Interview with Stuart Lang

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

At school – when I was speaking to the career advisor and I realised that Art was the only subject I was unwilling to ever drop. From there, it was just a case of working out where I would end up within the creative industry. And as my style and passions developed, so too did the realisation that design and branding was my world.

2. How did you get started and what was the biggest hurdle you overcame?

As soon as I graduated, I produced a mailer and sent it out to the 12 agencies in London that I admired most. I got placements lined up with 8 of them. I was offered a full time job in the first one of those. I would always advise graduates that, if circumstances permit, go for placements at different agencies on leaving education. See how each team operates and test yourself on different types of brands, industries and projects. You’ll learn so much more than getting pigeon holed in the first job that comes along.  

3. What’s been your most successful way of getting clients?

Building friendships.

4. How do you get clients to stay with you and use you for more work?

Nothing is ever guaranteed – so by never being complacent we are always making sure we always deliver on what the client needs from us. We aren’t afraid to speak our minds, and are constantly challenging their thinking. We also think out of the box to help them solve problems – across all areas of their business. In doing this, we build trust. But more than that, we develop a strong, balanced and mutually respectful working partnership. 

5. Do you ever have issues with clients paying late? How do you manage that?

Everyone does. Unfortunately it’s part and parcel of the world we live in. So our contracts insist on clients paying at 50% before we start any work. We then stage the remaining payments so that we are holding the final work and IP back until everything has been paid.

6. What does your typical workday look like?

I get up around 6.45am. I get my oldest daughter dressed and ready for nursery whilst trying not to wake our newborn. After drop off, I jump on the train, read a few pages of whatever book I’m reading and after picking up a coffee, I’m in the office in central London around 8.50am. As much as we embrace the agile and flexible workplace now, I still aim to be in the office as much as I can. I tend to work through a few emails before the team arrive at 9.30. And then the mornings are spent running through the various projects that are live in the studio. As half of our work is in the US or Australia, the afternoons are when we typically schedule in client calls and meetings. Most days, I head off at 5.15pm to collect my daughter – and after spending a precious couple of hours with the family, I sometimes have to jump back on a call with the West Coast or Sydney – but for the most part I’m switching off watching TV or meeting friends.

7. Any piece of advice/wisdom that you’d like to give the readers at This Design Life?

Always be humble – and be prepared to listen and learn from everyone you work with. Nobody is the finished article. So soak everything up, surround yourself with people that have different interests and passions, and never think you know it all.

Connect with
Stuart Lang

Main Website: We Launch.

Social Medial: LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

More strategies to boost your design career

Stuart Lang, Founder & Creative Director, We Launch
With over 20 years’ experience in creating and launching award-winning, multi-channel brands across all industry sectors, Stuart set up We
Launch in 2010. He is a passionate advocate for new creativity, and has spoken at prestigious industry events as well as written for respected
Interview published on: Apr 12, 2022

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