When we spoke to Kate Alexander of Studio Alexander at last year's Best Design Awards (see video interview here), she said she loved working with her old man because there was so much to learn from him. Now it seems she's learned enough to ease herself into the position of managing director of the design and brand agency she co-founded with her father in 1999. In the meantime her father and fellow Studio Alexander co-founder, Grant Alexander, is still very much in the picture as a director of the company.
“After ten very happy and successful years spent building the company with Kate, I felt it was the right time for her to take over,” says Grant. “The design world is changing, and I feel confident Kate will direct Studio Alexander’s response to that so that we continue to remain at the forefront of New Zealand agencies.”
For her part, Kate’s rather chuffed with the move, one she describes as part of "a long-term vision".
“It’s an exciting time to be moving into the role,” she says. “Since I founded the company with my father, Grant, in 2000, we’ve seen steady growth. The service ethic Grant instilled in the team, and the standard he set for the quality of the strategic and creative thinking for the agency, has seen us attract and retain substantial clients.”
Kate’s been quite the busy woman. Prior to her appointment as the big MD, she juggled two stints of maternity leave in between working as the director for Endemic World and working in the business development side of Studio Alexander. Like Studio Alexander, Kate also co-founded Endemic World, together with Elliot and Grant Alexander.
The knowledge and experience gleaned from her work with Endemic World, particularly from a digital perspective, is something she’s keen to apply to Studio Alexander, which she says now has the in-house skills to help grow the digital media side of the business.
Kate enters her role as managing director at a busy time for Studio Alexander. The agency is currently re-jigging its office to create more space for the new recruits it’s currently on the hunt for—expansion Kate says is largely spurred by a wider scope of work for existing clients coupled with having snapped up new clients.
While Studio Alexander’s clients are New Zealand-based, many of them export their products. Kate says the studio has just finished a campaign for Fletcher Building that was produced in seven languages and will interact with 16,000 global Fletcher staff.
And, as the recipients of numerous Best Design awards, including taking home the overall graphics award for their three-dimensional safety installation for Fletcher Construction at last year’s Best Awards, Kate says its currently in contention for some international award prestige, though she can’t just yet elaborate on what those awards are.