Studio Snapshot

As part of our 20th Celebrations we are excited to have received our Fanatic Hoodies. Sam, our very talented senior designer, won our internal competition to create a 20th Anniversary badge in celebration of 20 years of creativity.

His winning design has been used on the sleeve and has made into an embroidered badge by APC Workwear, which reflects exactly Sam’s original design – we have been really pleased with the finish. We also would like to thank Sam from Fyah Fly for helping us to source the perfect hoodies as well as doing a great job of screen printing our logo onto the front and back. We all love the finished product and hope the weather doesn’t warm up too quickly so that we get more opportunities to wear these cosy tops.

Design Highlights

Illustration as a cornerstone

Our MD Ian’s degree was in Illustration, and this has always influenced the Design team’s creative direction. Illustration is all about communicating concepts and generating ideas, both of which are vital for creating strong brands and designing materials that have a strong personality.

Whether it’s technical infographics used in financial services or classic illustration, ink drawings or 3D modelling, illustration has always featured highly in our work for over 20 years.

Creative team culture

Being the point that Fanatic first stemmed from, Design has always been a great way to bring the team together to flex their creative skills, not least with our annual Fanatic T-Shirt Competition.

Each year the whole team is given a theme to create a design around, and the winning design is decided on a blind vote and then screen printed on t-shirts for all of the team to wear.

Expert web designers

In two decades we’ve designed hundreds of websites, from slick, stunning sites for industry-leading companies to fun and engaging ecommerce sites for emerging brands – and of course, our own Fanatic website too.

Each one has benefitted from the Design team’s ability to catch a visitor’s attention instantly with bespoke visuals and hold their focus through a smooth and captivating user journey.

Development Highlights

Adapting to 20 years of software change

2001: the very early days of Google. No iPhones, no Facebook, and websites tended to look like this, if companies had one at all. Between then and now, we’ve seen the introduction of JavaScript, the growth of HTML and the prominence of mobile optimisation, with Fanatic there every step of the way.

Our Development team now boasts a huge breadth of skills, from .NET programming to creating advanced PHP frameworks, and is well-equipped to deal with any new software changes that come their way.

Realising the impact of UX

A key skill that our Development team has honed over the years is to harness the power of user experience (UX). Any developer can build a working website, but it takes a talented one to craft a site that takes into account all the user’s needs and creates a smooth and seamless journey built round them.

UX is always front and centre for all the websites we build, which means each one is unique and tailored to each client’s requirements.

The role of bespoke

Off-the-shelf software has always helped our Development team to create great websites without needing to reinvent the wheel each time. However, there have been times when there is no existing software that can do the job.

That’s where our incredible team has built their own bespoke software, using PHP, ASP.NET and JavaScript to create a web application from the ground up. The end result can be transformative for the client, in some cases being the system that the whole business runs on.

Digital Marketing Highlights

Evolution of the Digital department

From 2010 we were being asked if we could supply SEO for the sites we were designing and building. At that point, marketing sat outside our core skill set, so it was clear we’d need to create a completely new team.

Since its inception, the Digital department has quickly expanded and thrived, becoming one of the driving forces behind Fanatic’s full service offering and an essential resource that our clients can rely upon.

Finessing the end-to-end experience

One of the aspects we’re most proud of at Fanatic, and the thing we think our clients love the most, is our ability to manage each stage of a project from inception to completion. The process of formulating a brand idea, designing and building a website and creating the content is all done with digital marketing in mind, as it all needs to be framed by what the customer wants.

This is a process we’ve perfected at Fanatic over the years, taking our clients from just an idea to a fully-fledged brand with a strong identity and a loyal customer base.

Ian & Milly’s Reflections on Two Decades of Fanatic

Things we're most proud of

Strength in the team. We’ve worked with a huge variety of people within the Fanatic team over 20 years, which has been one of our highlights. We have, and have had many talented experts in our team, and we feel privileged to have worked with them. Each person has left their own mark on Fanatic and its personality, and the individual characters have shaped it as it’s grown.

Fanatic is a family business, our kids have been born and grown up with Fanatic as an important part of our lives. Milly’s dad put in thousands of hours in supporting us in our early years, as a mentor, solving many problems and being our greatest fan. Our kids still love coming into the office, and wearing our T shirts – “gotta love the merch”. We’re proud of our independence, the power of being nimble, and how fast we can respond to change, while keeping our values at the core of everything we do.

Our loft studio in The Tobacco Factory – we have always been very proud of our association with the Tobacco Factory, and love our Loft. The building is a creative centre, and we enjoy the theatre, the bar, and have many friends within the building – it feels like home to us!

We’re proud of the range of the client base, which has further diversified during COVID. We enjoy working in Bristol and London, as well as across Europe, and love working with our local Bristol clients, as much as the global corporates.

We have loved expressing creative freedom. We’ve always loved to push creative boundaries and come up with fresh ideas, producing work that is different, with depth and clarity that takes people by surprise, especially within the corporates!

We’ve always enjoyed our social events, from a walking day in the Brecon Beacons in the snow, all sharing an Airbnb for a night out in London, down to the simplicity of a game of rounders in Ashton Court and cooking sausages in the woods.

Milly & Ian

From The Studio

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