Made Media Ltd, 97 Icknield Street, Birmingham B18 6RU +44 (0)121 200 2627

Made Media Ltd

Posted in design,general,life by jake on November 23rd, 2015

A day in the life of… Stefan Grindley




Can tell us about yourself and your role at Made Media?

I’m the head of the design at Made, I’ve been studying design for 15+ years. I worked in digital back in the bad old days (shim gifs and tables), I spent some time working in print design and then returned to digital again as the web started to flourish.

What would you describe as a typical day in the office?

Nothing is typical at Made :) Currently we have three large projects in development and I have different levels of involvement in all of them. I also need to have an overview of what the rest of my team are working on. My morning is usually, coffee, emails, coffee, support and then one last cup of coffee. Other times throughout a project’s lifecycle I may be traveling to visit clients for discovery meetings, preparing for a site launch or making more coffee.

Who would play you in the film or your life?

Emilio Estevez, when I was younger. Someone less attractive nowadays.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Made? (If anything)

Seeing something from conception through to delivery. Presenting to clients and seeing them get excited  and enthused about what we are doing. Leaving at the end of the day, exhausted. :)

What was the last play/film you went to see?

Hairy Ape at the Old Vic. Thoroughly enjoyable. Bertie Carvel was phenomenal.

What would you say are the main skills you need within your job role?

Listening to the client, listening to my team and listening to everything else that’s  going on in the studio. Good design isn’t just about making something look beautiful, it’s about solving problems. I think one of the most important skills is understanding and interpreting what that problem is and then presenting the client with the most appropriate solution. If a client is on-board and feels that their input is being listened to they will invariably be a happy client.

What’s your favourite movie quote?

“Life is beautiful. Really, it is. Full of beauty and illusions. Life is great. Without it, you’d be dead.” — Solomon, Gummo, 1997. Harmony Korine

What made you want to pursue your chosen career path and job role?

As student I was very unsure as to what I wanted to do with my life in terms of a career. I knew I didn’t want to wear a suit, and I knew I wanted to do something I was passionate about. As someone who grew up riding a skateboard and listened to punk music I was hugely influenced by DIY culture, if you want something to happen, do it yourself. When I discovered the internet at college I found the possibilities mind-boggling and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What’s your hidden talent or party trick?

Hidden talents… I’m in a band but that’s not really a secret. My left-eye makes a gross popping noise when I rub it. I thought I was the only person that could hear it but apparently not.

If a new person was to join us at Made Media what advice would you give them?

Always learn new things. You can’t work in digital and stop learning. Everyone makes mistakes, try to learn from them and never repeat them. Try to be organised. I’ve never been someone who finds this easy. But the harder you try the easier it gets.

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Posted in culture,design,news,projects by jake on March 28th, 2011


Glyndebourne Home Page Screenshot

Not quite new this one, we launched Glyndebourne’s new website back in December on the QT. Opera websites have a reputation for crashing on big on-sale dates, so we were reluctant to shout too loud before getting the festival ticketing live this month. Thankfully, on the night, all of our stress-testing paid off, resulting in record online sales for this unique Opera house.

It was a huge project, taking in usability studies, information architecture, design and plenty of e-commerce. In addition to a polished pick-your-own-seat experience, you can purchase everything from a DVD to a Glyndebourne champagne-stopper in the online gift shop.

Although we’re known for our work with venues, this was our first job with the fabled Tessitura box-office and CRM system. We’d like to think we’ve exploited its best-in-breed Internet integration facilities. Glyndebourne’s audience are a discerning bunch. and we wanted to make sure the website booking experience lived up to the live experience. We hope it did.

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Posted in culture,design,news,projects by jake on July 20th, 2010

Royal Court Theatre

Royal Court Theatre Screenshot

If things have been a bit quiet around here recently, it’s because we’ve been flat out working on a new clutch of websites. Made’s been working on the new Royal Court Theatre for a while now. You could say it’s been a labour of love.

Royal Court has been at the cutting edge of British theatre since 1956 when the English Stage Company premiered Look Back in Anger. More recently Royal Court have had smash-hit successes with Jerusalem and Enron, which have both transferred to the West End.

We hope you like the website. Why not check out the current programme, review 50 years of history or take a look at their international writing projects.


Posted in design,local,news by jake on April 9th, 2010

Be a Made Guy (or Gal)

Made Guys

UPDATE: We have now filled all three roles.

We’re looking for new recruits to the family, for three positions in our Birmingham hideout:

1. Freelance Drupal Expert
We have a new project kicking off this summer using the Drupal Open Source Content Management System. It’s a lovely project for a lovely client, involving lots of clever Drupal integration, not least eCommerce with UberCart. We have loads of LAMP experience at Made, and we’re pretty comfortable with Drupal, but we’re looking for an experienced freelancer to spend one or two months with us to help bulk out the team, pass on some knowledge and help us avoid any Drupal dead-ends. Good rates for the right guy or gal, and it’s a nice open-ended assignment where you get to share your wisdom with a team that cares.

2. Full-time Web Designer (Junior to Middleweight)
We’re looking for a designer who gets the web. Your key tool is probably Photoshop, but you’ll have a working knowledge of HTML and User Experience. Skills in HTML&CSS, Flash Animation or wire-framing are a bonus but not strictly necessary. But you must have a gorgeous portfolio of website designs, even if those are personal projects—this is not a print design role. Work ranges from Arts & Culture, through TV to top-tier brands. We’ll consider designers from graduate to middleweight level, with salary dependent upon experience and skill-set (£17K-£25K).

3. Full-time Web Developer (Junior to Middleweight)
We’re looking for a web developer. We’re primarily concerned with front-end skills here; the ability to take a Photoshop layout, and turn it into standards compliant, accessible HTML & CSS is a must. Experience with Javascript frameworks, particularly jQuery desirable. Beyond that we’re looking for experience with LAMP based Content Management Systems. Basic template integration skills are expected. Proper object-orientated programmers, or people who demonstrate the potential to progress to that, will command a higher salary. Will consider graduates or juniors looking to move to next level. Salary dependent upon experience and skill-set (£18K-25K).

We recognise that there is a degree of overlap between roles 2 and 3 (and 1 & 3!) , and we’re happy to interview people who feel they fit somewhere in-between. But we’re definitely recruiting two people, and each recruit will work within a separate production team.

Please send CVs and URLs or Portfolios to We’re expecting to interview in the week commencing April 19. Please, honestly—no agencies and no phone calls—we’re recruiting because we’re busy!

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Posted in culture,design,local,news,projects by jake on August 5th, 2009

Putting Birmingham on the Map

Visit Birmingham What's On

Visit Birmingham Maps

We’ve been busy extending the Visit Birmingham website with three new, comprehensive features; What’s On, Maps and Directories. Restaurants, Hotels, Gigs, Exhibitions, they’re all in there and geo-tagged too.

It’s been a complex job, mashing up events-data from Global Data Point with organisation data from Marketing Birmingham’s Microsoft CRM system and Google Maps. It’s all pulled together via our own content management system Backstage.

Take a look. There’s a huge amount on. We hope you’ll feel encouraged to visit Birmingham.


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