IE’s 25th birthday takes centre stage in Web Designer mag
As part of IE Digital’s 25th birthday celebrations, we’re excited to be the featured agency in this month’s issue of Web Designer magazine. The mag profiled the agency, taking an in-depth look at our company culture, people, processes and technology, as well as highlighting some key client projects.
2019 marks 25 years of IE Digital as an agency. So when the editor of Web Designer magazine got in touch we jumped at the chance to look back at everything we’ve achieved, and how far we’ve come.
Web Designer interviewed our MD Ollie Leggett and Digital Services Director Ed Wilkinson, to put together a fantastic eight-page feature on IE Digital. Here’s an extract...
From small beginnings: the new agency on the block
Web Designer wanted to hear all about the agency’s early beginnings, so we went back to the time when a young Ollie left his flourishing teaching career behind to set up his own design business. From the outset, Ollie had a passion for helping values-driven clients in the charity, health and education sectors to connect with their audiences. He wanted to give them access to the industry’s best creatives – something that back then was all-too-commonly only possible for big business.
That was the summer of 1994, when Ollie skateboarded to the tiny office he shared with a maker of dance leotards, and another IE – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer – was also taking its first tentative steps into the world. But it wasn’t long before both the agency and the digital world took off with a vengeance.
Becoming Digital: the agency expands
IE began life with just Ollie, and a handful of trusted freelancers he could call on as needed. But he was soon able to hire his first part time staff member, and the agency grew.
It didn’t take Ollie long to recognise that digital platforms were becoming one of the essential expressions of a brand. He was fed up of seeing their beautiful brand work butchered by techies, so IE bought a digital agency with shared values, merging to become the agency we are today, with both the technical skills and the design sympathies to create beautiful websites and engaging, interactive content.
Best of the best: building a talented agency team
Creating the dynamic content and communications platforms demanded by 21st Century brands has meant ensuring IE Digital has the best talent to deliver these world-class projects.
“Call us big headed, but we’re pretty confident we’ve got the best people in the industry,” Ollie told Web Designer. “Because IE Digital is only as good as its people, our studio is full of some of the industry’s best digital consultants, UX/UI designers, web developers and project managers – all under one roof.
“IE’s people are our most important asset, so we take our time when we recruit. We look for people who share our values and have a strong work ethic. Once we’ve found these rare individuals, retaining them is vitally important, so we’ve worked hard to put together a benefits package that rewards people’s contributions to our success.”
Gold-standard: one of our favourite brand and website projects
Web Designer asked Ollie if he could point to a piece of work that encapsulates the IE design philosophy. “The Sexwise website is a great example of our work,” he explained. “It’s a great example of our three core sectors overlapping, because they are a health charity, with an educational remit.
“IE Digital created the brand as well as the mobile-first website, all informed by rigorous research. We loved working with FPA, and the relationship is still going strong. Since we spoke to Web Designer, Sexwise has won “Best Visual Identity for Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals” at the Transform Awards Europe, which is the icing on the cake!”
Looking to the future: the next 25 years
This year IE turns 25 years young, so we’ll be celebrating all the amazing people and projects that have brought us to where we are now.
Looking to the next 25 years, we’re planning to keep growing the business organically. We’re working on gaining a foothold in the arts and culture sector, which will fit with our values driven client portfolio, and often overlaps with charity and education.
We’re excited about moving to a new purpose built studio later in the year, which will become IE Digital’s permanent home.
In terms of upcoming projects, we’re thrilled to be working to create the brand and website for a really ground-breaking sustainability initiative. Another exciting project in development is the phased launch of the new legalchoices.org.uk, which offers consumer advice to help with decisions about legal issues and lawyers. Also, we have some really exciting charity rebrand and website projects coming up too.
Last but not least, we’re always working on living out our company values to make a difference and enjoy the ride. So, as usual, we’ll have our summer team away day, canoeing along the River Wye, and other social activities to look forward to.
Many thanks to Web Designer magazine for the feature!
The Sexwise website is a great example of our work. IE created the brand as well as the mobile-first website, and won “Best Visual Identity for Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals” at the Transform Awards Europe, which is the icing on the cake!Ollie Leggett
Managing Director, IE Digital