He’s the main man behind one of the Coast’s best known design agencies 40/40 Creative and now, self-proclaimed ‘disruptor’ Nic Nichols is taking his talent to the streets.
The Gold Coast local recently launched an initiative to help local businesses affected by recent events by creating free artworks to use on social media, promoting a service.
We had a chat with Nic about how he came up with this incredible idea and what’s in the works for the rest of this (crazy) year.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been a local on the GC for 29 years.
What do you most love about living here?
The work / lifestyle balance we have, the growing culture of restaurants and bars and just the pace of society we have. There’s just the right amount of crazy around here.
How did your business 40/40 come about?
It was essentially born out of my interest in marketing and also being a graphic designer. In 2011, I left my full-time design job to start an online advertising business and the local business owners that I was selling advertising to would always compliment and enquire about the branding I created. I started being asked to work on their businesses and consult more and more and it became a more obvious and enjoyable career choice.
Tell us about the work you do…
Our work varies from graphic design, creative direction, advertising, photography and film. So we essentially consider ourselves specialist in business branding and identity.
Is there a particular project that stands out as a favourite?
There has been some fun advertising campaigns recently for Platypus Sneakers where we have had the pleasure of creating some fun shoots and illustration based work. Not to mention the sweet perks of complimentary sneakers every now and then. Our favourite projects will always be our own though as we have the freedom of dictating all the output ourselves, a good example of our most recent being Golden Walls.
Tell us about the ‘Support Local’ initiative you started recently…
We recently launched an initiative called #CreativeStimulus to help support local Gold Coast businesses. We want to offer some creative aid and help design a promotional post free of charge to anyone still operating that they can use on social media. The idea is to help the many businesses which are desperately trying to adapt and navigate through this strange time.
Obviously many businesses have been forced to close which is awful but the need to trade locally is more important than ever right now. I think a lot of people understand that and we hope our initiative will help drive awareness to those resilient businesses still trying to maintain.
Why do you think it’s something the Coast needs right now?
We work with quite a few Gold Coast businesses and I have a lot of friends in business here – all from different industries. To see and hear how each industry has to individually adapt and change their business model means there needs to be communication and marketing towards the customer(s). To do this in a creative manner should help cut through all the noise.
What are your thoughts on the Coast’s art and culture scene?
I think that we are starting to become recognised as a world-class destination and so a lot of effort is going into listening to ideas, which are finally starting to revolve around arts and culture. In short, I feel it’s underdeveloped but moving in a strong direction.
How does your work contribute to that?
I see a lot of content floating around social media with locals and tourists posting photos in front of murals and artworks that we have created. I feel that creates a sense of experience and culture for the community and visitors alike.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2020?
The plan is to make the most of it. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt during this crazy time so far, it’s to appreciate the small things and not take them for granted.
What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
“Watch what you sign and who you dance with”, “Be disruptive – in the best way” and “In the end, it’s only the good food and memories”.