From the moment you step inside the Super8 office on Pirie Street it exudes creative energy; from the diagonal pink stripes as you enter to the “card-boardroom”.
As most of the Super8 team work in visual media it is particularly important to them that their office space is reflective of their talents.
Matthew Stuckey said the colour choices steered away from traditional advertising agencies use of “power colours” and their pink walls have helped identify right away which clients they want to work with.
“The kinds of people who don’t like our pink walls probably aren’t the kinds of people we want to be working with,” he laughs.
The name Super8 is a reference to the film type but ultimately it was due to the original eight creatives sharing the space.
The original eight include designer Matthew Stuckey, creative director-copywriter Jason Hollamby, art director Jane Keen, motion graphics specialist James Boorman, producer Nicola Tate, director Sam Wark, web developer David Burden, photographer Julian Cebo and since moving to the larger space has grown to a team of 12 or 13.
Matthew and Jason had worked together previously before leaving bigger agencies to work on their own.
“Working from home has its own set of challenges – it can be great for creating but not very professional for meeting clients,” Matthew said.
“We had our eye out for a little office to share then I saw Renew Adelaide were moving into commercial tenancies. They had a space with way more space than two people needed and Jason and I knew a fair few creative people at a similar phase where they were all working out of home, or out of small offices, or dinky little businesses.”
It was important when choosing the Super8 team to ensure there was a good mix of skills and personality to ensure a great working environment.
“We wanted to pick a bunch of people who were at the same level of experience and professionalism who at the same time wouldn’t be competing for the same jobs to avoid the awkwardness or redundancy in skills. We also had a very strict ‘no wanker policy’,” he said.
“We picked one of everything you’d really need to run a full production agency without having to be a full production agency. We assemble together whatever components you need, some jobs it’s two of us, some jobs it’s four of us. We haven’t had a full eight yet, but soon.”
With creative work becoming more transparent businesses are becoming more critical of where their money is going.
Moving forward Matthew said businesses are responding well to their model of working, where instead of paying an advertising agency you only pay for the work you need.
“The whole point of our model is when you come to us as opposed to a conventional agency is you are only paying for what you need,” he said.
“So you’re not paying for someone who’s been sitting in the corner doing nothing for three years but they’re on the payroll. It’s an efficient model, and you get the person who’s best for the job not just finding jobs for people in the office to feel useful. And if it’s not us, we also outsource. You’re not locked in to only getting us.”
Super8’s goal is to eventually graduate from the Renew program into a commercial lease and the space has helped them get some big jobs Matthew said would not have been possible on their own.
“We appreciate the Renew model because it’s given us time to find out feet and a test a way of working that isn’t quite proven yet,” he said.
“It’s a very fluid model which is why working in a Renew space works for us. Everything we do is quite transient. 21st Century agile way of doing business so we can upscale, downscale, sidestep it as necessary.”
Words and photography by Melissa Birmingham