Life at Oxygen Graphics:
What keeps me motivated? My family. Of course, it goes without saying that getting good feedback and great testimonials helps too.
You know those sayings, ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘right place, right time’? For family man Malcolm Freeman, Creative Director at Oxygen Graphics, those phrases couldn’t be more fitting. Let’s rewind, back to when Oxygen Graphics was born, shall we?
It was 1998 and Malcolm, then in his early 20s, was just stepping onto the career ladder in a sales and marketing role. Alongside his job, he’d downloaded CorelDraw, a graphic design computer programme and self-taught himself how to use the software, which soon led to him creating promotional material for the company he worked for.
It was then that his passion for creative design began to blossom.
Like so many starting out though, his work initially only benefited a small group of loyal customers, or in other words, close family and friends. That was until one day, when the owner of a local printing company visited his place of work and, having spotted a newsletter designed by Malcolm, offered him a job. From there, Malcolm began working as a junior graphic designer – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to today and the father-of-two is now one half of the Oxygen Graphics ownership, having launched the business back in 2009.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, Malcolm admits. But thanks to hard work, commitment, dedication – and a series of training sessions and business coaching – Malcolm and Oxygen Graphics are where they are today: a thriving creative design agency with a decorated portfolio of local, national and international clients, ranging across all sectors.
The industry has changed, it’s come a long way since the days of DIY newsletter handouts. Now there’s more focus on digital and there’s an overwhelming pressure for businesses to have an online presence. While the traditional aspects of marketing are still there and going strong, businesses need to be reaching out to virtual customers too. And it’s not just about the graphics anymore though, the marketing mix has changed, with businesses striving to get their name up the ranks on Google.
But despite the industry-changing, the purpose of Oxygen Graphics remains the same: to turn your company into a visual graphic that can speak to your target audience.
At college, Malcolm studied on a business and customer service course – training and learning that he acknowledges have helped shape him into the professional he is today. What’s the biggest challenge that comes with owning a business? Understanding your vision and goals.
What else is tricky? Letting go and not doing everything yourself. Oxygen Graphics has evolved from just Malcolm, one person who did everything, to a team of experts. While it might be hard, Malcolm admits, as the team grows, he needs to release responsibility. This means that over time, his role in the business has changed immensely. Rather than being the person behind the design work, Malcolm now acts as front of house, an account manager, who liaises with clients.
Looking back on his journey so far, Malcolm is undoubtedly proud of how far the Oxygen Graphics team has come. But what would today’s Malcolm, say to that young man working in sales and marketing back in 2001? Well, whatever you’re doing in life, always bring in people who can support you where you’re weakest, get the help where you need it most.
And stepping into 2022, what’s anticipated for the new year? As the world continues to bounce back from the pandemic, so does Oxygen Graphics, which means looking forward to getting a more stable routine back in place and setting those goals that both he and his partner, Natalie, work tirelessly to achieve.
What sets Malcolm and the team at Oxygen Graphics above the rest? Their undeniable passion for delivering a successful project bursting with exceptional quality.
Whether you’re a new business looking to launch and grow in in 2022, or a well-established organisation wanting to refresh your brand, then get in touch with Oxygen Graphics. From building you a supercharged, showstopping website, to designing you an eye-catching exhibition package for your first 2022 event, our team of talented creatives are here to help. Take the next step and book a free consultation in with us today.