No Cure Magazine
We sat down with No Cure Magazine to discuss all things 40/40. You can read a copy of the interview below.
In a market saturated with creative agencies and studios, Gold Coast-based 40/40 Creative has managed to stand out from the herd with their distinctive swag and incredible work. Their work is so good, in fact, that they’ve caught the attention of global behemoths such as Uber, UNIQLO and Subaru. We speak to 40/40’s founder, Nic Nichols.
Interview by: David Bobis
Nic started 40/40 Creative in late 2012, at the tender age of 24. After noticing a growing demand for his freelance branding and website design work, he decided to take things up a notch and start his own creative studio. “My big plan at the time was a start-up advertising company for local businesses on the Gold Coast but inevitably, it was the graphic design work that I ended up sticking to.”
“In the early days we were one of those studios that tried to specialise in a million things,” Nic says when talking about the early stages of 40/40 compared to now. “Whereas nowadays, we are more aware of who we are and where our passions in design lay. We recently moved studios, which was a big change as we were able to renovate and customise the space better than ever. The best thing that evolved was our calibre of clients, from working with smaller local businesses to now multinationals and global brands.”
Just one look at the 40/40 website and the kind of work they create and you’ll realise that they’re not your typical creative studio. Although they seem wild, rebellious and uninhibited, they’re highly strategic, results-driven and focused. There’s a charismatic edge to everything they do. When asked about the culture they built, Nic explains, “Everyone at the studio is very creative and also young and so that naturally spills into various types of youth culture. Whether that’s fashion, music, art, sneakers, gaming, graffiti and pop culture, we try to bring those cultural elements through our own branding and general aesthetics around the studio. When I was a young designer, the studios I worked in growing up lacked the freedom, inspiration and creative environment that I believe you need when trying to do great work. We pride ourselves in having a very free and open studio so we can be who we are and do what we need to do, to make sure we’re happy and inspired when creating.”
Any great company is built with great people. To work for 40/40 Creative means you need to be wired a certain way. “Obviously it depends on the position, but we do have a strong cultural criteria. We like to ask quite unorthodox questions during the process such as your favourite sneaker, band, movie quote etc. Those answers are usually cross examined with your email punctuation, online portfolio, face tattoos and social media content.”
Nic is quite proud of how far they have come as a studio. They now work with a suite of reputable national and international brands. Certain projects they’re quite proud of include a branding campaign Distillery Road Markets (launching Mid 2019), Uber’s ‘Heart of the City’ campaign, a branding campaign for Cheers Liquor House (launching mid 2019), the 2018 DETOUR Street Art Festival, the Uber x Drinkwise ‘Be a Friend’ campaign, the Platypus ‘Act Your Shoe Size’ campaign and the 2017 UNIQLO ‘Secret Walls’ event. When asked about 40/40’s relationship with Uber, Nic is quite excited about what they can do to help. “As of 2019, we formed a partnership with Uber where we now manage all their design support requirements for Uber Australia. This has been a big responsibility but it’s very rewarding knowing they instill such trust in us and our work.”
But this is just the beginning. Nic mentions a bright future for the 40/40 Creative team: “We’re looking at some expansion plans at the moment and the new studio was the first stage of that. We have twice as much as space now but you can only see half of that at the moment as the other half is currently being developed into a concept and event space. We work with a lot of artists and so we’re hoping to launch a gallery space or something alike. We just had a new designer join the team and by the end of the year, we’re hoping to have another designer and account manager join us later on in the year. We’re taking it year by year as we’ve been growing steadily and trying not to overextend ourselves in the process.”
You can purchase a copy of the latest issue here.