Leigh Sheridan – Creative and Board Director
The secret lives of the people behind the Delineo brand.
As part of our series of interviews with staff members, Leigh Sheridan, Creative and Board Director, takes to the couch and tells us about his career and life both inside and outside of Delineo.
Leigh, you head up the creative team as well as being a board director. Can you tell me something about your role here?
My role is like spinning plates. I’m responsible for the creative output of the agency, providing, inspiration, help and advice across the creative department. Day to day I spend time with clients, attending briefings, and pulling together presentations. When the opportunity arises I lead the creative in pitches too. As a team, we habitually share and work together to bring ideas to the table. I am always very involved at the start of a campaign, establishing the creative strategy for the brief, which I can then get the creative team cracking on solving. Plus, there’s the work I do outside of the day to day with the other board directors on the corporate development of the agency. But, the variety of work keeps me fresh and inspired in what we do.
How did you arrive at Delineo?
I’ve been here six years and was initially intrigued by the challenge Nick presented to me. Delineo was well off the radar at the time and I had been offered a number of senior roles at some of the larger agencies in the region. Nick laid down the gauntlet of ‘How can you make us famous?’. How could I resist? I am very proud of where we are now. When I joined we had less than twenty staff, and we are now firmly on the radar with over fifty staff and are a member of The IPA. We consistently hold our own in pitch situations and have continued to grow in the last few years in a very challenging climate when many other agencies have fallen by the wayside.
What changes have you seen at Delineo in your time here?
We would do anything back then, but, over time we have gone through a transition to a fully integrated campaign agency. We have a totally new look and feel, the way we talk now is with confidence, born out of the good work we do which produces great outcomes for our clients. One of the big changes is the make up of the creative department. Six years ago it had three Mac designers, an art director and a flash developer. Now it’s a real mix with SEO, social, digital development plus the more traditional designers and copywriters all coming together. We took a conscious decision to make sure we can offer a truly joined up approach and so far it’s working very well.
What were you doing before Delineo?
I graduated from Newcastle and then pestered and harassed Creative Directors until someone finally gave in! During that time I did placements and freelance work for likes of Acrobat, Fresco, Chambers & Harley and Inc. Design. I also got down to the final two to be The Hacienda’s in-house Designer. I didn’t get it because of lack of print experience! I was gutted when I got the call from Paul Mason who was the Hacienda’s Manager at the time, as it would have meant following in the footsteps of one of my idols, Peter Saville.
However, I quickly recovered from this disappointment and got a full time role at Inc Design as a Junior Designer. I was their first proper employee. We did some pretty decent things working for the likes of Dulux, Crown and Cheshire Constabulary. The great thing from being at such a small agency was how hands on I had to be so it was a real steep learning curve. I was leading on photo-shoots, meeting with clients and had lots of responsibility for someone so junior.
From here I moved on to join one of the biggest agencies in the region – McCanns. This was great experience. Totally in at the deep end. A highlight for me was whilst working with a Finish pharmaceutical company, I had to spend a lot of time in Scandinavia, getting buy-in from twelve European Brand Managers when consolidating one of their brands. Luckily the beer was on expenses!
Looking for my next challenge, I moved to a small highly creative agency called Sass Panayi, as their Head of Design, working within a team and the Creative Director. We did some fantastic work including the launch of David Beckham for The Playstation and Rocky The Game. We were a real creative hot-shop at that time. I spent eight years here and thought carefully about my next move as I knew it would be a key move for me.
How do you see the future for Delineo?
To continue our growth and enter the next stage of the agency’s development. To become even more famous as a fully independent, creative agency who can mix it with the big boys.
When you’re not here, under the arches, how do you like to spend your time?
With a four year old and a one year old at home I feel it is important to be part of their development before I become an embarrassment to them! I am a season ticket holder at MCFC and have been a fan for around 30 years – so I’m in a happy place at the moment. My son has started coming to City games with me, as well as fleecing me of cash in the souvenir shop. Music is also very important to me. I go to as many gigs as I can – for the music and to catch up with friends. I also enjoy a spot of running, when I haven’t been nobbled whilst living the Delineo brand by playing Dodgeball! I am currently taking very seriously, and living semi-vicariously through my son, the Panini World Cup football stickers and am open to swaps!
Leigh is one of Delineo’s recently appointed board, along with Simon Callan, Stephen Frater and Sam Rowlands. They join CEO Nick Melvin to form the Executive team at Delineo.