Gemma’s ability to manage multiple projects without losing her critical eye for detail is well known and respected in the business. But where did it come from? And what does she see coming in the future?
For the first in our Meet the Team series, about the personalities behind the management, ideas, design and print at Digitronix, I grilled Account Director, Gemma Bornshin.
I knew Gemma had spent time in Asia, but didn’t know where or why, so we started there.
Whilst studying fashion and textile design at the University of Huddersfield, where she specialised in pushing the limits of what could be achieved with screen and digital printing, Gemma spent six months of her year in industry working in Hong Kong.
“Going on your own, to a country that’s thousands of miles away where loads of people don’t speak your language really builds your independence quickly.” Gemma explains.
“Hong Kong is so grand and so busy. It’s like people have tunnel vision getting around it. Then you see Thailand which is also really busy, but so poor in contrast. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
After graduating, Gemma got a job.
“Rowan Yarns is probably the most innovative and premium hand knitting brand in the UK and US. I started as a junior designer but ended up doing more project management than design, dealing with suppliers, pattern writers and the people who check the patterns, to produce over 15 brochures a year.
“I stayed for 5 years and, realising that there was a career to be had in project management, decided to pursue that.”
Joining Digitronix as an Account Exec, Gemma quickly proved herself and climbed the ladder, working with clients, developing proposals and managing projects from photoshoots to campaigns.
“My role here is to understand all the jobs in the business at a top level, ensuring I have an in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the brands my team works with, and the commercial solutions or opportunities our work can help open up for them.
“Client trust is massively important and I make sure that we do everything possible to deliver a job. We recently worked with Midlands UK on their huge MIPIM exhibition presence. We recommended a new approach to their stand and meetings which helped them drum up leads, and went out to Cannes to make sure that the stand was perfect. Training as a designer has given me a good design eye and my levels of attention to detail are insane.”
“I love walking into Asda, seeing our work on the shelf, and saying ‘We did that’.”
I want to know what drives Gemma, day to day.
“I like getting things done for people, exceeding their expectations and being part of something cool. I love walking into Asda and seeing our work on the shelf, saying ‘We did that’.”
“I ask a lot of questions, I want to know what’s happening in our clients’ businesses, incase we can help. I also like to do better than other people, I’m a bit competitive and that definitely drives me to keep pushing the quality of the work we do here too.”
Working with businesses to help them set and change perceptions of their brands is a privilege and exposes us to information and industries that we’d never normally see. It’s good to reflect on what we’ve learnt and share it – so I ask what’s the most useful thing Gemma has learnt this year?
“That I need to do something about my pension. Because of work that we’re doing with workplace pension provider, Nest, we’re seeing people on the cusp of retirement who don’t have a lot in their pension. I’m still at a stage in my life where I can still do something about it. So, start thinking about your retirement now, people!”
“We’re also seeing a lot more campaign work than ever before coming through the doors targeting international students. We work with a number of British universities and activity to promote to international markets, Asia and the Far East in particular, really makes you work hard at talking straight, being clear and doing the job without getting too ‘clever’ with the copy.”
And what’s coming next for marketing?
“We’re really pushing AR as part of the brand and marketing experience. It can look amazing and it also makes print interactive and measurable. We can’t wait for AR to become a mode on phones, for it to really take off. Still being app based for so many people is continuing to be a major barrier to engagement. So, look out for who’s going to win the race to be the go-to AR software.”
By: Kirsty Stevenson