FACT #95: *Rise up lights*
Drift is an award winning branding, marketing & digital agency proudly located in College Station, Texas. We’re a nimble team of creatives, strategists, programmers and storytellers constantly trying to do great work. We love collaborations, rising to new challenges, and leveraging our expertise to help grow our clients’ businesses.
Relationships Matter. We build a lot of things here. Strategies. Brands. Campaigns. Futures. But our ultimate goal is to build something bigger, deeper, and more long-term than any transaction or click-through. We value and build meaningful relationships. The kind where everyone wins.
A few days after graduating from Texas A&M University, Martin and Gavin hit the road and embarked on a journey to design their way across America. They called it Drifting Creatives. Connecting with other creatives along the way, they shared and learned. Together they interviewed creatives about their love for design and found ways to pay for the entire trip from the design gigs picked up along the way. Starting from nothing, they cold-called and social-ed their way across America and even up into Canada for a short stint.
During the five-month trek, Martin and Gavin were featured in two design magazines, spoke at conferences and creative meet-ups, gave guest lectures to students of the trade. But most importantly, they learned more on the road than they ever thought possible. Taking lessons in adventurous exploration, social transparency, and the endless search for awesome, the foundation of Drifting Creatives was born.
Back in Texas, with a small client list born from the road, the two realized they had unknowingly started a design agency. Working remotely during 2010, Gavin and Martin did all they could to grow the business. Martin worked full-time to supplement his income and Gavin lived with his parents, but was able to work 9-5 hours to accommodate clients. The two would collaborate via Skype in the evenings. It wasn’t efficient, but it allowed them to grow in different ways.
Gavin moves to College Station (where Martin was living) and gets a 2-bedroom apartment. Drifting Creatives now has a tiny 8’x10′ office next to Gavin’s bedroom. They launch a new website and start landing better and bigger projects, like Brute Coolers, who the team rebrands (Bison Coolers) and continues to work with to this day. Working in the same city makes many things easier for the two. The Aggie Network also helps propel the business. Martin meets Spencer, an incredible photographer, and eventually he starts working on projects for Drifting Creatives.
The work continues to get more and more awesome and the team builds their first responsive website. They even made a promo video, which at the time seemed pretty cool. Late 2012, Drifting Creatives gets its first real office. A small 900 sq/ft space in College Station, Texas. While the work continued to get better, getting the new office catapulted Drifting Creatives into bigger projects. The duo needed help and Spencer officially joined the team as a partner. After a few years now of clients consistently referring to them as “Drift”, short for Drifting Creatives, the team embraces the nickname and changes the company name to Drift.
The new office is great for parties and networking events. It has a studio vibe, with exposed concrete floors and a giant chalkboard for lettering projects. The team crafts beautiful work for clients in the outdoors, financial, restaurant and bar industries and begins to see a heavy increase in web work. Processes are refined and redeveloped and the three work together more efficiently. Some days are slow and others require late nights.
The team gets their first intern and they start to get a sense of what it could mean to grow the team. Two of the three interns that year went to Texas A&M and the team loves being able to connect with the university and the students. Martin competed at Made By Few in a live design challenge. A fellow design studio in Kansas City hosts a Taco themed art exhibit in which Drift was asked to participate. And we did. And it was awesome.
Texas A&M Admissions hires Drift for a large scale video commercial, one of the first of it’s kind for Drift. It was a huge success for everyone involved. After years of working remotely with a contract web developer, the team finally brings on a full-time web developer. Cody (the coder) instantly transforms the way we think about and build websites for clients.
In January, the team hires their first full time designer, who had been an intern the previous fall. The team grows to five! More hands on deck allows for more awesome work to go out. In an effort to streamline the Drift processes and organize projects, Hillary, joins the team as Project Manager. She’s a wizard of Basecamp, deadlines, organization and overall awesomeness. The team works with their first international client, International Coffee Organization and is excited to expand to more and more global clients.
This is 2017. We’re starting out with a brand new site, and lots of new work!
Co-Founder & Creative Director
Co-Founder & Creative Director
Partner & Visual Director
We tell stories with images, obsess over details, push our clients toward greatness, host foosball tournaments, share successes & failures with college students, attend design conferences, explore everything, collaborate with THE BEST, build brand loyalty, print our logo on everything, and we LOVE WHAT WE DO.