Right from the very start most business owners have a fair idea of the type of people they want working with them. Of course, an amazing skill set is a given—but attitude, character, personality, likability are all probably more important. Finding, nurturing and then losing great people is something that I’ll never get used to.
Seven years ago myself and Tom were still shaping Toward. We were establishing ourselves as a decent agency and putting out some good work. This led to more opportunities and the need to seek out another designer.
In walks Gareth Strange. A good looking, energetic and slightly nervous graduate; recommended to us by our good friends at (what’s now called) USW. He impressed us instantly—even though he spelt his own name wrong on the spine of his portfolio!
His love of design, his willingness to experiment, his versatility and reliability have made him a special part of our team and our offering. Over time we shaped projects around his skills which brought real creativity to what would otherwise have been unexciting corporate work.
Knowing how he’d answer a brief gave me the ability to challenge clients to loosen up a little—and most of the time they’d take up the challenge.
Beyond that, Gareth has epitomised the Toward way. His energy and humor has filled the studio and the bonds we’ve made I hope will never be broken.
Seven years on and we have to say goodbye. Gareth leaves us having cemented himself as one of the best designers/illustrators any agency could have the pleasure of working with—and as someone we love and respect.
Personally, I feel honoured to have had Gareth as part of the Toward story. I’ve watched in complete admiration how he’s grown in stature over the years, overcoming challenges but still pushing on and getting better.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I say, Gatch—we wish you the best of luck and good fortune for the next chapter in your life and beyond, thank you.
So what does this mean for us? This is a period of great optimism, opportunity and transition at Toward. It genuinely is an exciting time. We’ve seen some incredibly talented designers who we’re really excited about, and can’t wait to work with. More on that soon.
We will continue to embrace creativity and try our hardest to challenge our clients to do things differently. This is the culture that we’ve created and the legacy that Gareth leaves us with. It’s what’s helped us shape this brilliant little agency of ours.
So with more recent twists than a detective novel, The Toward story continues to be written…