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Hereford software design firm is a Hollywood player
Updated 8:43am Monday 30th June 2014 in News
Astute Graphics are proving to be a business sucess story with a growing client base including Disney, Dreamworks, Apple & Adidas.(l-r), Chloë Waugh, Nicholas Van der Walle & Ben Kinnaird in the company's Hereford offices. (7297604)
IT was on a business trip to New York that Nick van der Walle knew he had really made it.
The managing director of Hereford-based Astute Graphics was in Times Square when he saw a poster of Disney's Wreck-it-Ralph – and realised that his software was behind it.
Based in Gwynne Street, Astute Graphics specialises in developing software – specifically creating plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator.
It is designed to save designers' time, boost creativity and achieve "refined" results.
Mr van der Walle, 39, who started his career as a designer, said: "Like many designers I got to a point where I thought things could be done better and like most people I thought, well I’ll come up with an idea for a trial.
"I found a programmer and it snowballed from there.
"I decided after having my one-year-old that I would quit my job and from thereon we just kept growing.
"It started with just working from home in the evenings to there being a team of 10 of us."
The online business has since gone from strength to strength, with clients now including Samsung, Disney, Adidas and other high-profile firms.
"We have been to the offices of Adidas and Disney and you suddenly realise that when you go to the studios and see things there that your software helped to create – you realise you are creating something big," added Mr van der Walle, who is originally from Cheshire.
The business helps designers to create posters quicker and more effectively.
And it is rather unique with very few other companies offering similar services.
Employees are based all around the world with a huge client base in America.
It means the Hereford employees will make the trip across the pond several times a year to meet customers and discuss ideas.
"We are experiencing growth of 150% per year. It's very humbling and is just fantastic," said Mr van der Walle, who lives in Hereford with his family.
And he plans to stay put in Herefordshire with the hope of increasing the current work force.
"I love the area," he said. "I remember coming here and seeing the green hills and now I have my family here – it’s brilliant.
"One of my passions is that it might be much easier for us to work in Bristol or Manchester or another big city but we really love being in Herefordshire and want to stay."
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