Ten years ago, Oli Vickery scribbled out a logo for a new agency called Six Black Pens. He wanted it to be about pure ideas and making complex things more accessible. Chris Tappenden and Kimberley Gaskin soon joined him – strengthening an offering that was building pace and forming a creative team that remains at the heart of the agency today.
A decade on, here at Six Black Pens we’re celebrating our double-digit birthday with clients all over Australia, an amazing team and a great waterfront office in Sydney’s Pyrmont.
“When we first started, SBP was set up as a network agency,” Founder and Creative Director Oli explains. “We worked with the best professionals in the industry, connecting with some amazingly talented people. Over the years we’ve held on tightly to the best of them, growing into a team of 40.
“Our focus has been on building a strategy-driven customer experience agency for complex businesses – and make the complex beautiful. That means we use creative, content, comms and digital to help businesses grow. Of course, while we’ve hit double digits, we’re not about to get carried away. We might be future-looking but we’re determined to maintain all the great stuff of a start-up. We’ll be staying hungry and highly competitive.”
Editorial & Strategy Director Kimberley says: “We love our agency and we love working together with our close-knit team. One of the things I love about building a successful agency is having the resources to make a difference. Agency life shouldn’t always be about awards or how many pitches we nailed – we want it to also be about what we did to make things better.
Celebrating with 10 pledges
“We’ve decided to celebrate 10 fantastic years by giving something back – to each other, to our community, to our clients, to the environment and to the world around us,” Digital Creative Director Chris explains. “We’re completing ’10 for 10’ pledges this year – one for each year we’ve been in business. Some are big, some are small, but they’re all designed to make a difference.”
Everyone internally has contributed to the ideation of the pledges, and it’s testament to the team we have here that so many great causes have been put forward. Chris adds: “We’re really excited and look forward to revealing each one throughout the year. It’s a big commitment for an agency of our size – but we think it’s a great thing to do. Here’s to 10 for 10!”
Pledge 1: OzHarvest Cooking for a Cause
For our birthday celebration on February 6, the agency supported Cooking for a Cause with OzHarvest. We transformed rescued food into restaurant-quality meals that were then delivered directly to disadvantaged communities.
We made 225 delicious Middle Eastern meals, including falafel, harissa chicken, pomegranate pilaf and mujadara.
While we gave our cooking skills a whirl, we also had the opportunity to make a small difference by enabling those less fortunate to eat well and with dignity.
Thanks, thanks and thanks again
“We’ve had so many brilliant clients who have trusted us, taught us and supported us over the last 10 years – we’re incredibly grateful,” Oli says. “I hope this year we can give a little back to them and the causes they care about. ‘Ten for 10’ is our way of saying ‘thanks’.
“I’m immensely proud of the agency and the team we’ve built here – the last 10 years have been so much fun and we’ve created some really smart, effective work. I can’t wait to see the plans for the next 10 years take shape.”