Employee Spotlight – Karl Fry, Creative Manager

Monday, 28 September 2020 | Written by Nick Rawson, Marketing Manager, PrimarySite

Karl Fry joined PrimarySite in 2015 as their Creative Manager and heads up the design team responsible for creating all School and Trust websites. He talks about the importance of branding and the most rewarding parts of his role. 


A School or Trust website should reflect their unique personality and showcase their USPs, ethos and values. When it comes to branding, it's so important to get it right as it gives it meaning and direction, the more alignment a brand has with its customers and their values, the more likely they are to trust in it and use its services or buy their products.

I'm passionate about developing the skills within my team to ensure we constantly meet our client's needs. We produce great websites for great clients and are extremely proud of our reputation. With a constantly evolving landscape, we have to keep on top of the latest changes and adapt to our client’s needs to ensure we remain leaders in education technology.

We help clients to visualise and improve their brand. With each new website design, we work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and run discovery sessions to uncover their individual challenges, strengths and opportunities in order to develop their brand personality.  

My inspiration comes from lots of places and I like to study the work of other designers. When it comes to improving how I work with clients and staff I use podcasts, YouTube videos and books to pick up new skills and learn from others. If someone finds a better way to approach something then why not adopt and adapt it. Not all good ideas come from one person.  

The most exciting part of my role is working on large client projects and running discovery sessions. First, we get to learn about the client, what their vision is, what drives them and what they find challenging and it's great to hear them tell their own 'stories' and help them solve their challenges through design. Nothing is more rewarding than unveiling a logo or website that the client feels represents them and what they stand for. 

I have a lot of energy and enjoy motivating my team. Apart from being the tall, bald, bearded guy, I think my colleagues would describe me as honest, reliable and definitely passionate about bringing everyone along on the journey.

For us to really help Trusts and Schools we need to be able to dig deep into how they work, who they are and the pain points they might have. Being curious and listening is important. By being curious and knowing what to ask, and how to lead that conversation we can then produce a product that really solves their needs. Of course, someone in a creative role needs to be creative but also open to feedback and collaboration and being able to view things from a different perspective.

Outside of work I can be found in the climbing gyms, bouldering, top-roping or lead climbing. If the weather is good we do some outdoor climbing and it's a hobby I do with other people in the company. I love being outdoors and hiking in the Peaks or Lake District. When I can, I travel to other countries and hope to see as much of the world as I can. Design plays a big part in what I do outside of work as well and keeps me creative.

Consistency is key with anything. One of my favourite quotes is "Show up and do the work well, hard work pays off."

Where do I see myself in 5 years? Helping more clients, solving bigger problems with design and supporting clients to achieve their business goals.

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