Since taking over the family business, Darian Byrne has evolved the print agency his father founded more than three decades ago into a modern boutique print and digital agency.
In 1983, Byrne’s father Bruce founded a print agency called Advertising Graphics, which created packaging and annual reports for a lot of the large companies that were based in South Australia at the time such as Faulding, Dairy Vale and National Pharmacies. Now called The Kiln Advertising, the six-person strong company has evolved into a digital agency – as well as a print agency – and rolls out websites and online campaigns, with the digital side of its business consisting about 70 per cent of their current workload.
Byrne took over the company when he was 32 after working there for 10 years. As owner and creative director, he changed the name from the descriptive Advertising Graphics to the more emotive The Kiln in 2009.
“The Kiln, it represents fire, it’s about strength and getting things finished, I really like the strength of the name,” Byrne says. “Dad used a flame – an Olympic Torch – as a logo for many years with Advertising Graphics and the flame represents getting the job done and a win for the client. I always wanted to maintain that idea but make the name more memorable and meaningful.”
Byrne says the ‘90s was a struggle for the company after the fall of the State Bank and the move of many national companies’ head offices interstate.
“It was quite difficult; we were reduced to three staff, some of that was part-time, so it was definitely difficult.” A major client the Hutt Street-based agency has kept since the ‘90s is Bridgestone, and Byrne believes loyal big companies such as Bridgestone “helped us survive through that period” as did a lot of their smaller clients that continue to work with them today.
“One of the things we’ve been able to do is evolve with our clients and continue to guard their brand and make sure their brand is executed to their guidelines. When it comes to clients that you have for a long time, you can deliver consistently well for them because you’re an extension of their marketing department. We understand their core values, their brand and understand what the client as well as the brand needs.”
This understanding of their clients’ core values is arguably the reason that most of their clients jump on board; thanks to word of mouth, including Mitsubishi who The Kiln started working with last year. The Kiln attracts most of its new business this way.
“It’s not science, it’s through relationships. When clients meet us and we gel and like
each other, then they trust us to deliver the job on time. It’s potentially the beginning of a long-term relationship.”
These relationships includes charities, as The Kiln has supported the Hutt Street Centre’s annual Walk a Mile in My Boots for the last five years by completing all of the event’s creative work.
“When we moved to the street, one of the ladies who worked at Hutt Street Centre came and asked us if we could help with their branding. Since then we’ve continued to assist them and update or refresh their brand every year.”
193 Hutt Street
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