Sheffield brand specialist turns 20 and moves into former tool works

Branding specialists Vivid Creative celebrated 20 years in business with a party at its new premises in Kelham Island.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 5:05 pm
From left: James Dodd, Steve Dupree, Gerry Arcari, Dani Hill and John Dickins.

The company, founded and led by Gerry Arcari, employs 15 and has several high profile national and international customers.

It bought the ground floor of the former Wharncliffe Works on Green Lane and has spent £70,000 converting the Grade II listed former tool factory into modern offices.

Mr Arcari said: “I’m a firm believer in changing and shaking things up.

“I feel quite privileged to have got through 20 years. It’s tough, we’ve been through a few recessions but I’ve always kept the business quite tight and not grown too much.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The building was first used by a fire grate manufacturing company in 1849 before being bought by George Barnsley and Sons, which extended into the space from the unit next door.

Latterly, part of it was used as for car spray painting before standing unused for more than two decades.

It is one of the last former works in popular Kelham Island to be converted.

Mr Arcari said they removed 17 skips of waste from the cellar alone, it is now used as a kitchen and break-out area.

Upstairs there is an office and a lounge with table football. Vivid Creative moved in two months ago after five years in Globe Works next door and after a six month fit-out project managed by Mr Arcari.

He wanted to stop renting and buy, and staff wanted a design-led office in Kelham Island so they could stay close to other media and creative types.

He said: “Buying an office is stressful, I was also asking myself, ‘are they going to like it?’ All the staff wanted to say in Kelham and they wanted a nice environment.”

Vivid Creative has had year-on-year turnover growth over the last three years. It does brand development, strategy, positioning, search engine marketing and content.

Clients include both of Sheffield’s universities. It worked with Sheffield Hallam to help it understand which courses to promote to keep student numbers up.

Last year the firm won the Brand Strategy (under 40 staff) award in The Drum’s RAR Awards, beating nine other agencies from across the UK.

Mr Arcari said then: “This was the award we wanted.”