Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Viewport Industries & The 2012 Experiment

Posted on 17 November 2011 38 comments

Article illustration for Viewport Industries & The 2012 Experiment

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of bad clients, but I’m happy to say that — by and large — I have some pretty decent ones these days: clients who understand the creative process, appreciate the time projects take, and invest in ample research and development. In other words, apart from the odd bad seed who occasionally slips through the net, I haven’t got a whole lot to complain about, and I’m extremely fortunate to be in this situation. So, then, this next sentence may come as a bit of a shock:

I’m giving up client work in 2012.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. Sorry, I gave in to my desire to sound dramatic there. To clarify: for the majority of next year, I’ll be working on building and selling my own products, and the only client work I’ll be doing is a small amount that’s already booked in for January. I’ll likely open up for client work again around September (or before if the product stuff happens to go pear-shaped), but realistically I’m aiming for a client-free period between February and September. Actually, no, I really will be giving up client work for the entire year.

There are two key ingredients in this plan, which I’ve started referring to as ‘The 2012 Experiment’. The first is 8 Faces, which has already allowed me to massively cut down on client work. The second — and arguably most important — is Viewport Industries, a company I’ve just formed with my good friend Keir Whitaker. Did I just unveil a brand new company there? I think I did! So, say hello to viewportindustries.com and @viewportind. Hurrah! Keir has blogged about it, too.

Keir and I have been working together for quite some time: we met many moons ago when we both worked at Carsonified and have been friends ever since. Earlier this year we organised Insites Tour together, and with all sorts of ideas for products — both digital and physical — bubbling around every time we went for a beer, we eventually decided to form a company, ditch the majority of our client work, and make some cool shit. I’m not going to say too much about what we have planned yet, but the big thing is a sequel to Insites Tour… and it’s not what everyone’s expecting.

I’m excited. As much as I’m grateful for the calibre of my clients, I need a break. With 8 Faces, I’ve been lucky enough to experience how amazing it can be to make your own products; to truly be your own boss. And I need more of that feeling.


  1. Erik Foster

    Erik Foster

    17 November 2011 @ 05:38PM #

    Best of luck to ya! Look forward to seeing what transpires.

  2. Al Davies

    Al Davies

    17 November 2011 @ 05:39PM #

    Wow, congratulations Elliot! Hope everything works out brilliantly for you!

  3. Trent Walton

    Trent Walton

    17 November 2011 @ 05:41PM #

    Congratulations to you & Keir, and good luck with Viewport! Building a company with friends can be a fantastic experience. Do it to it!

  4. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker

    17 November 2011 @ 05:38PM #

    Good luck. I know how you feel about those bad ones. Hope it goes well.

  5. Keith


    17 November 2011 @ 05:45PM #

    Congrats guys, this sounds exciting! Best of luck. :)

  6. Kris Noblr

    Kris Noblr

    17 November 2011 @ 05:57PM #

    Congratulations Elliot and Keir! Very interested to see what Viewport Industries produces!

  7. Martin Lucas

    Martin Lucas

    17 November 2011 @ 06:02PM #

    Good luck, I can’t wait to see the cool shit!

  8. Rachel


    17 November 2011 @ 06:04PM #

    Best of luck to you both! Hope it works out brilliantly and looking forward to seeing what you both come up with :)

  9. Joe Seddon

    Joe Seddon

    17 November 2011 @ 06:10PM #

    Good luck Elliott, I can’t wait to see what you can Keir cook up!

  10. Patrick Haney

    Patrick Haney

    17 November 2011 @ 06:13PM #

    Congratulations sir! Can’t wait to see what sort of products and design bits you come up with in the twenty twelve.

  11. Debasish Panda

    Debasish Panda

    17 November 2011 @ 06:13PM #

    Okay, tracking progress of the new company from here! Good luck Elliot :)

  12. The Frosty

    The Frosty

    17 November 2011 @ 06:19PM #

    I would love to give up my client work in 2012! I’ve been working my way towards that with the creation of a few premium WordPress themes. Hopefully they help to make it a reality..

  13. John Macpherson

    John Macpherson

    17 November 2011 @ 06:33PM #

    Would absolutely love to be in a position to do that. One day! The dream…. Best of luck with it, intrigued to see the products.

  14. Lore!


    17 November 2011 @ 11:26PM #

    Good luck ;)

  15. Stevie McKeown

    Stevie McKeown

    17 November 2011 @ 10:17PM #

    Cant wait to see what you guys come up with, good luck.

  16. Ethan


    17 November 2011 @ 11:38PM #

    Damn—congratulations to both you and Keir! Cannot wait to see what you guys make next.

  17. John Keyes

    John Keyes

    18 November 2011 @ 12:13PM #

    Best of luck, looking forward to seeing the results.

  18. Luke Dorny

    Luke Dorny

    18 November 2011 @ 02:10PM #

    Holy crumb cake that’s a cool logomark!
    Good luck fellers! Sounds like this was bound to happen again. Congratulations!

  19. Spark Creative

    Spark Creative

    17 November 2011 @ 06:31PM #

    Congrats to you both on your new venture! Can’t wait to see what more you can offer to the design community.

    -Spark Team

  20. Casper


    17 November 2011 @ 07:54PM #

    Congrats! Really inspiring, I wish the best for you guys – it must be an awesome feeling to make the leap.

  21. J.W.


    17 November 2011 @ 11:49PM #

    best of luck! i’m sure it will result in great things!

  22. Jon Phillips

    Jon Phillips

    18 November 2011 @ 05:15AM #

    Congrats Elliot and Keir! Looking forward to seeing what you guys got in store :)

  23. JimJ


    19 November 2011 @ 02:03PM #

    Hard at work, 8faces is looking good

  24. MrQwest


    18 November 2011 @ 07:56AM #

    Congrats gents! Sounds like a great idea and lots of plans are afoot! I’ll echo everyone else’s anticipation towards your first announcement and—of course—finding out what the next generation of Insites is all about!

    Good luck!

  25. Toby


    20 November 2011 @ 06:57PM #

    Best of luck with Viewport. Having two experts like yourselves working together can only lead to awesome.

  26. Simon Clayson

    Simon Clayson

    18 November 2011 @ 08:48AM #

    Well, good luck to you both! Nice logo as well. If this was reality tellybox, you’d be “Living the dream!”

  27. Nora Reed

    Nora Reed

    18 November 2011 @ 07:17AM #

    Good luck! hope for the Best :)

  28. Julian


    18 November 2011 @ 03:16PM #

    Best of luck to you both! Hope it works out brilliantly and looking forward to seeing what you both come up with :)

  29. Mike O

    Mike O

    17 November 2011 @ 06:31PM #

    Cheers and good luck mate

  30. Nansy London

    Nansy London

    21 November 2011 @ 03:35PM #

    I understand you very well, all my life I have been working with clients and I can say that this is absolutely enormous stress and it is so hard to keep on smiling and behave nicely after an angry client has just ruined the day…

  31. Jody London

    Jody London

    22 November 2011 @ 08:25AM #

    Working with client is always tricky, even if you are in a good mood and act polite, there are people that will still be unsatisfied with your services so just try not to think about it so much! Just keep a smile on your face and this is what you can do!

  32. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    22 November 2011 @ 01:34PM #

    I’m blown away by all of your extremely kind comments, everyone! Thank you so much! It feels great to have your support and to know that so many talented people will be watching out for our stuff. Again: thank you!

  33. Renzo


    27 November 2011 @ 11:24PM #

    I am happy for you. it sounds really exciting! Best of lucks!

  34. Roger Vacation

    Roger Vacation

    01 December 2011 @ 01:20PM #

    Congratulations to you both on your new venture. I hope you will be even more successfull in future. Good luck!

  35. Martin Stark

    Martin Stark

    02 December 2011 @ 09:27PM #

    Wow, this is really exciting! Good luck guys, can’t wait to see what will be available.

  36. Cary


    03 December 2011 @ 05:56AM #

    Best of luck on the new venture, EJS – once you’re officially out of client work you may never go back :)

  37. Serafin Nuvio

    Serafin Nuvio

    04 December 2011 @ 06:03AM #

    All the best to you in your new venture! :)


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