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taxi-studio_jun1hr_image-2_2018One of our Junior Designers, Liv Beresford-Evans told me over coffee recently how much she missed the ‘peer-to-peerness’ of university. Starting at Taxi Studio is probably no more daunting than at any other agency of 50+ people. We’re a pretty relaxed bunch that work hard and laugh lots. But as a Junior in your first year of employment, when everything around you is changing, the cravings for familiarity are strong.

So, although Liv felt totally supported in the studio with teams made up of Mids, Seniors, Design Directors and Associate Creative Directors, there was a longing to kick around design problems with a bunch of people at her level. And having spent time teaching in Higher Education, I could picture exactly what she was missing – that joyful collaboration of peers that get your references and finish your sentences, allowing you to speak your mind and relax just that little bit more.

“Well” I said (with my greying hair and desire to go home just as they are going out) “it’s often better to ask forgiveness than permission” (and then because of said grey hair) “why don’t you make a plan of what this could be and share it with the relevant people”.

taxi-studio_jun1hr_image-3_2018So Liv enlisted the three other Junior Designers, a Junior Creative Strategist (and latterly our new Account Executive) and together they came up with an idea that literally blew the minds of our management team. Kate Lenton, our Managing Director, welled-up with pride as they took them through their presentation and Spencer Buck, Creative Partner and Founder said he’d “been waiting 15 years for something like this to happen!”.

And just like that ‘Jun1hr’ (pronounced juni-hour) was born! A junior-led initiative to get together and work on a broad range of projects, using one lunch hour each week to bounce ideas, craft skills and contribute new perspectives.

“Everyone at Taxi Studio has got behind us when we suggested Jun1hr. We’re fully supported and feel like they’ve put a ‘halo’ around us all to protect what we’re doing but at the same time allowing us to grow together.” Kira Gardner

taxi-studio_jun1hr_image-5_2018There has never been a better example of Steve Jobs’ phrase ‘why hire good people and then tell them what to do.’ We had hired good people. We knew we had something pretty special with this group, but the surprising thing was their exemplary levels of proactivity, initiative and commitment.

“It feels so lovely working with a bunch of such talented, encouraging positive people who are always there to support you and steer you in the right direction.” Lily Papadopoulos

taxi-studio_jun1hr_image-4_2018It was always one of their initial intentions to swoop in on a project and dedicate one hour to solve a creative problem. Six people across the trinity of Strategy, Design and Client Services working on a task for an hour is six hours brain power, meaning some concepts born in Jun1hr have been good enough to make it through to client presentations, and carefully selected smaller projects have been worked on in their entirety. Jun1hr has enabled the group to work on a broad range of projects, experiment with new presentation styles, research techniques, and generate creative ideas with less pressure.

“Jun1hr is like having a catch up with your best mates whilst cracking out some top-notch ideas at the same time! Its relaxed environment with an emphasis on not being precious about what comes out of it allows our creative juices and minds to flow a bit more freely!” Liv Beresford-Evans

Even better, the Jun1hr effect hasn’t just benefitted the Juniors – it’s spread throughout the company and continues to do so. Various people across the business have already stepped forward to help, running sessions on visualising and hand lettering, with more subjects in the pipeline.

“With Jun1hr I’ve been able to really test myself, quickly build strong relationships with members of the team and develop my account management skills. Many of the highlights of my short time at Taxi Studio has been within these hours surrounded by this great bunch. I’m so proud of the team!” Harry Dipple

With a quarter of Jun1hrs already behind them, they’ve just presented their first quarterly review and had Team Taxi in stitches (as well as in awe of what they have been able to achieve).

“As a junior, it doesn’t matter if you have the least amount of experience and knowledge. As long as you have the drive, you have the same opportunity as anyone else at Taxi Studio to come up with an award-winning idea.” Andrew Hodgkiss

Our juniors have fearlessness running through their veins and are the very embodiment of what makes Taxi Studio special – a bunch of smart people fulfilling their creative ambitions by sticking their hands in the air and owning what they do. Proving that leadership isn’t always top down.

 

The unabridged version of this article can be found at Taxi’s website.

About: Taxi Studio

Taxi Studio is a DBA Grand Prix winning brand design agency that specialises in branding and corporate design. Based in Bristol, UK they work with a diversity of clients, from global household names – like Coca Cola, Carlsberg and Nestlé – to charities and start-ups. This year, Taxi Studio has gone from strength to strength, launching a new external brand the Studio now boasts a team of 54 people with works streams covering six continents.

taxistudio.co.uk

Images supplied by Taxi Studio

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About: DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable impact upon business success.

Judged by business leaders and entered jointly by client and designer, the Awards draw focus onto design’s strategic and commercial value to business. They celebrate what’s possible when the best brains from design and business come together in true partnership and provide powerful evidence that design thinking combined with business acuity can bring about the right conditions for business transformation to occur.

View the Design Effectiveness Awards website for entry information.

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