I recently caught up with Jason Traves, Co-Founder and Head of Creative at Lucky Fox based down in sunny Brighton they are making big creative statements for multiple brands in London.
HM: What are the advantages of being based outside London?
JT: Brighton is such a creative hub - with creative and multimedia agencies popping up all the time it’s an exciting hive of activity. It also provides that much needed work/life balance giving you head space – there’s a lot to be said for the fresh sea air! I suppose above all it offers you space to bring sense and clarity to ideas. Being outside London allows us to provide a large workshop to produce in-house prop builds with a skilled team.
HM: What was the main inspiration for you to set up your own creative company?
JT: I have almost 30 year’s experience within our relatively close knit industry, so have made lots of great connections that have helped shape the company today. I decided to take the leap of faith and trust my instinct to set up the company and it has organically built up from there. The time I have spent within the industry means I have a deep knowledge of the market and provided the foundation for the company’s USP.
HM: What’s the most challenging part when working with external clients and their visions?
JT: Different brands have their own internal dialogue, and sometimes it’s easy to pre-judge brands with your own knowledge of their history or heritage. So we always work with the client on the brief and treat every project as a clean state without any preconceived ideas. ‘Time and Budget’ are always the key starting points.
HM: What’s your most proudest project you have been involved in and why?
JT: I think every project has highlight moments in them, but I suppose schemes we have won awards for, like Levi's at the VM&Display Awards. It’s always a great and rewarding moment when your industry colleagues recognise your work. We’ve been fortunate to work with Levis on a variety of projects. A few favourites have to be the Levis Commuter project
and the ‘Haus of Strauss’
, the Levis PR showroom we installed in Central London. We also always love working with the creative team at Harvey Nichols as well. The ‘exploding heads’
was an interesting project to work on. We had to capture movement in a frozen snap shot in time, but still have the look and feel of fluid. I personally like concepts that are simplistic/structural or that tap into your child-like persona with light and colour.
HM: Where do you see Lucky Fox in the next 5 years?
JT: To continue to grow and evolve into a bigger and better creative agency. To be able to offer more client services and build on our capabilities as a company. Myself and Mark, our creative projects manager are always looking to adapt and evolve with our client’s needs in a fast paced retail environment. Were also looking into a re-brand focus that will be delivered later this year, to ensure we make the right impact and have online presence.
HM: Currently are there any exciting projects you are working on at the moment?
JT: We recently collaborated with Cheil UK to develop a Samsung ‘brand takeover’ in Harrods. Samsung took over two sides of the Harrods storefront, with an additional gallery space on the store’s second floor demonstrating innovations in Samsung technology. It’s the first time this ‘brand takeover’ has ever been done by Harrods, so it was particularly exciting to work on.
HM: Were do you see VM and Display heading? What the future hold for window and in-store displays. Are we losing our traditional skills and the art of theatre to technology and minimal displays?
JT: We’re seeing more and more brands investing in theatre and technology to create the wow factor for their key flagship city destination stores, whilst spending less in smaller, out of town stores. But the credibility of brands is still important and with more and more people shopping online, brands are counteracting spending less on their smaller stores, by investing in their online presence.
We love what Kate Spade has done to merge technology with physical space. Take the pop up Kate Spade ‘mall in a wall’ stores, which were trialled in New York. State-of-the-art interactive storefronts enabled shoppers to learn about and select Kate Spade merchandise through a touch-glass ‘window’, add her collections to a mobile shopping cart online and securely complete the transaction using a mobile website accessed right from a smartphone. Another impressive innovation from Kate Spade is selling from an interactive hoarding even before the store opens, making sales way before the store opens its doors to the public.
In my opinion, I believe there is a merging between traditional display and new technology. It’s like a tug of war between the two worlds. Display and creative will always have the power to wow and amaze people, both with windows and in-store – and if executed well, technology can further enhanced this.
HM: What are your 4 top tips when starting any new creative project?
JT: 1. Question/Listen to client, 2. Research, 3. Give the client options, 4. Always have a plan B
HM: In your opinion what retailers are breaking creative boundaries with their displays and which retailers are ones to watch?
JT: Department stores are ones to keep an eye on - the way they use space and are always trying new ways to push the creative boundaries both in the department store and the brands in that environment. Just recently we saw British shoe brand, Grenson create a pop-up in Selfridges where customers could customise and personalise their shoes, as well as learn more about the design process. These pop-up showrooms tap into the continuing trend for bespoke - which is driven by the growing number of consumers looking for something original from their high street stores. Or take Faberge’s interactive window displays for Harrods, which used cutting-edge technology to create an ultra-bright display. The windows were brought to life by the brand’s ‘Interactive Desk’, which allowed customers to change the colour and patterns projected onto a moving 3D egg. As for high-street I think And Other Stories are inspirational with the way they put visual and product together. There are other retail spaces we can pull inspiration from - spaces that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of - but still carries the notion of selling products for. For example, the new Audi Car Showroom is an interesting concept in a compact space to sell in. It features interplay between smaller tablets and large format video walls and also tabletops which sense product placed on the surface. Customers can personalize a car in photorealistic 3D using real time render technology, choosing everything from exterior finish and interior upholstery options. From a practical point of view, this means that concepts like this can be rolled out with a smaller footprint, as they don’t need the huge space to show multiple car options. This tailored and bespoke offering to the customer differentiates them from the rest of the market.
HM: How have you as a business adapted to the world of social media to benefit your company and boost awareness of your work? Are you seeing positive effects? Ways of communications are changing it’s a lot easier to talk to customers or potential clients in an informal way on many social platforms.
JT: Social media has enabled companies to create more of an online identity. I think platforms like Pinterest
are really valuable to the industry. It enables other people or clients to see what your taste levels are and tap into what other people are ‘liking’ or trending, giving you an instant mood board which you can share with clients and for them to also add too helps the communication process of an idea. LinkedIn
is a great business tool enabling you to connect with a wide range of people within and outside of the industry. I think social media needs to happen organically and spontaneously to make it real to the viewer.