There’s a moral of the story at the end of this one, so, if you’re prepared to read ...
From “T" to Today
8 June 2020
When I joined what was to become Fortus, I did so under a cloak of secrecy. Not for me personally, but for the task at hand. Immediately, I was set to work on an all important, top secret project. One that later on became commonly known internally as ‘Project Trafalgar’ aka ‘Project T’. Sitting in endless meetings with my new team and creative partners in crime, discussing the fledgling spirit of the Brand we were to create and catching up on the hard work already in place. The creative process for the next nine months (give or take a week) building out this vision of the future was exciting, frustrating, energising, draining, terrifying, mercurial and rewarding (a normal creative design experience, except on steroids!), just to name a few.
However, most importantly there was a plan. Anyone who’s familiar with what became ‘creative corner’ in the Northampton office (apologies to the finance team for taking over…) will have seen the plan, stuck up on the wall, always visible, scratched off here and there as elements of the Brand were completed.
Getting close to the end of March, we were remarkably on track for ‘T’ day, premiums were in production or arriving, (nobody mention mugs…) the tremendous task of photographing and editing the pictures of 220ish new and existing colleagues and creating business cards, email signatures and profile pictures were done, the website was coming to life, the highly stressful signage and interior project was underway and I think cautiously we were optimistic about delivering this incredible project. We were easing into the final stages of planning and creating our launch ready for it to become a reality.
In the background to this however, was the growing concern over COVID-19, an infectious disease that was sweeping the globe, rumours of a lockdown in the UK were growing and every day we waited with bated breath for the government update to hear if we could come into work the next day. Our plans had to change rapidly, it wasn’t about us anymore. Suddenly that plan was out of the window.
I remember the hollow feeling of packing my desk up, backing up a hard drive with the biggest most challenging project of my career on it, unsure of the future but determined to deliver ‘Fortus’ to the world. And under the strangest of circumstances we did it. We’re here, one business, and it’s incredible. Recently, I was back in the office for the first time since lockdown (the signage project is still underway…) and I sat down and saw the abandoned plan still on the wall, a reminder of everything we’ve all been through, it really made me smile. To get here has been unbelievable and the strength of the team, the whole Fortus family, is amazing. It’s been an interesting start to my career here and now I can’t wait to get properly started!