoint…. so a Magician apparently. Personally I like to think that I’m a bit like a Swiss army knife. I enjoy all aspects of design and will try to learn new techniques and processes from others around me. Over the years, I have developed a specialism in HTML coding skills, photo-retouching abilities and client side engagement amongst many others. If I had to choose a single word to describe me, it would be versatile.

In your opinion, what makes Design Inc so unique?

There are many things that make Design Inc unique, but I’d say the most prominent is the family nature of the studio. With an open plan setup, we all engage in conversation and debates ranging from work to politics and social activities. This really helps to bind the team together and makes for a unique atmosphere.

When you are not being creative, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m the resident “geek” of the studio and my hobbies and spare time reflect this. I enjoy gaming but also enjoy music with drums being my instrument of choice.

At Design Inc we believe you can often get an insight about someone from the song that was number one on the day they were born – what is yours?

First Time by the amazing Robin Beck. So apparently I’m like the feeling of being in love for the very first time.

Chris Grace

Developer

chris@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Chris Grace

So Chris, when you joined in 2013, what were your first impressions of Design Inc?

My instant impression of Design Inc was that they are extremely goal-driven whilst remaining very much down-to-earth. It was very impressive to see the attention to detail and time taken to make sure all projects were attainable and realistic. I joined as quite a novice web developer and was given the time and patience to improve and thrive with experience. 

You are working across a variety of our clients’ business providing cutting edge digital developments –  are there any areas you are particularly enjoying?  Websites, Animated Apps, E-shots or other projects?

I love nothing more then to get my hands dirty with PHP and WordPress. I’m passionate about web so being there in the thick of things when a website transforms from design to a fully functioning website is a real buzz. 

All the other team members at Design Inc each have unique areas of commercial experience gained outside marketing and design before joining the company – these can vary from the sublime to the ridiculous. What are the unique experiences you will bring to the mix? Any good anecdotes? EG did you work in a chip shop?

My first job after University was a production assistant for a digital agency so I can make a blinding cup of tea. 

When you are not developing digital projects for Design Inc what do you like to do? 

I’m a football fanatic bordering on the obsessive (Massive Arsenal fan!!!). I like playing, just as much as I like to watch, and organise a Monday evening game with a load of guys around the office building. Other then that I generally like to keep fit and like to sign myself up to races every now and again to keep motivated. This year I’ll be doing my third Spartan Beast obstacle course. 

And finally, as an alternative to astrology at Design Inc we believe you can often get an insight about someone from the song that was number one on the day they were born – go on enlighten us?

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – ‘The Power Of Love’. Not quite sure what that means but I’ll take it. 

Lindsey Smith

Project Manager

lindsey.smith@designinc.co.uk

Q & A with Lindsey Smith

So Lindsey, what does it take to be a great Project Manager ?

Simple really – good organisational and communicational skills, a thick skin (not everyone is willing to embrace new processes and to withstand the daily banter) and a lot of patience.

How will your appointment as Project Manager directly improve our client’s lives?

Over the years I have set up and inherited processes which I have adapted for each company I have worked at. These process have helped to speed up workflow and eliminate potential errors both of which directly improve client services. Many marketing companies underestimate the importance of Project Management, however, the role is integral to ensure projects are delivered not only on time but more importantly within client’s budgets.

You have worked in many similar roles – what was is about Design Inc that made you want to join us

My first impressions at my interview was that Design Inc really felt like a team and thankfully that has turned out to be the case. Another appealing element was the variety of sectors they worked across – one minute you could be working on private jets and the next on a food product. Actually, the real reason is the constantly refilled bowl of chocolates which I spotted during the walk round at my interview.

When you are not managing projects what do you like to do?

I seem to take on many different types of social projects. I spend a lot of my spare time designing and printing my own t-shirts which I sell on eBay and Etsy. The rest of my time is spent listening to music or going to watch live music gigs.

At Design Inc we believe you can often get an insight about someone from the song that was number one on the day they were born – what is yours?

It’s Chicago with If You Leave Me Now. Not really sure what you can say about that one!

 

Daniel Gilbert

Managing Director

Frank Norman

Client Services Director

David Parker

Branding and Marketing Consultant

Kelly Halford

Finance Assistant

Dan Moe

Head of Digital

Paul Goldring

Senior Designer

Jon Turner

Studio Manager

Michelle Cox

Senior Designer

Steve Barlow

Finance Director

Nick Bennett

Designer

Chris Grace

Developer

Lindsey Smith

Project Manager

Our MD Dan Gilbert originally set up Design Incorporated back in 1997. Since then we have enjoyed sustained business growth year on year and 2016 marks our 19th year of trading. By clicking on the images above you can find out a bit more about our team members. To see our work please visit Portfolio or Case Studies. To find out more about all our disciplines please go to the Services section. The Blog posts also feature some of our very latest creative projects.

Along with Client Services Director, Frank Norman, Brand Consultant David Parker and Senior Designer Paul Goldring our core in-house team consists of account and project managers, designers and programmers. This combined expertise ensures all our clients receive optimised service, both reactive and proactive, whatever their requirement. We also employ an extended network of specialist sector strategists, planners, researchers and copywriters as well as photographers/illustrators on a project by project basis. This provides the flexibility to respond but keeps us cost effective.

Please check out our job posts on our website for further details. We look forward to speaking with you soon!