Our story

We’ve come a long way since we started 10 years ago. It’s been quite a journey, so please join us as we look back on some of the highlights we had along the way.

2005

Andy and Jeremy announce Clearleft during their first ever conference talk at SXSW

Clearleft Limited is incorporated. Andy starts running it on the side while finishing off writing CSS Mastery

We win our first major project, to redesign the Lancaster Business School Website

Jeremy publishes his first book DOM Scripting

We organise the first dConstruct conference in just 6 weeks

It’s the second ever web design conference in the UK

Tickets sell out in a record-breaking half an hour

We move into our first real office, above the old Evening Argus offices on Dyke Road, Brighton

2006

We help the US social network Ning redesign their video service

We move to new, bigger offices in the recently refurbished Lighthouse Building

2007

Jeremy’s follow up book, Bullet Proof AJAX, becomes an instant best seller

Clearleft head over to Austin, Texas for SXSW en masse. The Great British Booze-up becomes an official SXSW party

To help popularise usability testing we create Silverback, a low-cost usability testing tool for Mac OS X

dConstruct increases capacity to 600 people, moves to the Brighton Dome and sells out in 24 hours

Silverback is used by the Obama team in the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections

2008

We launch our Internship programme aimed at giving designers & developers a chance to learn new skills

Our first ever intern is Emil, from Sweden

We create one of the first responsive sites in the UK for St Paul’s School, London

Clearleft redesigns the Sci-Fi channel for NBC. This is the start of a long relationship with NBC Universal which sees us redesigning 5 TV channels, their VOD service and internal asset management system

With increasing browser support for font embedding, we start working on our Fontdeck start-up, a product we hope will be the first webfont service on the market

We win the project to redesign the WWF International website

2009

To help the growing number of people getting into User Experience Design, we launch UX London

It’s the first dedicated UX conference in Europe

Speakers include:

  • Don Norman
  • Jared Spool
  • Jeff Veen
  • Luke Wroblewski
  • Peter Merholz

Clearleft start working with the BFI on a variety of projects including the London Film Festival

Clearleft wins the contract to redesign Gumtree after stiff competition with some very strong overseas agencies

Beaten to launch —just— by TypeKit, Fontdeck becomes the second commercial font service on the web

Andy joins the advisory board for SXSW

Clearleft voted web design agency of the year in the first ever .Net Magazine awards

2010

We’re asked to redesign the Mozilla Add-ons site, a web property serving 2 million people per day

SXSW has become an annual pilgrimage for Clearleft, with (almost) the entire company attending. We run 5 sessions at the conference

We’re asked to redesign Channel 4 News, the first of many successful projects and a long-standing relationship with Channel 4

Jeremy Keith publishes his concise guide HTML5 for Web Designers with A Book Apart

James Box and Cennydd Bowles publish Undercover UX: a pragmatic guide to making UX work in real companies

Wired Magazine names Richard and Andy as two of the 100 most influential people in the UK digital sector

2011

After 3 years at the Cumberland Hotel, we decide to re-invent the UX London format and start looking for exciting new venues around the Capital

We launch Ampersand, the first conference dedicated to digital typography on the web

We move to the largest office in the Lighthouse Building

We rent a small farm on the Welsh borders for a week and take the whole team away to hack on new ideas.

The concept of HackFarm is born, and we create (and ship) MapTales

As a result of our donation from Silverback we’re invited to a lovely lunch with the Gorilla Fund, incidentally meeting Sigourney Weaver

Working with Dennis Publishing we create The Week iPad app, bringing the publication to a whole new audience and topping the App Store charts

Clearleft is voted web design agency of the year by .Net magazine, for the second time

2012

Channel 4 launches Scrapbook

A brand new lifestyle service we designed along with the team at Channel 4 and the great folks at ThoughtWorks

With the generous help of friends and companies we setup the world’s first Open Device Lab to support local developers

The whole company treks to Dorset for the second annual HackFarm. We conceive a personal political opinion-tracking service called Politmus and document the entire process at hackfarm.org

We help Bobby Johnson design Matter – a beautiful reading experience for this independent publisher of unmissable journalism about science and technology

We launch the dConstruct archive, a repository of insightful talks from some of the brightest minds in the industry spanning the last 8 years

The office heads stateside for Brooklyn Beta, and we start scouting venues for our first conference across the pond: Ampersand NYC

Clearleft and our friends at Headscape go head-to-head in a Go-Karting death match

We sign contracts on our brand new office at 68 Middle Street in the centre of Brighton

The new office will be our home for many years to come — and let us grow as needed

2013

We set up a small incubator scheme called Clearleft Labs, to help entrepreneurs benefit from our design skills

In response to the industry’s continued interest in responsive design, we launch Responsive Day Out, the world’s first conference dedicated to the subject.

Tickets sell out in under 48 hours

With the prospect of the new office at 68 Middle Street we grow to 15 employees, with every intention of hiring more

We decide to re-invent UX London with a new venue and format and ticketing structure

The Channel 4 News website scoops ‘Best News Site Of The Year’ and ‘Best Website Of The Year’ at the Online Media Awards

We officially move into the new Clearleft HQ at 68 Middle Street.

We celebrate with beers and a BBQ out on the back patio

Our third Hack Farm is the most successful yet, with a dozen physical products & digital services conceived and prototyped

Our 2013 graduate internship comes to an end with the launch of the social music concept, Chüne

2014

We start work on our biggest international project yet: an extensive new consumer web application for Nordea Bank.

Our event space at 68 Middle Street really takes off, as we host community meet ups (Async, Ladies That UX, She Says) workshops, film screenings and social events

We win the tender for one of only 7 places on the BBC’s new digital design agency roster

dConstruct turns 10! The grand-daddy web conference of them all comes of age. We can’t believe how far we have come…

Local digital artist—and friend of Clearleft—Seb Lee-Delisle uses us as willing guinea pigs for his new workshop: Stuff That Talks To The Interwebs, or ST4I. The auditorium at 68 Middle Street is the perfect venue for two days of hardware hacking.

2015

Productivity goes through the roof as we get our first professional coffee machine installed, courtesy of Small Batch

The entire company absconds to Herefordshire for the fourth Hackfarm.

Clearleft hosts a series of events at 68 Middle Street for Spring Forward, a month-long celebration of the role of women in digital culture.

Longtime friend of Clearleft, Dave Gray runs a sketching workshop for the whole company.

At UX London, we unveil the brewing arm of Clearleft; Beerleft. Our first offering is an easy-drinking little number called Goldenrod.

Richard launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund a book on web typography. It was chosen as a Staff Pick and blew threw its funding goal.

We throw a party to celebrate the company’s 10th year. What happens at Clearleft’s 10th birthday party stays at Clearleft’s 10th birthday party.