In this series of quarterly guest blogs, we introduce you to some of the faces that make up with wider Pinstone team and showcase their expertise and services.
Name: Ben Stone, founder The Visual Works
Role: Director of Crayons
Your background / how did you get to where you are:
I’ve always had an interest in art, design and photography – all my family are creatives so it runs in my blood.
I grew up around Camden Market in London, where my Dad sold his ceramics. So it was initially a shock to the system, moving to rural Ludlow at the age of 11. However, I’ve discovered over the years that South Shropshire is equally thriving and vibrant, just in different ways.
For the past 25 years, I’ve been running The Visual Works. My journey to this point started as a teenager, when I was fortunate to work as a staff writer and assistant editor on the UK’s bestselling computer gaming magazines, Crash and ZZap!64. It was an early introduction to design, communications, publishing and print.
Later, in around 1990, I bagged the job of Assistant Editor on Pre-Press Magazine which was an early magazine covering Apple Mac and its newfound role as a tool in the graphic design and pre-press industries.
By 1995, I was ready to set up my own design agency. Today, there’s a core team of eight designers and digital developers.
Over the years, we’ve provided opportunities for local graduates to work in a creative agency environment without having to leave the region. It’s been a valuable steppingstone for many – and its immensely rewarding to help nurture and grow people’s potential.
Overview of the services you provide:
Branding, design for advertising, photography, motion graphics and online media from websites through to complex applications – that’s the nub of what The Visual Works creates. In essence every project we deliver is driven by our:
- Technical wizardry
- Creative flair
- Strategic savviness
- ... backed up by tons of experience and enthusiasm
Why does this matter:
No matter what sector you work in, your business is going to have competitors. Therefore, having a credible, compelling brand presence is vitally important.
Working with external agencies, like The Visual Works and Pinstone, gives brands the opportunity to draw on our expertise and resources. We’re here to get under the skin of your business, to drive your brand strategy and bring it to life.
What benefits will clients see:
We’re very collaborative in our approach which has many positive outcomes:
- We work really hard to understand your brand, your objectives and the wider market
- We can help save a lot of time and friction
- You’ll have consistent, reliable, high-quality outputs and receive high level of advice and support on web-based projects
Reaching our 25th anniversary was a real milestone; in that time we’ve built over 1,000 websites – which is quite a lot!
There’s also been industry recognition such as receiving a Commendation at the PR Week Awards, winning Best in the Midlands at the E-commerce Awards and being awarded Midlands Best digital, communications or media agency in the Rural Business Awards 2019/2020 and then going on to become the National runner up.
Do you have a motto / core statement?
‘Rural doesn’t mean remote.’ We’ve consistently proven that an agency based in the heart of the countryside can offer the same if not better skills and service levels of a big city agency.
Anything you’d like to add:
It’s always inspiring to work with companies that contribute something unique and compelling. Around half of our clients are based in the local area, others further afield including the Wall Street Journal, Pininfarina and Sainsbury's.
Projects you’ve collaborated on with Pinstone:
RABI marketing collateral
CIEL Carbon Report
Carr’s Billington Vigor launch
“The team really understood our brief which consisted of creating adverts that were ‘different’ and would stand out from the crowd. From initial concept creation to the final article, the team has delivered a fantastic product and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again for any future design projects.”
Hannah Towler, Marketing Communications | FMC Agro Ltd