Cover Profile: Middleboop

Cover Profile: Middleboop

January’s FFF cover was created by the British art-director, designer & illustrator Gordon Reid aka Middleboop. He took the time to answer a few of our questions from his studio in London.

Tell us a little about you

Ok so I’ll start with my company Middle Boop which has been my business for about ten years now. It’s totally evolved over the years from being pure illustration for the music industry to advertising and now I’ve taken all that I’ve learned and have built up the new Middle Boop as my branding and design agency where I work with everyone from startups with a great idea and vision to huge global companies on campaigns. I tour around the world doing talks at festivals and conferences and also judge things like D&AD, Creative Circle and Cannes Lions. I used to run a music site where myself and writing staff reviewed albums, gigs and festivals but packed that in about three years ago to concentrate purely on Middle Boop. I’m a massive long suffering Crystal Palace fan and live in Hackney with my girlfriend and a cat that’s adopted us.

How do you guys approach this project together?

I’ve worked with Tamas for a while now on a few projects, he was scouted by my friend Radim who runs creative agency Brand Nu. Tamas’ work is incredible and I’ll try and find any excuse to work with him. With this particular project, as the brief was really open, I wanted to make sure both myself and Tamas were able to express ourselves creatively. So I came up with a rough composition, colour scheme and ideas for patterns and texture and Tamas came back with the rest! He pretty much nailed it first time which is incredible in itself.


How does this compare to your approach to client work?

Pretty similar in some ways, a lot of my clients will come to me without a brief or particular direction so I usually sit down, work out ideas, composition etc before starting or briefing anyone in. The main difference was we had the freedom to create something we wanted to create rather than adhere to someone elses vision, or have to build up big decks and moodboads to sell in ideas. It’s definitely rare you get to do it like that.

Do you try to get feedback from the client at this early stage?

Oh definitely. Always keep in constant contact with the client so that no one’s surprised and everyone is on the same page. As long as there is a strong idea you feel confident about creating, client feedback at that stage is very necessary.

Do you focus on one project at a time or are you a multi-taskers?

I don’t think i’ve had just one project on the go since I was about 19. I can certainly say the same for Tamas who I know has been juggling projects between myself and Radim at the moment. I think you just have to have multiple projects on the go to really stay afloat in this game. Budgets are tighter and rent is only going to go up.


Do you think it’s important to find time for personal projects and why?

Yes, definitely. Like this sort of project we have done for you, it has allowed us both to express ourselves in ways we couldn’t when restricted by clients views. Personal work is an investment of time into your own development, plus prospective clients will buy into your personal work more usually. I’ve definitely got a lot of work in the past from personal projects and that’s how I found Tamas too, through his personal work.

What do you two listen to while you work?

Well right now I’ve got NTS radio on which is a standard along with 6 music. Lately I have been blasting through a bunch of comedy podcasts while I’ve been working. The 90’s football podcast ‘Quickly Kevin Will He Score?’ and the Adam Buxton podcast.

What would be your dream project?

My dream project has definitely changed over the years. Nowadays it would be any project that will let me really express my creative freedom, have a budget to keep the studio afloat for a couple of years, have a massive PR push so that the work is seen everywhere and clients that are generally lovely to work with.


What’s your workspace like?

I’m in a small studio in Stoke Newington which can be perfectly harmonious as well as chaotic. We’ve got some very talented people working out of there at the moment so it’s a good mix.

What do you do to switch off?

Reading, playing Fifa, Boxing and Running. Those four things are great for helping me switch off.

Finishing off with a classic but always useful question, what’s the most important piece of advice anyone has given to you about your work?

When I was doing a lot of editorial work and music industry stuff, I was loving it but not really making enough cash to afford London rent. Someone told me straight up that I’ll never make enough to survive on only editorial work and to think bigger. I went home that night and started really thinking about how I could make my career financially viable. At that point no one had been that straight with me and it really made me look at things differently and think about where I wanted to be.

Glenn Garriock

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