Who are Robot Food?
Simon Forster started Robot Food from his dining room table in 2009. Working with brands such as Saxa, Cadbury’s, Seabrook crisps and a tidy list of drinks brands - their work is now on dining tables across the country. We wanted to find out a bit more about them and what they look for in someone joining their team so we spoke to Simon the founder.
Who are Robot Food?
We’re a collective of designers, strategists, copywriters and creative types based in Leeds.
Robot Food – what’s the name all about?
When we set up, we wanted a name that would cut through the expected mesh of surnames. We thought Robot Food stood out and like that it kind of nods to consumerism.
What are the best bits about working in Leeds?
Leeds is having its moment. It’s such a vibrant city with loads of great independent bars, restaurants and venues. There’s a real mix of people and culture, so you can find inspiration everywhere.
'Design is the easy bit, so we look for strategic thinkers and real creative minds.'
Do you find it more difficult getting briefs/talent because you aren’t in London?
London may be the destination for most, but we have some great universities in the north and not everyone wants to move to the big smoke. We have team members who started their career in London and moved back for a better life balance. I think we’re lucky as there are so many agencies in London competing in the same fields and we seem to be a destination agency for some of the most talented and creative minds.
If you could work with any brand/business what would it be and why?
This is a hard one as any new category can be exciting and everyone in the team would have a different answer. After launching our own skincare brand last year, I would like to do more in health and beauty but would also like to work in tech and fashion. My personal ultimate would have to be a motorbike or motorsport brand.
Can you tell us a bit about your own career journey?
After art college I went on to work running a couple of brands in snowboarding, surf and skate. These years taught me a lot about brands, stand-out and disruption as the brands I worked with were pretty subversive. I decided I wanted to get back into creative so started Robot Food from my dining room table in 2009.
'Focus on what you love and forget the rest.'
What do you look for in a person when recruiting for Robot Food?
We look for a good fit, ambition and (preferably) a specialism when it comes to design. We like someone who can teach us all a thing or two. Some designers come to us worried that they don’t have much big brand or packaging experience, but that doesn’t concern us if they have a great style and we can feed it into the work we produce. Design is the easy bit, so we look for strategic thinkers and real creative minds.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in design now?
Focus on what you love and forget the rest.
What do you hope the future holds for Robot Food?
Who knows. It’s fun to remain nimble. I hope we grow better at what we do and never get too big. The emphasis must remain on the quality of the output because that’s how we attract clients and team members. If we continue to focus on that I’m sure great opportunities will come our way!