Based in Bristol’s Spike Island, Neil Harris and Tom Hodgkinson are the motion graphic designers behind SHOP. They’re passionate about working in Bristol, and reach a worldwide audience with their iconic visuals, having recently produced the Big Brother title sequence, X Factor Final, and One Direction tour videos.
We caught up with Neil and Tom (who collectively replied as SHOP), to find out a little more about their exciting work.
“We wanted to create a cornershop attitude for motion graphics. It’s really important to clients to know the person they are dealing with”
TechSPARK: Please give us a brief history of SHOP, what’s the story?
SHOP: We set up in March 2014 after a three week holiday in Thailand changed our lives forever. We’d both worked in the broadcast industry in Bristol for over 10 years, and decided to set up our own studio focusing on design for broadcast and music.
TS: What inspired the name, SHOP?
SHOP: We decided on SHOP as Neil’s grandfather used to run an ‘open all hours’ corner shop distributing rations during the war. The sort of place where you knew your customers by name. We wanted to retain that feeling, where our clients can always call us and there aren’t layers of producers in the way.
We felt that was really important. We wanted to create a cornershop attitude for motion graphics. It’s really important to clients to know the person they are dealing with.
TS: What have you been working on recently?
We’ve completed our latest incarnation of the title sequence and graphics package for the latest series of Big Brother, whom we have a long standing working relationship with.
We’ve also been working on content for Capital FM’s Summertime Ball, which played out to hype the crowd at Wembley Stadium this summer.
TS: What makes you passionate about visual design?
SHOP: It’s always a fun and ever evolving process to be part of.
There is always something new to consider every day, and it’s great that your work potentially gets to be seen by millions of people across the world.
TS: What technology and tools of the trade could you absolutely not live without?
TS: How do the programmes you use influence your design process? Do you design around them, or does the tech help to evolve the designs you create offline?
SHOP: Very often the deadlines in our industry are tight turnarounds, so having an innate understanding of what can be created in a short space of time is very important.
“We love being in Bristol. It’s nice to be able to work on large international jobs from a smaller, local base. It makes it easier to stay small and stay nice!”
You need to know what you can deliver before you promise it to the client, so quite often the ideas and technologies used to create them are intertwined during the creation process.
TS: What do you love best about running a business based in Bristol?
SHOP: We love being in Bristol. It’s nice to be able to work on large international jobs from a smaller, local base. It makes it easier to stay small and stay nice!
Bristol’s got creativity in its veins. And in a good way, you can just take that for granted. Also, we both only live ten minutes away from work, which is great. Close proximity to the river for remote control boat fun in the summer is always a bonus too.
Capital FM: Motion graphics to get the crowd moving
TS: What part of your work are you most proud of?
SHOP: The fact that the majority of our clients come back with repeat work shows we’re doing things well. We’re making them happy.
Also, the fact that we’re a small ‘boutique’ company. Our clients can always speak to us directly, which is very important to us and them.
TS: What exciting projects have you got in the pipeline?
SHOP: Screen content for Germany’s biggest pop star, Helene Fischer, then hopefully a holiday!