I set out to join Eyescream and friends in Barcelona to find inspiration regarding my own enterprise and establish international business contacts for potential collaboration in the future. As I am looking to make a serious effort in starting up a small graphic design and illustration studio, it is crucial to have a strong professional network – also internationally since the market in Copenhagen and Denmark in general is highly competitive.

Eyescream and Friends is a young brand in the food retail sector that was created to change the way people view and interact with ice cream by offering a unique experience which is based around the following concept; you order an ice cream and then choose two dipping sauces. They will then prepare a small tray with the ice cream and the two sauces separately, so you can choose the amount of sauce in each bite. Your ice cream is also decorated with two little googly eyes. The experience is based around a very playful visual brand identity that employs character design and bright colours.

Although I am not looking to start a business in the food retail sector, I saw a lot of potential in working with the company because of its very visual profile and its strategic focus on market growth through social media, and e-commerce. Furthermore, it is a brand that operates across different borders and cultures which is also my aim.

After nearly four months of collaborating with the company, it is fair to say that I will be able to benefit from this experience for better or worse, when the time comes for me to venture into the start-up world. The specific experiences that have been the most fruitful for my own potential entrepreneurship has indeed been; to get hands-on experience in international marketing of a company catering to clients across different cultures and countries and being able to get acquainted with managing various social media outlets targeting specific markets and client segments. I’ve been able to work with growing the business through Instagram and Facebook which today are vital tools for small businesses for creating cost-efficient marketing.

I have also learnt a lot about the struggles of managing a small business in a fast-moving economy, and all the hectic day to day speedbumps you might encounter, and I am therefore more aware about the considerable and time-consuming challenges which lies in keeping a small business afloat which can be frustrating, and exhausting on both a professional and personal level. A particular example has been an experience of working intensely on an e-commerce project for the brand which in the end had to be aborted because the funding simply turned out to be insufficient.

During my stay I was able to add value for the company by applying my professional background as a graphic designer by making various visual material in different marketing efforts such as merchandising, social media and web-design which also helped me in expanding my client-portfolio. I also think it is safe to say that the ground has been made for future potential collaborations. All in all, a very inspiring and positive experience.

Here are some of my works in Eyescream and Friends: http://hcheide.dk/work/390/