Birmingham ‘creatives’ Walk The Walk With ‘hollywood-style’ Project
Strings of contracts boost digital marketing agency
By: Business Link West Midlands
383 Project, which is the brainchild of local graphic designers John Newbold and Sukhi Dehal, celebrated its first birthday in May by winning the contract to complete the full marketing, branding and website of Broad Street’s ‘Walk of Stars’.
The concept recognises local people who have made a significant contribution to the world of music, television, film, radio, sport, business and literacy and, following an online public voting system suggested by the agency, has received massive global interest.
It capped a remarkable first year in which 383 Project has used Business Link West Midlands support to secure work with both the BBC and Channel 4, not to mention seeing its designs hit the shelves on 12 million Sprite cans and bottles
“We never expected the first twelve months to be so interesting,”
“The ‘Walk of Stars’ launched earlier this year, with over 1000 people turning out to see Ozzy Osbourne unveil his stone on Broad Street. More celebrities will be announced shortly.”
He continued: “This was just the start. When we launched the website we had over a million visitors log on in the first 6 weeks! Within that time, it was also featured by Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles and was also named website of the day on Radio 2.”
Hot on the heels of the ‘Walk of Stars’ concept, 383 Project is now working on the city’s largest business and retail directory – www.broadstreet.co.uk - which launches later this month.
“It’s a project we’re tremendously excited about and has given us the opportunity to showcase the best of what the web can currently offer and will give the 270 businesses on Broad Street an interactive and manageable web platform to work.” explained Sukhi.
The duo started the company in May 2006 after deciding to swap their freelancing days for the challenge of growing one of the West Midlands’ most dynamic design and marketing agencies.
383 Project, which now employs four people and is looking to take on a further two by the end of 2007, provides a multi-disciplinary service, including web design, branding and new media interior design.
Its success stems from a desire to match creativity with business understanding and this is reflected in the work it completed for Sprite – a milestone achievement and one that really kick-started their dream into life.
Former Wolverhampton University Student, Sukhi picked up the story:
“We received a lot of advice from Business Link West Midlands and Birmingham City Council when we first started out and this proved invaluable when putting the foundations in place and finding city centre premises for our business.
“Whilst this support was great, there is nothing like winning a big competition to give you the confidence to really push on and this arrived after just a few months when we secured first place in the Sprite Urban Creations competition.”
He went on to add: “This gave us the chance to produce a series of illustrations that have since been used on 12 million cans and bottles across the UK.”
With turnover set to reach £250,000 in the coming year, 383 Project has built an enviable reputation across the UK and can now list Channel 4, the Handmade Burger Company, Crosby Homes, Citroen Vans and Cobra Beer amongst their growing client base.
It has also just been announced as the ‘Most Promising Business’ at the Creative City Awards and completed interior design, 3D and branding projects with two of Birmingham’s newest restaurants in Urban Pie and Leaf Gourmet Salad Bar.
Lara Ratnaraja, Business Link West Midlands’s Sector Manager for the Creative and Knowledge Industries, added her support:
“We have a real opportunity to make the region the creative capital of the UK and, with companies like 383 Project, Birmingham is already staking its claim with unbelievable design work and fresh thinking.
“It is our job to support entrepreneurs like John and Sukhi, passing on our experience and putting them in touch with mentors and programmes that can make a real difference to their business. To be honest, I can’t wait to continue to work with them, as I know they are going to be one of our best exports for years to come.”
John concluded: “It’s easy to say it now, but the impartial advice we received was essential in how quickly we were able to start and ultimately grow the business. At every step of the way we spoke to Lara, whether that was when we took on our first employee or when we moved into larger offices in Lionel Street. The message is simple for any aspiring entrepreneur...make the most of the support on offer!”
Business Link West Midlands is expected to help over 70,000 businesses and individuals thinking of starting a business with information, with a further 16,000 receiving intensive support by 2010.
In a bid to strengthen its offer to the creative industries, it has just announced Tribal’s Creative Launchpad as one of its specialist enterprise providers, which will see over 200 more people benefit from the very latest industry support.
Individuals and companies interested in speaking with Business Link West Midlands should contact 0845 113 1234, visit www.businesslinkwm.co.uk or email email@example.com