Meet Dan, Founder & Designer

Early years in design: 
Fast paced and a little random but a lot of fun. I started out at a printers in Doncaster then moved onto a junior creative position at a Design Agency in Leeds working on print work for household brands such as Unilever, Nestle & Russell Hobbs. Then onto a new media agency, again in Leeds but this time as a designer in a small team. This was the opposite side of the creative world, it was hands-on with start-up brands and real people – absolutely loved it. I started to see results from my work and the excitement in the clients when their investment in our work paid off. Then appeared a freelance culture, and I jumped on it. Different clients, studios and locations each week. 

Where did Fifty3 start? 
It started because I wanted to charge more. That simply was the reason Fifty3 became a thing way back in 2012. I had worked as a freelancer for a year or so and being screwed down from agencies and clients on budgets with the same excuse of ‘you’re just a freelancer”. So I thought fuck it – I’m starting a design studio. A few years prior design agencies were disappearing left right and centre, and it felt like the right time to get serious with a hands-on boundary-pushing approach to get clients some proper bang for their buck.

What is Fifty3 now? 
Years pass on, and before you know it you’re surrounded by the most talented designers, developers and creatives around and you might actually be running a design studio. Yes, we’re a studio, not an agency – we don’t have client handlers, non-creatives or ‘teams’, we don’t have a fancy high street office. We have a small studio and an ability to craft. Our creative offerings have grown from fine crafted print work to digital platform development, our offerings are forever developing to allow us to offer a full service to clients.

Why is it called Fifty3? 
Well, as previously mentioned, it was seven years ago, and I had to get a proposal into a client in a matter of hours. In that matter of hours, I sat there figuring out what on earth I was going to name my studio. I didn’t really have a set location to work from, I hot-desked and shared spaces with other creatives in – Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and York – the only logical correlation I could work out was Latitude. 53°N.

Whats next? 
Developing our service offering – we see it as keeping up with the ever-changing environment we work in. Print has become almost instant and digital is so much quicker to develop today making last-minute opportunities easier to act upon. That’s our biggest goal for 2019, we currently have the ability to offer services from packaging to SEO, online marketing to brand management – but we want to streamline the whole process so that we can deliver a more rounded package to those who require it. We will also stay loyal to our passions in progressing our work in sustainable, innovative and luxury packaging design & production.



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