We kick off this months #RocketTime with our design lead Gary! He’s been here from the start, (3 guys, 4 desks and a coffee shop) and seen us grow into the fast-paced agency that we are today!
Hey Gary! Let us know how you fell into your job role here? Is it something you’ve always been interested in?
I’ve always been interested in design, but it took a little while for me to guide that interest into the digital world, and then in turn funnel that down into email. I started designing emails almost by accident when working as a junior web designer, and then found a role as an email designer.
This not only introduced me to agency life – and designing emails for big brands – but it also introduced me to Elliot. When he then went off to start up ActionRocket I was only too happy to come along for the ride, and I’ve not looked back since.
What’s been your career highlight since working here?
I’m the James Milner of Email Design. My career isn’t littered with honours and awards, and I stay out of the limelight most of the time, but I’m an ever-present and important part of a winning and successful team. Joining ActionRocket has allowed me to be part of an amazing journey.
I’ll always count the growth of ActionRocket as a career highlight of mine, because I’ve been here from the start and seen us grow into the fast-paced agency that we are today. On an even more personal level I’ve also gone from being a designer to leading the design team here, so I can be very proud of that too.
Do you have any favourite projects that you’ve worked on?
I’m lucky enough to have worked with a huge array of amazing clients and brands throughout my career, and as ActionRocket grows, so does my list of enjoyable projects to work on. There will always be something hugely satisfying about seeing your own work in yours and other people’s inboxes. But hold a gun to my head and I’d probably have to list PizzaExpress as my favorite project to work on.
They came to us as a brand that wanted to completely change the way they approached their emails – they had a new strategy, they were creating new content, and they trusted us to come up with new designs and ways of coding that really pushed the emails as far as we could. What’s also great with them, and their emails, is that we’re always able to come up with something new and different, week on week. They never stand still or get stale. And they let us animate Dough Ball characters.
What are the best things about working for ActionRocket?
There’s a very conscious effort here to make sure everyone is enjoying their work as much as possible. There’s team outings, lunches and parties. There’s games consoles in the kitchen, there’s birthday celebrations and music in the studio (not that that’s always a bed of roses – will someone PLEASE turn off that Mongolian Throat Singing!!).
It’s a great environment to work in, with amazing people that can both help you with your work and make sure you’re having fun doing so. It can’t be a one-way street though, and in order for all that to work, you need to be hard-working, you need to be driven, you need to be responsible for the work you’re delivering – and when that all comes together in the way it does here.
“I can safely say I can’t think of a better team to work with, or a better place to thrive.”
What’s your favourite weekend activity?
Up until 3 years ago the answer to this question was always ‘I enjoy playing football at the weekends, and going out with friends to bars and clubs etc’.
Then I had kids.
So now my weekends consist mainly of chasing a toddler round the house/park/shops/playground whilst hoping a baby doesn’t put anything too odd into his mouth.
Leave us with an interesting fact about yourself…
I share my name with the lead guitarist from the hit 80’s pop band Spandau Ballet, although my mum swears I was named before they came to fame. I know this much is True. Being an 80’s child I’ve had to endure many a quip about whether I’m ‘that’ Gary Kemp – all of which are comedy Gold – however it does have its advantages.
I have been given a natural-born opportunity to include song-based puns when I’m writing, even if I sometimes have to push Through the Barricades of sensible sentence-building to get them all in.*
* Anyone over the age of 30 will hopefully see what I did there. For everyone else I can only suggest Spotify.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next RocketTime in March!
Marketing Manager @ Action Rocket