Brackets Digital is a digital design and website/software development agency based in London with global reach. The company primarily specialises in digital services for theatre & arts clients together with well-known brands within other sectors.
We caught up with Founder, Dan Greenwood, in his four person office on the second floor to chat about his business and what he likes most about being a Creative Works member.
Hi Dan! Can you start by giving us an overview of what Brackets Digital does?
The majority of our clients are theatre and arts companies – we can break it down into theatre shows, venues, production companies and a few satellite businesses that also work in the same field, including marketing and PR companies.
Theatre is probably 90% of our work, with the remaining 10% coming from corporate clients. We work with The Harley Medical Group which specialises in cosmetic surgery among other things, Netshop which sells cables, and a few others. Our niche is definitely theatre and arts though, and that’s what we’re known for.
What type of digital products and services do you work on?
Mainly websites, but we look after anything digital. This could be anything from online advertising and email marketing to creating software such as apps. As we work in theatre we build software that our clients can update easily.
Quite often our clients will have to add the casting and creative teams to the website and we have tools that enable them to so that really easily. We integrate with lots of ticketing companies and social media networks too.
What size of client do you typically work with?
We’ll do anything from a small one man show that’s running for two weeks at a 90-seat arts theatre in London through to big productions like Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Wicked. We produce global sites for them so the same website and the same software can update the different shows running in Broadway or the West End, or anywhere else in the world.
We do some very niche plays too. We created the website for Pinter at the Pinter which had lots of very famous people in it – Tom Hiddleston, Danny Dyer, Martin Freeman to name just a few. We also look after the reporting side of things – tracking visits and referrals, etc.
Do you get a few free tickets thrown in?
Yes – we get a lot of free tickets!
When did Brackets Digital start?
It’s been around for 15 years, but we were previously part of a sister company called Feast Creative and we were Feast Digital. To cut a very long story short I bought out my business partner and rebranded the company about six months ago to Brackets Digital with the aim of setting ourselves apart from other digital design agencies.
We also work on behalf of a lot of agencies; there are plenty of designers in our industry who just do design work. So they’ll produce the poster for the show or the branding for the venue we’ll be there de facto digital department for the website. ‘De Facto’ was actually the original name I wanted but someone already had it!
What do you like about being at Creative Works (aside from the short commute)?
The four-minute walking commute is very handy! I like it on a number of fronts: being close to home is fantastic; I’ve got a new young family and being able to be on hand to help with that without losing two hours of commuting a day is brilliant.
I also like the atmosphere and the fact that there’s lots of other creative people here – we’re already working with Shoot Media across the way; they’ve shot some photos for us, we’ve done some digital ads for them. There’s a lot of crossover with the type of work we all deliver. It’s like having a big agency without needing to hire!
I’ve been talking to a couple of the coworkers downstairs and they’re going to do some work for me this week – one’s a web designer and the other’s a coder and developer. Again, I’d much rather give them the work and have them nearby than have to use a recruitment agency.
It also means I can scale up and down more easily if people here are on hand to help.
I’m keen to hire locally and take on a BCE apprentice at some point too.
So are you looking to grow in the short term?
Yes! We have some big plans for the next 12 months – at the moment we’re just working out how to finance them. It can be challenging in this economic climate. We do have 20 or 30 projects on the go at any one time and we have around 300 website and apps that are active and need maintenance which is fantastic.
Forge has been great too. There’s so much going on in Walthamstow at the moment and there’s a lot of like-minded people around who you can talk too. That was one of the things I was a bit scared about when I went solo with the company.
The level of responsibility can be intense but at Creative Works there are people around who you can get a bit of sanity check with over a coffee. That’s is important when you don’t have a sounding board in the form of a business partner.
Last question – where would you recommend for a nice post-work drink?
Yonder has great food and beer, and Blackhorse Workshop’s cafe does a great lunch. The Wildcard Brewery just down the road in the Lockwood Estate is great for a drink on a Friday or Saturday night.
The Bell is my all time favourite though – it’s a bit of a walk but well worth it!