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Image Credit - Sarah Walker
Explore the Pixel Blog
The PXT Team
Co-founder @ Pixel Together
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Image credit: Bureau of Works
In the early 2010s, Erin had reached a crossroads in her career. She could continue working within various arts organisations and perhaps move into more senior managerial roles, or she could follow the tug to pursue what she loved - taking an artist’s seemingly crazy idea and figuring out how to make it happen. For Erin, working closely in partnership with artists is what drives her and is ultimately the path she chose.
Initially, Erin set out as a freelancer with the goal to work on different art forms with a range of clients in a variety of contexts. Those were her guiding principles and what would later inform her brand values.It took a personal realisation that she needed to “get some swag going on” to make the shift from freelancing. As Erin says, “work was taking over my whole life; I needed mental separation between the company and myself. So, I made the conscious decision to talk about the company and company name rather than describe myself as a freelancer.” Giving her business a name distanced it from her and made it easier to promote.
Why Bureau of Works?Once Erin had decided to create the company, she felt a big shift – that she was going all in. The first step was brainstorming a name and investing in a new visual identity.It was important that the brand could attract and represent a broad range of clients who are all doing their own thing in terms of style. Erin likens it to a record label, a metaphor suggested to her by her design team at Forde and Nicol. Like a record label, her brand needed to be able to umbrella a broad genre or sensibility yet hold a collection of artists who have diverse, esoteric projects. Aesthetic choicesWe love the distinctive red overlay and striking font style of the Bureau of Works site, created by designers Forde and Nicol. Erin was drawn to work with them as they had a client base within the same field, other artists and smaller arts organisations. They understood her world.
Together, they dove into finding solutions for Erin’s unique challenge - that Bureau of Works needs to be represented by an aesthetic that can hold every artist’s project, all of which have radically different promotional images and styles. Erin describes this as a cohesive frame, a brand identity that has an impact but can recede when required. It’s not Bureau of Works that she is selling; it’s the individual projects.
Forde and Nicol initially presented a lilac overlay along with the red, both of which Erin loved. She says of the choice, “I wanted to challenge myself to be bold, and red is really energising in that way. I needed to give myself the confidence to go; ‘I’m doing this.’”The success of this aesthetic is reflected in the fact that most of Erin’s clients find her through word of mouth – with her website being a critical tool in verifying recommendations. In the creative arts, who you work with (and where) is important, so potential clients will often look in detail at the Bureau of Works portfolio via the website.
'It took a personal realisation that she needed to “get some swag going on” to make the shift from freelancing'
'One element of being very relationships based is that most of the people we work with return to work with us, and never leave'
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