Gritt Celebrates Twentieth Anniversary

Mar 09, 2015 Created by: Georgina Elsmere
Posted in: Studio News

With twenty years of online marketing under their belts, Fazeley Studios based Gritt are one of Birmingham’s longest thriving and surviving organisations. This month, they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary.

Gritt have an impressive roster of clients, including Carters of Moseley, who recently won the Good Food Guide Reaturant of the Year, and Swan Products Ltd, who Gritt have helped resurrect a Birmingham brand from the 1920s.

Gritt Design (as it was first named) was born in a room with rabbit wallpaper, set up by John Griffiths, fresh from a Master’s degree at Birmingham City University. John set about using the ‘new-fangled digital stuff’ in any market that was interested. The company were very early adopters of CGI, directly plucked from the film industry, and in 1995 instantly began using it in print, point of sale, product visualisation and screen based exhibition presentations. The web was really in its infancy, but without knowing the boundaries of what they could or couldn’t do, they found themselves soon designing websites.

In 1995 the fledgling internet industry was made up of people from other industries, who were mostly software programmers and print designers. According to Google, there were just 23,500 websites globally that year. In the early days, the team did pretty much anything that there were offered. They gained some local companies including Dawes Cycles and Cadbury’s, which led to some interesting work further afield with brands such as Mr Kipling, Lego and Marks & Spencer.

John says, “We thought that we were at the cutting edge of digital technology because our first really expensive modem, was a rectangular metal box instead of one of those modems that hugged the old fashion telephone receivers! With top speeds of 14kbs per second, often the real witch-craft was making every graphic and photo super optimised with a maximum of 256 fixed colours for whole websites!”

For their anniversary year, Gritt are bringing to market their home-grown all-digital process, called The Vanguard. They’ve poured the last 20 years of knowledge, experience, successes and failures in, along with accessible and intelligent tech, to create an evolving process to help businesses conquer content marketing for people and Google robots.

John and the rest of the Gritt team don’t see the boundaries of digital, and are particularly interested in data collection and analysis. John says, “Everyday things are getting smarter and collecting information about us everywhere. Watches, health bands, smart contact lenses and soon smart cars, are just some of the things that digital will affect. The next big thing is working out how to interpret all that information and do something with it. Every time we look to see what’s next, we also look up at the Spitfire stencilled on our studio wall for inspiration and to remember what we’re all capable of achieving! If we have to blow our own little trumpet it’s to say, we make digital work for businesses, as oppose to doing digital work for businesses. That’s in our DNA.”

Gritt is an online marketing company based in Fazeley Studios. To find out more, visit or contact John Griffiths on 0121 288 5576, or email

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