Inside: Goodfolk

  • Advertising
  • November 18, 2014
  • Callum Sweeney
Inside: Goodfolk

It has been a big year for Goodfolk, with had some notable hires, new accounts and an office refit to boot.

GoodFolk is an indie brand and communications agency based in Auckland’s Karangahape road. The agency was founded in 2001 by managing director Michael Easton and general manager Benn Winlove. The two are also shareholders in the business along with Scott Crickett, the design director.

Goodfolk’s client base extends across both New Zealand and Australia, with the agency offering a variety of services from brand strategy to tactical delivery, online to offline and illustration to events.

At the moment the agency works on accounts like Spark Digital, NZ Steel, Yoobee School of Design, PWC, The Designers Institute and Chapman Tripp. Goodfolk also took on Fletcher Building this year with the agency being heavily involved in a global internal comms project and it is also helping the One Percent Collective create its soon-to-launch print product The Generosity Journal.

Fletcher, along with NZ Steel and Spark Digital, are Goodfolk's biggest clients. And the agency was integral in the rebrand from Gen-i/Telecom to Spark. It has worked with the company for seven years and the agency also has ongoing work from other areas within Spark.

So what’s on the horizon for the agency client wise?

“We’re also rebranding a mind-blowing handcrafted locally sourced ice cream and New Zealand's oldest architectural hardware brand. We're varied,” says Easton.

  • Check out some of its work here

The agency has just completed a refit of their city-fringe offices. The team worked alongside Jason Dempsey of Flathead Design who helped them out with initial ideas for the space.

“Jason normally provides a full spatial design service from initial conception through to final implementation,” Easton says, “However, we just brought him in to point us in the right direction and kick us off, as we had some of our own ideas, and our own in-house construction management resource.”

Dempsey’s role was to provide a range of solid but broad ideas from the office that the Goodfolk team could run with and take to completion.

“He's definitely got a gift for quickly capturing the essence of what a client's aiming to achieve,” Easton adds.

From here Goodfolk managed the project in-house, working alongside a group of their own builders to see the project out.

Once all the planning was out of the way, construction only took around eight weeks in total.

Goodfolk wanted to create a space that was “professional enough to comfort the suitiest suit whilst maintaining a quirky friendliness that referenced the immediate environment and our origins as an agency”.

It was also important for the space to reflect the kinds of clients they have as an agency, making sure anyone would feel comfortable in the space.

“Our clients range from barely supported community arts initiatives to global enterprises and the space needed to reflect this spectrum”.

Interestingly, everyone at Goodfolk continued working on site during the construction. As Easton explains “we transformed the entire space with seemingly little inconvenience (except for the constant hammering and electric saws). It was a perfect example of creative collaboration and controlled construction chaos”.

Goodfolk currently employs “12+” people. The ‘+’ represents the “seemingly constant range of animators, artworkers and project managers etc that work with us on a regular basis”.

One member of the 12+ staff is creative director, Mark Easterbrook, who made the move to Goodfolk in March. Easterbrook formerly served ten years at .99, most recently as the creative group head. With 14 years’ experience in creative direction and copywriting for clients such as New World, Vodafone, Westpac and Air New Zealand, Easton says he has brought a breadth of knowledge and big-client experience to the Goodfolk table.

Everyone at Goodfolk agrees the recently revamped office has positively influenced the way they work. “Everything works better, general communication and interactions, meetings, social, production – everything,” says Easton. Plus, people no longer have to wear grade three hearing protection now that construction has stopped.

Easton describes the business’ recent growth as “good, sustained and manageable” adding that it is an ongoing process and they hope to continue to increase over the coming years.

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