People before profit to build a different kind of design studio, with Max Ottignon

Creative Boom Podcast Episode #80 - People before profit to build a different kind of design studio, with Max Ottignon

If you've been running a design studio for quite some time and with some success, does it feel like you've been doing so for many years? Or do you feel like you're only just getting started? This was the curious question we posed to Max Ottignon, a co-founder of Ragged Edge in London.

Launched nearly 15 years ago with friend Matt Bland, the pair wanted to create a branding agency for people who "care less about how things are, and more about how things could be". That is anyone with the conviction to challenge the status quo. It's a mission that's done them proud. Today, the studio is behind fresh identities for the likes of Papier, Mindful Chef, Laka and East London Liquor Company. It's won many awards. And there's a team of nearly 40 talented designers, strategy directors, 3D artists, digital specialists and writers – all of whom the studio calls 'change-makers'.

So what does this change mean in design? And what has Max learnt over 15 years of running a studio that wants to do things differently? What's it been like growing a team – from global economic crisis to global pandemic? And how does Ragged Edge stand out in an increasingly competitive industry? Does Max even feel like the studio is fully established now? Or is there still work to do? We sat down with Max to find out more.

A tall yet quiet character, there's a humbleness to Max and an eagerness to push forward, keep improving and build on their success. To do the right thing. And to create something that puts people before profit. Perhaps leave a legacy that's about meaningful change and making a difference, more than anything else.

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