A married couple who met at art college before joining forces to set up a Lincoln-based graphic design firm are set to celebrate a decade of operations this week, helping local businesses bring their ideas to life.
Number 75 Design is run by husband and wife duo Matt and Eleanor Hancock, 43 and 44 respectively, and they are about to celebrate a couple of anniversaries in their personal and working lives.
They are into their 20th year of marriage together, and on Tuesday, March 29 they will mark 10 years since Number 75 was founded, but while the business has expanded immeasurably since 2012, the couple have been keen to keep their feet on the ground and stay in touch with their locality.
Situated in the enviable location of Exchequergate Arch in uphill Lincoln, overlooking Lincoln Cathedral in all its glory, Number 75 Design are website and brand designers for businesses across Lincolnshire.
They have completed work for a multitude of local businesses, including the branding for Dough LoCo, design work for Healing Manor and a rebrand for Speedframe, to name just a few, and Eleanor and Matt say working locally is more appealing to them than with big corporations.
“It’s definitely more rewarding working with local businesses as you are making a real difference,” Matt told The Lincolnite. “We have worked with so many people who suddenly have this new found confidence in their business thanks to our design work.
“We help businesses find their identity and vision, and then bring it to life. Neither of us really like the spotlight, so it really suits us because we can quietly stand on the sidelines and help people out without making a shout about it.”
The business began at home before they set up a studio in a community hub in Nettleham, but after the COVID-19 pandemic hit they saw an opportunity to move into a premises that most in Lincoln could only dream of – a stone’s throw from the iconic cathedral.
Eleanor said: “We feel we are in the best place to be in the city, right at the centre of all the excitement. Having the cathedral in eye line is always a positive, we never get bored of it.
“Lots of small businesses emerged from lockdown in 2020, set up by people who were locked up at home and decided to pursue a passion project, that’s where we came in to help them build an online presence.
“It is so important to stand out online and understand who you are trying to talk to, as well as how you are going to say it.”
Despite the success of Number 75, Matt and Eleanor have no interest in employing more staff and giving themselves more of a backseat role.
They added: “We won’t be looking to expand as we feel what makes us unique is our connections to our clients. We know exactly how and what we are going to create based on the relationships we build with businesses.
“Everyone needs different things and we have helped businesses in so many different industries, from wrestling companies to restaurants and heritage sites. Working within the same industry can get tiring, but mixing with a variety actually keeps things fresh and creative for us.”
Asked whether Matt and Eleanor have noticed any challenges with the husband and wife / business partners dynamic, they both said they had struck a good balance between the two.
“We had our own separate careers in London and Brighton before moving back to Lincoln. We were both designing for various international companies and studios, but made the decision to merge after moving to the city.
“It made sense that we joined forces as both our paths were going in that direction. Going into business with your partner can be challenging because you are spending 24 hours a day with them, but the way we work compliments each other – and we’re still alive after ten years of doing it!”