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Phantom Phour

Phantom Pham celebrate

Words: Emily Shorvon

Creative digital agency and friends of Ozone, Phantom, share how their team celebrated their fourth birthday as a family, which saw an interpretation of their own thoughts and ideas into a collaborative artwork.

In 2013, three co-founders and myself created Phantom, to enable us to do exactly what we love. Phantom is a digitally lead creative agency, but not in the sense that we only care about making pretty things. The very essence of Phantom is to shapeshift – to adapt and evolve to any challenge, pushing ourselves and our craft beyond expectation. 

We enjoy being a young agency, excited every day about what we do. We love challenging the perception of what it means to be an agency and confront what we can create within our environment. We treat Phantom as a brand first, and as a result, we are extremely conscious of producing valuable work that we are 100% proud to put our name to. We achieve this by collaborating with people and brands that have inspired us to do amazing work.

Phantom was built from the studio up, creating an environment that centres around the needs and ambitions of the team. While most London agencies rely on a roster of freelancers, we’ve always believed in investing in the growth and development of an in-house team. Every Phantom is full-time and permanent, fully immersed in our brand as well as those of our clients. We refer to each other as the Pham, which although probably originated as a joke, it’s actually a really accurate description for our whole atmosphere. 

Each year, we have a tradition of throwing a ‘birthday’ party of notoriously epic proportions. It is more than an event for Phantoms and our extended Pham, it’s a huge celebration of all that we have achieved together and a chance for us to reflect upon our future. Each year redefines who we see ourselves as, the challenges we will overcome, and how we will elevate ourselves for the year ahead. 

As we approached our fourth year of Phantom, it felt like a particularly momentous milestone. Four years symbolised a departure from being labeled a ‘start-up’ and marked the achievement that sadly, only around half of businesses in London live to reach. In our third year, we had won and delivered projects that were typically reserved for large network agencies, won industry awards and welcomed the best digital talent in London to our team. ‘Phour’ felt like an elevation to the next level, and one that was important for us to celebrate and meet head on. 

The core expression of this is the limited edition Phantom drop we do for each of our parties. 

This saw us release boxed vinyl Phantoms, an array of apparel, stickers, a coffee collab with our friends at Ozone and a custom made gashapon (capsule toy) machine dispensing unique Phantom gear, all developed within the team.

This year’s most personal piece for us was a book we entitled Phour, created to capture a moment in time from the perspective of all Phantoms. We have a strongly held belief that every single person is intrinsically creative and that creativity itself isn’t restricted to any particular role or background. This lead us to put an open call out to the whole team, asking for their artistic contribution to the pages of the book in any form of expression:

“Phour.

In celebration of our fourth year. This book is a collaborative interpretation of the number 4, as imagined by Phantom.”

We received back a beautiful, eclectic collection of wonderfully random art pieces. A best friend’s hospital IV, memories of Nordic days with only four hours of sunlight and surrealist illustrations of our studio. Everyone’s interpretation was different, inspired and represented the feelings and thoughts of an exact time in our history. 

We wanted each book to be a part of something larger, a one-off and individual piece, each slightly imperfect but representative of dedication and artistic input of a number of people. After exploring bespoke production techniques, we became determined to make each book a unique piece of art in itself.

We created 12 larger than life paintings, designed by a talented artist on our team and contributed to by a number of people across the studio. Each of the giant boards were cut into pieces and transformed into the covers encasing our books, becoming a custom artwork individually numbered as a gift for each of our guests. 

Our vision for our fifth year sees us expand our studios internationally, tackle the challenge of finding and fostering young talent in the best possible way and further development of our own products and inventions. Even so, with each year being another milestone reached, it’s impossible to predict what shape Phantom will be manifested into for Phive. For us, that has always been the beauty and excitement of the journey.  

We love making Phriends and extending our Pham. Never hesitate to reach out, or visit us at our London and Auckland Studios.