From college students to a creative partnership, meet the guys behind Brio Media

Brio Media is a graphic design studio based in Druid Street in the town of Hinckley. You may have seen their work around the local area, but you may not know the people behind the scenes of the group, until now.

Brio Media is the brainchild of Alex Russell and Elliott Wynd-Jennings, two graphic designers who came up with the idea of the company when they were friends at college studying their design course.

The creative duo behind Brio Media, Alex Russell (left) and Elliott Wynd-Jennings (right) (Brio Media for Hinckley Free Press)

Hinckley Free Press sat down with the Brio boys to discuss how their college idea of turning their hobby into a business took off. We hope that their story inspires students in the area.

Brio Media’s visual identity (Brio Media for Hinckley Free Press)

Brio Media’s Alex and Elliott said: “During our time at college we began to take on design projects in our spare time and really caught the bug for working for ourselves.

“At the time we were studying a Graphic Design HND at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.

“As well as completing our coursework we were working on project for clients such as Bedford Drama Company who were one of our very first clients. This led us to start the company and Brio Media was born.

“Upon completion of our HND at the college we began to expand our client base. One of these clients was Steve Wegerif from Hinckley BID who we still work with today.

“Steve commissioned us to produce a rediscover Hinckley campaign focused around putting Hinckley on the map and encouraging people to visit.

“We wanted to celebrate how amazing Hinckley is and focused on the elective mix of buildings in Hinckley. We illustrated some of the buildings in the town from the new to the old and built the campaign around the idea.

“We continue to work with the BID to market all of their events and most recently had the opportunity to rebrand Hinckley BID.”

Comparison: On the left, the former visual identity, on the right is the current visual identity by Brio (Brio Media for Hinckley Free Press)

Back in 2017, Brio took part in a competition called Small Business Sunday ran by Dragons Den star, Theo Paphitis.

This competition takes place every Sunday and it involves lots of small businesses sending a tweet to Theo in the hopes you get retweeted by the man himself.

Alex added: “I had spotted Theo’s SBS competition whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed and said to Elliott we should totally give this a go!

“When we entered, Twitter had a character limit of just 140 characters, but we entered anyway and had to be creative with what we said.

“Theo saw our tweet the first time we took part and we were picked as winners!

“Thanks to Theo retweeting our tweet, we got lots of brand exposure. We later met up with Theo Paphitis himself and we were handed certificates. We even had our photo taken with him too.”

Pictured: The Brio boys with Dragons Den superstar, Theo Paphitis. (Brio Media for Hinckley Free Press)

Shortly after winning SBS, BBC Radio Leicester contacted the pair to ask them to go on the Ben Jackson breakfast show to speak about their experience meeting the business tycoon.

“We knew Jack Rafferty at BBC Radio Leicester and he spotted our tweets, so got us a place on BBC’s Ben Jackson breakfast show.”

Speaking about starting their business, Elliott said: “Running your own business is a great thing to do, but it can also be very hard going.

“If you’re thinking of starting a business the best thing that I’d recommend to do is go out and spend some time in the industry and come back to the idea later.

“We were lucky enough to have worked with College’s in-house marketing team and we learnt a lot from them about being a graphic designer in that environment”.

An army of ‘Brio bots’, Brio bot is the company mascot (Brio Media for Hinckley Free Press)

Brio have published their own timeline more in-depth of how they have evolved as a brand titled “5 Years of Bringing The Awesome.” You can read all about it here: www.briomedia.co.uk/5-years-of-bringing-the-awesome

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