Meet our friends … Daylight
‘Meet our Friends’ series is where we take a moment to celebrate and share a little about the diverse studios who make up our DA Friends around Aotearoa
Today we spoke to our friends Daylight to learn more about their studio team, culture, and design philosophy. From sharing some their recent work to capping off a solid week with burger Fridays, Daylight give us a taste of what it’s like to be apart of their studio.
Where are you based and what shape does the Daylight team take?
We live at 615 New North Road in the newly renovated Morningside Council Chambers building in Tāmaki Makaurau. Nearby are our Spinoff whānau down the hallway, plus a bunch of other rad businesses that are speckled throughout the building.
As for our team, we’re a collective of writers, ex-adland creatives and project managers, animators, illustrators, designers, product thinkers and developers who specialise in taking the complex and making it simple. As a group, we’re all motivated to create work that makes a difference, whether that’s a simple social post, a podcast or a behaviour-changing digital product. If it has an impact, we love working on it.
Can you share with us what a typical day at Daylight looks like?
We’re pretty flexible at the Daylight HQ. But most days usually start with a trip down the road to our mates at Decent Coffee for a caffeine fix, then cracking into the range of different projects we’ll have on the go.
You’ll probably see the creative team’s desks littered with scamps and scrawlings as they hoon through their Zeta pads, our illustrators and animators working through their concepts, the digital team deep in their sprint work and a lot of moving around the office. Afternoon dairy treat runs are pretty frequent. As are burger Fridays, which have become a bit of an end-of-week staple.
We also have a lot of shared space in the building, so there’s often a lot of coming-and-going of visitors, other creators and even waita practice which we come together in the Chambers for. It’s busy, full-on and fun, and we like it that way.
Is there a project your team undertook in the last 12 months that was memorable because of its challenge? If so, what did you learn from it?
Working with Glorious on its Wimbledon partnership to commemorate 100 years of Centre Court brought on a whole new challenge for us. It demanded a deep dive into both the web3 world and a century of tennis archives. Some of our team still joke that they completed a whole thesis in the sport during that time‚—it’s probably true!
We loved this project, especially how demanding it was. Working across timezones and tech capabilities, we helped build an e-commerce platform for their NFT collection, then crafted the limited-edition digital artworks that sat for sale within it. Working with expert calligraphers, retouchers and historians was such a rewarding experience from a creative perspective, and we’re really proud of how successful the whole project’s been.
What does the Daylight design process and philosophy look like?
We’re a bit obsessed with craft, so the design process is very thorough here. Because we’re so often dealing with quite complex problems, we’ll usually enlist the insight from a subject matter expert if they’re not in the building to help human-ify our work from the very beginning.
Our work is also often bound to tight deadlines, so factoring in time to interrogate our ideas and push them around until they’re feeling really succinct is quite a crucial step in our design process. For the digi team, there’s a whole other process of user and tech testing to make sure what we’re making is crafted for the end user as much as possible.
How do you scope your roles, collaborate and cross-pollinate within the studio?
We’ve always prided ourselves on being an agile bunch, so a lot of our work is quite collaborative. Often it will follow a flow of coming together, going away, and coming back together again. Everyone’s creative process vibes differently, but we feel like we’ve got a good rhythm going now. Plus, a lot of our team are experienced across disciplines, which is super useful for the type of work we do.
Since covid there’s been a shift in the way many of us work. Can you tell us about the workplace culture at Daylight and how/if you’ve adapted your working style in the post-covid world and what tools/techniques you’ve adapted to stay connected as a team?
One of the biggest joys of working at Daylight is simply being around each other. We’re an ensemble of people who’ve freelanced, worked at high-churn agencies or international companies before. So from the beginning, a sense of togetherness always felt inherent in how we are with each other and the mahi that we do.
We started out in a lofty former bridal studio with the light filtering through (hence the name, we had to order blinds pretty quickly!), and that sense of spaciousness and play has come with us to our new place. Everyone’s pretty adaptable in terms of working from home and in the office, but coming together on a Friday after we’ve been out on shoots or recces or recordings always feels really nice.
We have our rituals too — opening the space each Monday with a karakia, monthly MVPs and at times after a lot of hard graft, we’ll put down the tools to go for some drinks and snacks to unwind and celebrate.
What recent achievements or projects is the Daylight team most proud of?
It takes bravery to set up something new and truly believe in it. That’s not a flex, but more our motivating kaupapa for the business right from the start. To set up a studio where people loved working, were really proud of what they were making, and one clients loved collaborating with was our goal.
We see this now in the vibe of our space, the quality of work we’re producing and who it’s for. The fact that we’ve nearly quadrupled in size since we started and held on to almost all our staff over that time feels like a real testament to the business, too.
Knowing our work for the World Health Organization during the pandemic was being shown all over the world at United Nations leaders’ summits and by international governments was pretty remarkable. Hiring some amazing key staff has been awesome. And merging with Translate Digital to build out our digital and tech offering was both a real feat and pivotal to us moving more into that space. It’s been a big year!
Where to next for Daylight, what is your team working towards for 2022/23?
We wish we could tell you our secrets, but you’ll have to wait and see what comes! But to give you a taste — we’re loving exploring the web3 space and the creative world opening up for artists and makers, dabbling in some smart tech and crafting away at beautiful design projects. More to come!