Black and white photography of Gary Butterworth, Project Director, Studio North
Our People: Gary Butterworth, Project Director

The Studio North Team is made up of highly skilled and creative people. Together they help our clients build brands, create stunning pieces of work and deliver purpose and value in everything we do. They’re human too, as much as we love the digital world, we don’t think a robot can make a brew the same way as a human can. We love personalities and passion. You’ve previously met Andy Suter and Oliver Holbrook in the ‘Our People’ series. Now meet Gary, the longest serving member of the Studio North team.

Gary joined Studio North early on in its history. As Studio North’s first recruit, he landed a Junior Designer role with the opportunity to work on bigger roles than he may have had if he’d joined a larger agency. We caught up with Gary to discover more about his career path, his passions and the projects he loves.

How did you start your career?

I completed a HND in Graphic Design at Stockport College and decided to make the move into work as a designer rather than go to University, knowing that experience would mean far more and give me a head start. As the first recruit I started as a junior designer but got opportunities to work on things I perhaps wouldn’t have had in a bigger agency. I got involved in brand development, website creation, CD-Roms (who remembers those!?) and Flash animation.

Early on I learned a lot about managing my own workflow and clients which led me into the role of Project Manager. My background as a designer really helps me ask the right questions and plan for every eventuality of a project. More recently, I’ve moved into the Project Director role hoping to pass on my knowledge and experience to the wider team.

What made you make a career in design and marketing?

I’d always liked Art and chose Graphic Products as a course at secondary school. While product design was interesting, I was really drawn to graphic design. I’ve always seen design as solving problems and communicating information, rather than as creating pretty things (although that’s important too). I think it was this attitude that helped with my shift in role, where problem solving and reacting to challenges is an essential part of my daily job.

What have been your career highlights during your time with Studio North?

My proudest achievement would be the work we delivered for the Brio Leisure website, which I delivered from scratch to completion. Applying the Studio North approach, I managed the audit of their existing site (that we had also created!) including competitor research, eye tracking, and customer feedback. I then shaped the design and development of a new website, producing the wireframes and design concepts as well as managing all aspects of the final development. It’s a very busy site and has over 100,000 visits a month.

Brio Leisure website

What made you join Studio North all those years ago?

I sent out ten prospective CVs and heard back from three, leading to interviews with two. I did a week’s trial at Studio North and found it a great place to work. I felt it would be a great place for me to learn a lot and progress along with the company. Over ten years later, that’s worked out pretty well for me (and them!)

What excites you about the Brand Experience?

It’s exciting to be involved in the creation of a brand. Seeing how clients get excited when they begin to understand what brand truly means, and how it can help them communicate, both internally and externally. I think it’s our deep understanding of brand that really helps us to deliver experiences across a wide variety of outputs, in a way that really resonates with the brand’s audience.

What’s your focus for Studio North going forward?

My role is ensuring that we constantly deliver work on time, within budget, that’s on brief and therefore makes the work a success. Keeping clients happy is essential to both keeping clients and also getting more referrals which makes for the best kind of clients.

And finally.. any interesting anecdotes, life experiences?

Not that I can think of, or want putting out there on the internet ; )

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One comment

  1. Wendy Connelly says:

    I worked with Gary back in 2004-2012 during my time at BCL Legal. He is an amazing guy and it does not surprise me he has done so well for himself!!! Well done Gary

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