Creative Spaces — Strategy Christchurch

5 months ago by

Creative Spaces is a new series exploring New Zealand creative and design workplaces, giving you a sneak peak into the space and behind-the-scenes.

This series is proudly brought to you by Atomic Coffee – Fuelling creativity.


In the second of this series we went into the Strategy Christchurch studio and had a chat with Creative Partner Mark Townshend, and Strategic Director Adrien Taylor. Strategy is an award-winning creative agency with offices in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Sydney and Tokyo.


Mark & Adrien @ Strategy


Mark Townshend: 
Do you have daily rituals?
I always find time during the day to take one photo. I don’t do it with any purpose other than to challenge myself to always appreciate my surrounds.

What’s your favourite thing about your space?
The people who fill it. No matter how nice your office is, if you don’t have the right people creating the right energy then it’s nothing more than desks and computers.

Do you have an artefact you keep in the studio that has special meaning to you?
Yep, a couple. Paul Arden’s – ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ book. I give it to all the creatives to read. It’s travelled with me for the last 10 years. The keys to my ’72 Land Rover Series III, parked outside. And there is currently a roll of smartass toilet paper on my desk. A gift from Adrien. I love the packaging design and can’t let it go.

Walk us through your creative or design process.
I think it’s best to stay nimble and adapt your creative thinking and approach to each individual project. This keeps it fun. I find it hard to subscribe to a single process.

What do you do or where do you go when you get stuck?
A run fixes everything.


Adrien Taylor:
Do you have daily rituals?
As a former journalist, I still have the habit of starting my day by reading headlines and business news from New Zealand and around the world. I listen to science podcasts over breakfast too. It helps stimulate my mind in the morning and ensures I don’t get stuck in my own silo of thinking.

What’s your favourite thing about your space?
The prevalent use of wood and the perfect amount of light. The wood brings a really warm soothing tone to the studio and the abundance of natural light is beautifully balanced by just the right amount of tungsten light. It’s not stark and it’s not sleepy.

Do you have an artefact you keep in the studio that has special meaning to you?
Maybe not quite an artefact, but if it’s raining outside, I keep my Vespa helmet at my desk. For me, it embodies road trips and freedom.

Walk us through your creative or design process.
Everything I do needs to be firmly rooted in the strategic thinking we’ve developed with the client, so I make sure that’s top of mind and laid out in front of me before I start any of the creative copywriting. From there, it’s a matter of constantly asking myself what this brand would look and sound like if I met them, and channelling that personality into the copy.

What do you do or where do you go when you get stuck?
I’m lucky to sit right next to two creative geniuses, and I’m used to noisy and collaborative newsrooms, so I’m often asking Chris and Mark for their opinions. Failing that, I work on something else or head out of the studio for a walk and the solution always comes eventually.



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