Want to know what it’s really like to work in the Client Services Team at Design Bridge? We caught up with David Franklin, who moved from the UK to join us in Amsterdam, and currently works as a Senior Client Manager.
Hi David. So tell us, where are you originally from and what brought you to Design Bridge Amsterdam?
I grew up in Southampton in the UK, but had lived and worked in London for 5 years. I felt it was time for a change, a new challenge, and a bit of adventure. I met a few people from DB during a project in my previous job, saw the great work they were doing, and was interested to get involved.
I decided I would get in touch and I checked the website but the only relevant role open at the time was for a Client Manager in Amsterdam. After a couple of phone interviews and a face-to-face meeting in Amsterdam, I was saying my goodbyes and jumping on a plane.
I’ve been at DB nearly 2 years now and since joining I’ve worked mainly on lots of different projects. I’m glad to say that it was one of the better decisions I’ve made – I’m happy I took the risk of moving to another country and have learnt so much in the process.
Having worked in London, how does Amsterdam compare for you?
It’s definitely more relaxed. Amsterdam is basically a small village compared to a lot of major cities, and with that comes a certain charm and fairytale feel to the place. Swapping the tube for a bike has been a dream, especially on those oh so rare sunny summer evenings. It’s also a great way to get out and discover new places around town.
What does an average week look like for you?
At risk of sounding clichéd, there really isn’t such a thing. That’s the fun of it all, of course. For the Client Service Team it can be any combination of travel, creative reviews and presentations, proposal and brief writing, and various finance matters most weeks. In simple terms, there’s a lot of things to organise and a lot of meetings. Of course, there are always other things going on in the Studio, like our At The Bar talks, or local artists and suppliers coming to do a lunchtime show & tell. There’s always plenty of extra stuff to get involved in.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on and why?
I was part of the team working on the Global re-brand for TNT last year, which presented us the challenge of completely overhauling the brand throughout the business – from planes to business cards, and everything else in between – all in a really tight timeframe.
It was a tough project in terms of the sheer volume of work and how quickly we needed to get it done, but also a great challenge and lots of fun to be a part of. We also scooped a highly coveted Dog’s Bollocks award (the Design Bridge annual internal awards) for it, which was great.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
I suppose the unpredictable nature of the industry. One minute you’re looking at your agenda thinking you have a relatively quiet week, the next minute a new brief arrives and it’s all go again. A big part of our role as Client Services folk is to help solve problems as and when they arise, so you are often being pulled left and right by people with questions, concerns or things to be clarified with clients which can be chaotic at times – there’s never a dull moment!
What one thing would you say personifies Design Bridge culture?
I’d say variety. It’s a completely international environment here. Nationality aside, Design Bridge is an incredibly eclectic mix of personalities, interests and expertise.
Outside of the day-to-day client briefs, it means that we’re always looking for opportunities to work on proactive initiatives (such as our recent A-mag cover competition and installation for Iamsterdam), which I think really helps to keep things fresh and push our creativity at every opportunity.
Want to join the team? Check our our Careers page for the latest opportunities at DB Amsterdam, and our Studios in London, Singapore and NYC.