Creative Talk with Guy Whateley – Velocity

Date: September 21, 2015 Share:


Did you move to NZ for a specific job?

Yes, it was to join Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington following a spell as CE of Saatchi in Malaysia. Before SE Asia I’d spent the previous 12 years in London with Y&R and Leo Burnett. Getting the chance to come to this really cool country with an outstanding agency was a no brainer.

What brought you to Velocity?

The opportunity to be an owner of a well-established design business was too good to miss. Guy Whateley, Director.  Velocity.


I saw Velocity enjoyed a good reputation with a roster of high-profile, publicly-listed clients and was engaged in some very exciting projects.  There was real potential for me to add to the business with thinking on what makes brands tick and how to build strong identities.

Does Velocity specialise across one area of design?

There’s no doubt we maintain a keen focus on corporate brand identity and branded stakeholder comms – it’s where our reputation has been built over the past 20 years. But more and more these days we are talking to our clients about design-thinking and the potential of their brands to permeate all aspects of their business. So these days we are also rolling up our sleeves with story telling through digital channels as well as spatial design in workplace, expo and retail environments. It’s wonderfully meaty stuff and just fantastic to have clients willing to push the ideas that we create for them.

With more and more clients using design agencies on a project-by-project basis, do you find this hard to work with?

Is this where I say something about not a problem so long as we have a well-connected partner for top-drawer freelance talent? To be honest, we are enjoying more meaningful relationships with our clients. They invite us into their businesses and include us in a range of discussions where design and brand thinking bring an edge.

Who would be your ideal client – do you have a passion for specific brands?

We love all our clients – they’re all great. Especially the ones we’re doing work for right now. Of course every creative shop enjoys working for clients who embrace design and creativity, who encourage us and assume a greater responsibility for the brand work we do for them. I guess we’re lucky to have some terrific relationships.

Do you find the majority of clients seek you – or you seek them?

We haven’t been out there actively searching lately – been hugely busy with the clients we have. But absolutely we should be doing more new business development. Our client roster is a real mix – there are those who called us or who were referred, or who moved from an existing client to a new organisation and got in touch again, and there are those we had to court for many months until the time was right for them.

If you had to name a favourite project what would it be?

If I had to? If I had to it would be the ones we’re immersed in right now. Crafting a new story, designing a comprehensive new brand experience – it’s exacting and exciting, and that’s what gets us out of bed every morning. If the old adage says you’re only as good as your last piece of work I like to think we’re as good as the one we’re about to complete.

Where to from here?

There’s no doubt we’re in expansion mode. We’ve moved to new offices and got more space, and the work is growing and we’re keen to meet very special design thinkers who will help us on our next leg of development.

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