16th August 2019

What is the essence of Chalk ?

By Damon Webb, Director and Founder of Chalk


So what is the essence of Chalk, what is our purpose??

Paul and I made up some words for our first website in 2008, words about grounding in landscape, communication and representation. All of those words still resonate today, eleven years on. It feels though like it’s time to re-appraise and re-evaluate, to crystalise our collective experience into a more refined and invigorated sense of purpose.

“…the most important brands make you feel something. They do that because they have something they want to change. And as customers, we want to be part of that change” (David Hieatt).

The companies that he’s referring to have a reason to exist over and above just making money and staying afloat, although of course both of these are important. Important, but not what will make us spring out of bed in the morning eager to come to work, or to stay for that occasional evening shift.

In the early days of Chalk our purpose was survival, in the midst of the economic crisis and subsequent recession. These days we know we can produce the product and have developed a reputation for innovation, approachability and reliability, we now need to crystalise our learning and experience into a shared sense of purpose, a voice, to communicate to potential and current clients, collaborators and colleagues.

We’ve produced some amazing work over the last eleven years, it would be easy to think we’ve found some formula that works, and then to freewheel, individually and as a company. This isn’t the formula for sustained growth and development though, personally or commercially. A shared purpose gives the impetus to keep innovating and developing.

We are a diverse bunch at Chalk, and that’s part of our character as a company. Each of us approaches challenges from a different angle and brings a different set of skills and opinions. A common purpose and voice does not need to stifle this diversity, instead it should celebrate it.

“A company is only as strong as the people that work in it. The people are only as strong as the culture that exists within the company. And the purpose of the company, its reason to exist, will define the culture”.

Our challenge for this month is to debate, refine and crystalise that collective sense of purpose, to find our voice. Watch this space.