AM to PM with Steve Munson

By Anita Jaynes on 2 August, 2016

To celebrate The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire’s third birthday, over the next month we’re profiling the team behind our magazine and its online offering.

Steve Munson is owner of Studio Creative Services, based in Gemini House, Swindon. Steve’s been working on the layout and design of The Business Exchange (TBE) since the third edition after sending in a chance email promoting his offering and how he could improve the look and feel of the magazine. After a few meetings Steve got to work and has helped make TBE the product it is today.

Steve setup Studio Creative Services after years of experience working in-house as a production manager for a large creative agency. Steve found the weird and wonderful briefs from clients and the subsequent solutions dreamt up by the creative team, sometimes prohibitive, attracting unaffordable production costs. Knowing that projects were rarely as complicated or as bad as they sounded, Steve set up Studio in order to deliver the solutions required cost effectively.

A decade on, Studio Creative Services is not only the go to company for unusual requirements, but offers a full range of creative solutions including design, print production, large format and branded corporate gifts.

What time does your alarm go off?

I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or just that I’ve conditioned myself, but I rarely need the alarm. If I haven’t stirred naturally with my brain telling me it’s a busy day ahead, my iPhone may need to give me a nudge with a subtle bleep when a scheduled event is due later that morning. Of course, I do set it to make sure that last sip of Malbec the night before, doesn’t create a day of catastrophes, missed meetings and deadlines, but I seem to be already on route to the office when it goes off.

What’s the first thing you do?

Coffee…strong, black and sweet please. Wash, dress and out the door without waking up the household.

What do you do for lunch?

Well, you would’ve gathered from the above that I haven’t had breakfast yet! I can’t eat first thing as it always sits heavy if I eat too early.  I try to get stocks of ‘suitable’ food in the fridge at the studio that can be grabbed when my stomach demands mid-morning satisfaction, but it doesn’t always happen. I’m afraid to admit that I have been known to go all day without food until I get home.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the diversity that we offer our clients. No requirement is ever exactly the same. It has taken time, but our most loyal clients have realised that we are a valuable resource to have as we offer so much more than the ordinary creative agency or printer. With our can do attitude, we take projects from concept, though the design and production process, to collation and delivery, all whilst our clients know that they are going to get quality and value for money. It’s also really satisfying to journey around in your day, occasionally spotting things and be able to say…we did that!

What’s the worst part of the job?

It has to be deadlines, but I’ve been way too long in the business now to worry about them though. When I worked for other agencies I used to lose sleep and wake up in the middle of the night worrying about jobs. It was always because some ‘yes’ person had agreed the deadline without actually having a clue as to the implications or consulting with the design and production team first.

It’s different now, I am the yes man…Yes we work under pressure, yes we work to impossible deadlines, yes we’ll work through the night, night on night if we have to, to ensure that our clients requirements are met. But do I wake up worrying about it? No. We’ve agreed it, it’s achievable, we’ve discussed what needs to happen, we’ve considered the contingency, we sleep soundly.

What executive tool or gadget could you not live without?

It’s got to be my Apple Mac or Macs. I used to just be a PC fan, probably because there were a lot more games available for them, but for business I’ve changed my tune, Macs are king. Perhaps it’s because I’ve moved from the production to the creative side of things more now? I think they are just easier, less problematic to use and more intuitive.

What do you do after work?

You do realise I’m essentially self-employed don’t you? Run my own business? After work? Hmmm now there’s a concept of which I’m not familiar. I’m sure many of your audience will relate to that if asked the same question, but joking aside I love motorcycling, specifically track days. It’s safer than the roads, though my last outing combined gymnastics according to the safety marshal that observed my most spectacular dismount to date!

I also have a VW camper that I’ve brought up to glamping standards, my wife approves of this, so we try to get away as often as possible, with a bit of free camping here and there.

If you changed direction, what would be your Plan B?

As you may probably gather I’m a bit of a petrol head, so pretty much anything that burns petrol and wears out rubber has my attention. I know, not very environmentally friendly, but in balance all the papers we use are FSC registered 🙂 <thumbs up>

I’m quite mechanically minded having rebuilt the camper, plus many cars and bikes in the past, so if I had to choose to do something else, it would be some kind of vehicle restoration or “upgrading” business. I’ve always fancied finding the smallest of cars and cramming the most ridiculously sized engine into it…just for a bit of fun you understand.

To find out more about Steve’s offering visit Studio Creative Services online: www.studio-cs.co.uk or call: 01793 336004

Pictured above: Steve Munson