You may have noticed a new look to Copperdollar Studios recently online. This is all thanks to the incredible team at Curate Labs, a graphic design company creating digital experiences to tell their clients’ stories. We spoke to co-founder Sara about her journey into design and how she found her experience working with the studios.
Hello! Could you please tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Sara, Co-Founder and Creative Director of design practice Curate Labs – we design digital experiences that heighten empathy, purpose & advocacy. In addition to client work, we also produce the Annual Digest – a series of short thought pieces and reflections on the year past. Its purpose is to galvanise entrepreneurs, corporate & creative professionals; a motivational pick-me-up. This years edition is out at the end of February. We also have an app and platform in the pipeline, exploring how we can travel more sustainably – Driftime.
How long have you been working in graphic design and with Curate Labs?
I graduated from BA Graphic Design at Kingston Uni in 2011, aside from a year out in India studying yoga before moving to Brighton, it’s almost been a decade working in the design industry. I guess I’ve got my 10,000 hours now 🙂
Myself and designer Abb-d Choudhury set up shop almost four years ago. After years of working in a boutique and sometimes larger design agencies around London and later Brighton, I was always drawn to being my own boss. Working in-house and saying yes to almost everything in the early years of my career taught me a lot about what work and expertise I want to focus on.
What different types of designing do you do?
I started out in branding and art direction at Virgin Media, later moving into web design as the possibility and tools developed. Abb-d’s background was in print and digital design at one of the worlds leading marketing agencies, Jellyfish. Today our focus is around digital experiences. We look to tell our clients stories, the format communications take are dependant on the clients business and market.
We love the new look for Copperdollar Studios. What is the process of taking the concept from the idea to finalised design?
Time is a secret ingredient, both for clients and creatives. Efficiency sometimes takes precedence, but from experience, creativity can’t do its thing when neatly boxed, its messy in nature. Simply allowing digesting time can be the difference between good and excellent branding.
Our process is collaborative, from the start we develop a strategy together with the client to best understand a brands heritage, objectives and inspiration. Once a brand strategy is solidified, we pick up tools and the crafting begins. We’ve recently updated to the One Concept Approach, which I’ll be writing a piece on, but have a Google if you’re interested, it’s been really effective.
How do you think Copperdollar Studios’ new logos reflect the feeling of the studio space?
I love that Copperdollar Studios is lit by daylight and almost a blank canvas. Unlike pretty much all studios for hire, Copperdollar has soul and personality but in just the right measures. Kt’s done an excellent job at respecting the heritage of the stables but at the same time creating a comfortable, blank and inviting space to create. We wanted the spirit of Copperdollar’s personality to come through in the branding but at the same time have qualities of neutrality and an inviting appeal. Because Copperdollar is more than studio space, the branding needs to be versatile enough to serve Copperdollar’s Art Direction, Workshops and Production services as the business evolves.
Curate Labs describe themselves as ‘ethical designers’. What makes an ethical designer in this industry?
We believe we have an obligation to build experiences that are better than the status quo. Ethics is “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” When working with new clients it’s important for us to understand a businesses social, environmental and economic impact before we chose if we’re a good fit for one another. In its simplest form, we design for our clients and partners with the intent to do good.
What types of brands does Curate specialise in and have you designed for any notable brands recently?
The beginning of 2020 saw Curate Labs take a pivot to specialise in travel, hospitality and lifestyle sectors. Just before taking this path we had the honour of working with Director Joe Talbot on his site. Last year he debuted his first feature film, produced by Brad Pitt – The Last Black Man In San Fransisco. If you haven’t seen it yet check it out, its a masterpiece! You can delve into lots of behind the scenes bits and pieces on the site we created here Long Shot Features.