Next up was Simon Dixon from Dixon Baxi, the studio responsible for the recent AC Milan rebrand, well you can imagine the crowd were eager to see this!
Simon talked about his Yorkshire roots, having begun his career in York, working as a designer but also as a cleaner at the crown court – trying to make money so he could do what he loved. It was interesting to hear when he founded Dixon Baxi with Aporva Baxi, that they remained a small studio, with the two of them for over 5 years – building up a collection of work they were proud of.
Now they are a team of over 30 people working across the world. Core to their growth was their founding values and agency culture, jotted down when they founded the company, they noted things they ‘will do’ and ‘things they won’t do’. They will ‘be original’, ‘embrace change’, ‘be true to themselves’, ‘be independent’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘work directly with the decision maker’. Things they won’t do – ‘bullshit’, ‘cheat’, ‘work just for money’, ‘be afraid’, it was really refreshing to see such an honest talk in a way that really resonated with us.
Dixon Baxi’s work centred around simple, smart ideas executed in interesting, bold ways, from motion to static design, it was a joy to see the work and hear stories about AC Milan, working with Maldini and how to nail a pitch to Channel 4. Their approach to rebranding AC Milan challenged expectations, rather than change the badge that had so much history, emotion and human attachment to it, they focused on the spirit of the club and communicating that to the world. It was an incredibly powerful project.
As a small studio we were interested to know how Simon and Aporva grew their agency without losing their culture or vision. Simon believes it’s down to the right team led by the agency ethos and purpose and of course bringing new creatives in through their intern programme means they can organically grow their team through a shared vision. We 100% echo this sentiment, without organisational culture what do you have?