A North East Brit Working For A Big Apple AgencyPosted Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
It has been a while since I last updated my blog, to long in fact. Those of you following me on Twitter will know that even though there are reasons for my time being fully saturated recently, none are any real excuse to let my blog slip.
But the time has finally come that I can happily and openly announce one of the reasons I have been so caught up recently. In December 2010 I accepted a new job offer to work full time for a Mobile Design and Development agency in New York called Fueled.
Late 2010 I was approached by a fine gentleman, whom I have collaborated with and carried out a fair bit of freelance work for in the past. We got talking about a position he thought I would be suited for in his new company. It was a brand new agency, with no brand, no website and no presence. But, it did have a very strong client base from it’s sister company, with work for brands such as MTV, Wendy’s, Fanta and The Chicago Bulls.
The more and more we talked, the more it sounded appealing, yet equally as risky, as most of you Brits know, the UK economy has been pretty poor of late. We are all so tired of hearing about redundancies and agencies especially in the North East going in to liquidation, closing down or simply struggling to fight for work. Was it really the right time to move to a new company just starting up? Was it to risky?
I had to look at the opportunity objectively. The majority of my freelance projects I am currently working and have worked on in the past, are and have been clientele based in the US, and with the amount of work coming in to the new agency, it did seem like an opportunity not to be missed. So as of December 2010 I finished my final week at Guerilla ready to start in the new year, working for an agency 3352 miles away! Crazy!
My Role, Old & New…
Working for Guerilla was great, it gave me a lot of opportunities and in the time I was there, I made a lot of friends, met and worked with some fantastic clients and through very difficult economic times, we managed to keep our heads above the water, so ‘hat tip’ to all at Guerilla for that! But the time had come and I was ready to move on.
My new role is pure UI. I am no longer coding, although I am still keeping this a large part of my role within my freelance work, mainly because I thrive in coding! but also because I do not want to fall off the ever changing, ever improving and increasingly challenging ‘techno wagon’, and fall behind in the industry I love.
Saying that, my new position does mean I can dedicate my time fully to working on user interface elements of projects, spanning across both mobile and web. this allows me to really put in the time to perfect a single area of a project which effects many, rather than having to think about completing all other aspects of the project on top of the design.
Fueled has a fantastic team of architects, strategists, web and mobile developers with the added benefit of a group of animation specialists, which I have already found, are bringing a whole added depth to the design work I am doing. It is like a breath of fresh air.
Getting Stuck In!
One of my first tasks was to work on the brand and digital presence for Fueled, and I am happy to announce that we have just launched the first phase of the website!
As this is the phase 1 of the site we are now in the throws of ironing out any issues, and working on advancing it into a responsive layout with a mobile version, which is about to start development. But for now, here are a few snippets along with the link to the new site!
The site can be found at http://www.fueled.co (Yes that is .co for all you Brits!)
Working for a company abroad
Finally I thought I would leave a few tips for any freelancer thinking about working for a company abroad. I know these things may seem trivial, but they do take a little bit of getting used to. So, firstly:
1. Working hours – It is a bit of a challenge to balance this one out, especially with companies far and wide who are sometimes 4 hours ahead, 6 hours behind and so on. It can mean you are doing late hours. But what I have agreed which is a good balance, it to stagger your hours. So, as New York is 5 hours behind UK, my full time hours now mean instead of the standard 9am – 5.30pm, I am doing 11am – 7.30pm. This allows me to reduce the crossover and get an extra 2 hours of valuable time, working with the agency based in New York, without having to do crazy times here in the UK.
2. Language Barriers – This one is not so bad, apart from just double checking spellings when it comes to proofing artwork. If working for an American agency for example, who is creating work for an American client, you need to spell things the way Americans do! So watch your ‘ize’ and ‘ise’, ‘our’ and ‘or’ and of course your ‘re’ and ‘er’!
3. Currency – When quoting for jobs in proposals, or when working out pay checks (cheques!) Make sure to work out any exchange rates and also any charges maybe added by the banks. It is always good to note on any invoice that charges must be covered by the payee to avoid losing out and messing up your accounts!
So as far as things to watch out for, from my experience that is it! If these are classed as negatives, it ain’t half bad! I am loving my time so far at Fueled, and I am so happy I made the move. It was risky but it has certainly paid off!
I am also able to post any work I carry out through the agency here on Branded07 so watch out in my portfolio for any new projects coming about in the near future! In the mean time, why not follow Fueled on Twitter, visit the site, and by all means, send over any feedback/critique on the site design and we will happily take your comments!