Insights / In-house

Working brand-side vs agency-side

I don't think I've really felt like I've done better work either in-house, or not in-house. I would say though that sometimes being in-house on the brand side as a creative person, you always want to do new and cool things, you know, life doesn't give you those types of projects all the time, but a creative always wants those things.

So on the brand side it can be redundant because at the end of the day, you're usually just designing for that one brand or there's almost like a 'cap' of projects or types of projects that you do. I mean I say a cap, but that cap is still fairly large. I'm looking at some of previous places I was at like Smashbox, for example, I was in the store design department. So a lot of the things I did were more to do with a 3D space, or an actual physical space, or types of graphics that would adhere to certain panels and things like that.

But there's only so many fixtures and there's only so many stores that you can design for, so it does limit you in that respect, but then I look at someone like Linkin Park, that was one 'brand' that I worked for, I consider them a brand. Their interests were so vastly diverse. The guys were always interested in doing all these other side projects in the tech industry, and then they had their own marketing agency as well.

We were always working on so many different things, a band itself has a stage design when it comes to touring time, merchandise, websites, so many various things that I would never have imagined that a band, or a brand would need. So that kept me very all over the place and gave me a lot of experience. Not all agencies are given that type of 360 type of project. Most often than not, an agency will get a segment of the 360 campaign, and they're viewed more of like a vendor.

Being in-house means you have some sort of sense of stability, you have designated teams that you generally work with consistently, and you tend to have, I find, a set of focused tasks that you do, or focused projects that you do, especially if you're on the brand side in-house.

I can't really say that either one has really been less interesting than the other. I've been able to work on so many random things whether it be a pitch to an animation short, or Instagram filter, random things that I would never have done had I been in-house. I feel that jumping around has yielded me the opportunity to work on so many various things and I'm very fortunate for that.