Continuing with our in-depth ‘Concept to Reality’ series, we’d like to introduce you to Dean and Gabriella who head up the creative agency, Noi Due Creative.
Noi Due, which also means ‘Us Two’ which relates back to both Dean and Gabriella have managed to create a solid foundation of collaborations with brands by bringing a high level of engagement to their work.
Take a look below at some of their past work and when we digitally caught up with them to hear their journey so far and an in-depth approach to how they work.
Footpatrol: Hey Dean, how are you? Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today! For our audience can you give them a little insight into yourself and what it is you do?
Dean: Not a problem, thanks for having us. So, my name is Dean Tymon, myself and my partner Gabriella Piccolo founded Noi Due Creative which translates to ‘Us Two’ in italian. This relates to me and Gabriella starting the company together and also the alliance between us ‘the agency’ and you ‘the client’. Together we cover each element of the creative process, conceptualise, art direction, photography, styling, video, post production and implement 360 degree asset coverage.
Founded in 2019 we are a relatively new agency but we have already worked on a wide range of projects with clients such as Maison Valentino – 7L Systems – The Odolls – Max George – Android Homme – Clints and collaborated with Tangent Design on multiple campaigns for Reebok & Merrell.
FP: How did you go about starting the agency? And what difficulties did you have at the beginning?
Dean: Starting the agency was both the toughest yet most rewarding decision we have ever made, both working together in a creative studio we wanted freedom and ownership. In doing so there was a fear of both leaving a good secure job to start our own company with no investment. We had worked on many shoots together and knew that we could do it so after many talks we both decided to just go for it. I am a firm believer that if you never take that jump you will always regret it.
Being based in Manchester we are seeing a lot of big brands moving up north which gives huge opportunities for collaborations. It’s very cliche but when starting out in any form of business it’s all about who you know, everyone needs that someone to open a door for that first opportunity to prove yourself. When you get that opportunity it’s about standing out with a unique selling point and delivering. Difficulties we have had is no investment to help us grow, but we don’t let that hold us back and we work very hard to reach out to new potential clients.
FP : What were you doing prior? Was it a creative job? Freelance? Or something completely different?
Dean: Both myself & Gabriella have been immersed in the creative industry throughout our careers.
I was studying Advertisement Design in university, I made the decision to leave mid way through my first year and jumped straight into work with a designer role at a sports company, this was a huge learning curve for me, I was quickly told to forget the creative process I developed at University as speed to market and consumer targeting were crucial. In this role I was jack of all trades, marketing, web & print design, product & marketing photography. This gave me valuable understanding and experience in each element to the creative process.
Myself and Tom Byram started a sneaker event in Manchester called 6ACRE, we put on the first sneaker event in Manchester, 3 events in total and built an amazing community of people, this was just as Manchester was starting to be recognised as a young talented creative city, most of the people involved and attended our event are now doing some amazing things within the city, it’s pretty special to be part of that era.
I joined size? In 2012, In a memorable 7 years I went on to become Creative Lead, where I curated and produced footwear campaigns, for Nike, adidas, Puma, Reebok, Footpatrol. Marketing projects such as ‘size? Captures’. Designed and released the Puma R698 Sahara and traveled all over the world to places like Morocco, Iceland, Paris, Copenhagen & Los Angeles. Working on these projects in the JD creative studio alongside Gabriella gave us the foundation we needed to go out alone.
Gabriella: I have also always been involved in the Creative Industry, from studying Fashion Design & Development at London College of Fashion I was always exposed to creative environments. Throughout my time at UAL I have worked with some amazing brands like McQ Alexander McQueen, Felicity Brown, Twenty8Twelve, L’Wren Scott & Courtney Love. After LCF I undertook creative roles at & Other Stories and Topshop, then decided to move back up to Manchester where I eventually took a job at JD Sports Creative Studio. In my time there I was a Stylist for The Hip Store amongst other fascias, here was where I met Dean so I guess the rest is history.
FP: What we would like to know is how you get from concept to reality. Would you be able to choose ONE project that you have worked on and summarise into 5 steps the process from the client’s initial email to what the consumer sees?
Dean: The briefs and projects we receive are massively different due to time scale but all follow a certain structure.
One. The Brief – When receiving the brief me and Gabriella have a discussion about brand and what we can bring to the campaign, we divide the brief into four parts… product, concept, consumer and deliverables.
Two. The Concept – This is where the dynamic of myself & Gabriella works really well, naturally we have very different creative processes. Gabriella’s mind will shoot off at 100mph straight towards amazing ideas, concepts, locations, models, styling. In some cases she has already nailed the idea within 10 minutes of getting the brief. I have a different outlook, I like to concentrate on how the ideas are elevated into a campaign where product and concept is going to take the customer on a journey, creating levels to the campaign deliverables within multiple platforms.
Three. The Deck – We bring to the table all the ideas and discuss what best fits the product and budget, putting together a Creative Deck Part 1, this will include three initial concepts, each with its own unique idea and thought process.
Four. The Conversation – Having completed Creative Deck Part 1 we like to sit with the client and talk through our concept deck, it’s very important for this to be a relaxed open conversation rather than a formal presentation, therefore the client can get involved and discuss any matters needed making it more of a collaboration. At the end of this chat we will have targeted one of the three concepts. We then go away and work on the complete Creative Deck Part 2 focusing on the finalised concept till both parties are happy. After this we get to work on creating and carrying out the shoot!
Five. The Delivery – After the shoot has taken place, the selection process begins, this is by far the most difficult part, at the end of each day we like to get the shots selected down to at least 10%. This will be passed over to the client for finals. The assets will then be retouched and treated ready for the designer to create the crops for print, social, emails, website. Whether it’s directing, shooting, styling, producing a campaign from start to finish is such a rewarding feeling.
FP: Would you have any advice that you could share with our readers?
Dean: Advise, one thing we should all aim toward is building “A creative community, not a competition” If someone’s struggling, help them out… Whether it’s an ID on a location, advise on a treatment, how to create a certain style. You never know, one day you might need someone to return the favour.
And also, support people and their ventures, don’t be that guy hating on someone because they’re doing something good. It could be something as small as a shoutout on social media, showing some appreciation. The power of social circles, you never know who you could connect them with.
FP: How you are coping with the current lockdown. Is there anything particular that’s keeping you going?
Dean: Lockdown is tough, When leaving my job to start a creative agency a global pandemic was not in the list of pro’s and con’s. For a new business it’s very difficult but we are using this time to prepare and be ready for when lockdown is lifted. Be proactive during this time, we are currently working on a second business ‘io e te’ a home, lifestyle and fashion concept brand.
I have been finding a lot of peace in running and being in contact with friends and family, and Gabriella has taken up baking cookies amongst other things! We are all in a tragic situation but I do think there is some purity to come from all this.
And finally as it was trainers that brought all us together originally – what would you say is your staple go to for the following:
Working out – Nike Flyknit Trainer Volt & Nike Mayfly Woven OG.
Casual every day – Converse Chuck 70s Parchment & Reebok Club C.
Impressing someone – Dr Martens x Undercover 1461 Beige.
Staying at home – TNF Nuptse Mule Slippers or Merrell Jungle Mock.
Thank you, stay safe!