Architects Anthony Fogg and Martin Shutt set up Unit3 Design Studio earlier this year, and almost immediately their business plan was turned on its head.
The first commission the pair, both aged 32, received was to produce the street signage for this year’s Liverpool Pride Festival, based on its ‘Superheroes’ theme.
Working with French artist Grègoire Guillemin they produced signs directing people between the two main festival areas depicting traditional superheroes in their more mortal form.
Unit3, which was launched in May, offers architecture, graphic design and creative media services and Mr Fogg explained: “We said we would start with architecture and launch graphic design in year two, but it turned out our first job was for Liverpool Pride and it turned our business plan on its head a bit.”
He added: “Architecture is a very multi-disciplinary subject and people don’t realise an architect’s skills branch into graphic design and model-making. We cover those areas anyway, and thought we might as well offer it as a service.”
More commissions have followed on the back of the Liverpool Pride work, but Mr Fogg said the duo are now able to concentrate on the architecture division through their ‘Tea With an Architect’ drive.
They offer their services free on the first Wednesday of the month at Bold Street’s Leaf Garden Cafe. Mr Fogg said: “If you have a house extension or a building project most people aren’t sure where to start with it.
“People are frightened to engage with architects and think it will be expensive, but they can come in for a cup of tea and a cake and ask us about the project and ask our advice.”
The pair have also taken advantage of a fellowship course at Liverpool John Moores University that teaches the basics of how to run a business: “The kind of things you don’t learn day-to-day in our normal job. The networking part of it was fantastic.”