A Week in My Life: Darren Scott, Founder of Truth Creative
Darren Scott, Founder and Creative Partner at Truth Creative, runs us through a week in his working life.
I begin by leaving home at 7.30am, dropping my two children off at school and commuting the short seven miles to work. Unbelievably, this can take anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes! I make the most of the time by preparing for the day listening to an audio book from my Audible app.
I arrive at work at 8.30am and go though numerous emails that have arrived from the previous evening, before going into our daily agency workload meeting at 9.30am. It’s a really important part of our agency day as it’s the chance for us all to review the status of live projects and assign the appropriate teams and timings to new pieces of work. We have lots of ongoing projects in the studio at any one time; some are small jobs that are part of ongoing client requirements, and we usually have several brand identity projects at various stages of development.
I begin preparing for a 10am meeting with an established global luxury brand (can’t say which - sorry!). We’re presenting rebrand concepts and the client really likes them, which is a thrill that never tires, despite my long years in the industry. We then discuss timings for delivery and roll out.
I have my lunch at my desk and catch up on social media activity before spending the afternoon working on concepts for a social media campaign for QV, a global skincare brand.
I leave the office promptly at 5pm because I’m taking my eldest son, Dylan, to football training. I’m not sure which of us loves it more!
After emails, I join our daily workload meeting at 9.30am. This week we are working on several large projects in the studio. We a currently rolling out the new brand we created for UA92, a pioneering new university being reimagined from the ground up by Gary Neville and the Class of ‘92 in partnership with Lancaster University. Part of this is designing and building the website and having designed the complete user experience and had wireframes approved, we are currently finalising the design and progressing to build.
I leave the office at 6.30pm. Working with my wife Jo, Truth’s Managing Partner, means we can support each other with work/life balance struggles. So while I drop the kids off at school in a morning so Jo can get to work early, Jo will pick them up from after-school club on an evening to give me chance to work a bit later and ensure we stay on top of all our clients’ creative needs.
Between audio books, I often listen to the TED Radio Hour from NPR which provides early morning inspiration from people who think differently. I am really interested and inspired by people who challenge convention and push the boundaries of what is possible to affect peoples lives in a positive way. Today, I listened to the ‘Rethinking Medicine?’ podcast.
I sit down with our PR team for a creative review of all current and upcoming projects. We do this on a weekly basis to ensure all our PR and Social Media output is aligned creatively and delivered from a brand perspective. They are a cracking team of brand storytellers and this sets them apart from other PR agencies - in my humble opinion!
I then write and design new brand guidelines for a large client in the mum and baby sector called Emma’s Diary, which we are rebranding. As creative director, my job is to not only oversee the work of the teams and individuals working on all these projects, but to lead by example by working alongside them on projects as a designer.
A lunch of EAT’s chicken and vegetable soup at my desk while selecting and editing images from a photoshoot is followed by a chemistry meeting and folio review with a freelance designer.
When I founded Truth in 2006 the aim was to have as much control over my projects as possible, whilst spending as much time as possible actually doing design. Having come from a large global agency background, a lot of time was spent in meetings discussing ideas, researching ideas and presenting ideas.
Obviously some of this is an essential part of the design process, but at Truth I wanted my time to be focussed on physically doing design work as much as possible. Over the last 11 years I have put increasing value in the time I allocate to the other aspects of the business, and I find the most rewarding part of my job is seeing the difference design thinking makes to our clients business.
Today I spend most of the day developing new website wireframes to improve the UI and UX for a new global healthcare client that we are really excited to be working with. We have developed a new creative campaign and brand refresh that is set to make a huge difference to the perception of the product and the growth of their business.
I interrupt this only to have lunch at my desk while reviewing the work one of our senior designers has completed on our latest 60 min Makeover for Wikipedia and checking a shoot list for tomorrow’s UA92 photoshoot.
Today I set off for an early morning photoshoot at 7.30am at Trafford College. The shoot is for the UA92 prospectus, the designs for which we’re currently refining based on concept testing research we undertook with students over several workshop sessions.
When I arrive I immediately get to work setting up various campus scenarios and spend the morning art-directing the photography. We break at 1pm for a production team lunch in the College, where I review several projects in progress for current clients over email. Although I am creative director, I am a reluctant leader really.
I prefer to let my team have the autonomy to manage their own output, offering support where needed. I think this freedom at every level from intern to CD creates a more level field where everyone feels comfortable challenging each other and developing as individuals. I myself often work on projects where I am not the lead creative.
This afternoon it’s back to shooting and I’m art directing Gary Neville giving one of his typically motivational speeches to potential UA92 applicants. I leave the shoot at 6pm and head home for a rest and relax over the weekend. Although with two energetic boys under 10, this isn’t often possible!