James Gifford, our Studio Manager
One of our longest serving team members, tells us why he has chosen to be at MacroArt for 28 years…
Today, as I approach my 28th year at MacroArt I got to thinking (dangerous, I know…).
Blimey, that’s almost 60% of the entire time I have spent on this planet.
Why am I still here? What is keeping me here?
In an employment world as mobile and open as it is, what has stopped me plying my trade and honing my skills in any one of the dozens – perhaps hundreds – of other businesses or sectors that would benefit from them?
What has kept me at MacroArt Towers all this time? I mean, St.Neots is nice, but so is London, Madrid, Paris, New York…..
I wish the answer was simple.
Back in 1994, as a fresh faced 21-year-old graphic designer, the chance to join such a vibrant company seemed like a no-brainer. It was an unmissable opportunity to get on the first step on the ladder in the world of large format printing, and who knows where it might lead? I felt sure the world was my oyster and began to learn all I could from those around me, confident that my employability quotient would be enhanced to the point where I could literally pick my next job when I wanted, as and when I chose.
But it didn’t happen. Because I didn’t need it to. And I didn’t want it to.
In the intervening 2 decades, the MacroArt has grown, and changed out of all recognition, becoming, I believe, truly one of the leading large format graphics firms in the country and beyond. The opportunities for me to learn new skills, develop innovative solutions and push the boundaries of what was possible in the world of large format printing, just kept coming. And I took them.
Today, as Studio Manager, I oversee a raft of new initiatives and developments that have a real impact on the quality of service we provide for our clients. Whether it be our ERP workflow automation software which saves them time and effort, or profiling all printers to a regular schedule to make sure our colour output is always precisely accurate, so that they get what they’ve ordered, time and again, my role is, as it has always been to help to deliver ‘The Art of MacroArt’ for our customers.
I’ve worked on so many extraordinary projects, large and small, some of them world firsts, some of them simply iconic, but all of them produced with passion, vision, forensic attention to detail and CARE.
And this is where I began to realise why I am still here.
MacroArt cares. About their work. And me.
They share so many of my values, from a commitment to excellence, to the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and from Managing Director to seamstress, the ethos here is one of inclusion, exploration and support.
The work is tough and long sometimes. It’s challenging often. Rewarding, always. But the commitment to never saying “it can’t be done”, “you’ve made an error”, “we don’t do it like that here” is what keeps me here.
The MacroArt studio is a team first and foremost. Several of my colleagues have also worked here for 20+ years. It’s no coincidence. We are almost telepathic in our understanding of each other and when the pressure is on, I can rely entirely on their determination to solve, and we always make it happen.
And they even listen to my paddle boarding and running anecdotes with a smile, take gardening tips whether they want them or not, and don’t even baulk at hearing about my latest Thai style culinary triumphs!
Perhaps, after all, the answer to my longevity here at MacroArt is simple; although evolved hugely since the very early days of Macro Art, the key values remain the same; Teamwork, Friendship and Collaborating to find the perfect solution.
You know what they say, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life”.
Yes, I think I’m settling in here….