BML looks like a small graphic design company based in London, judging by it’s central London phone number and it’s minimal but effective website at http://www.bml.co.uk
These days it’s actually just one freelancer, and he lives in Worcester. The only thing left in London is a telephone socket that diverts calls to his mobile, but there is also a lot of history too. Back in the 1980s, fresh out of school, and looking for any job that needed A-levels in both Art and Computer Science, the young Andrew Robinson started as an office junior at Burlington Graphics, a 3-person company making 35mm slides for business presentations with one of the very first computer graphics systems outside of film and TV. Andrew was quickly promoted through a range of job titles that actually described the same job of making business presentations look great, or failing that not driving their audiences to self-harm… or in the worst cases at least making them mildly decipherable. Clients included YSL (yes, I designed for Yves Saint Lauren… but only pie charts), Clinique (“more oxygen!”), Eutotunnel (the slides were great, but we didn’t use them, they were stuck on a train and got there late), the Ministry of Health (great fun, always paid on time) and the Ministry of Sound (dull as dishwater, never paid without a fight), as well as countless law firms, banks and city of London institutions. Over the years, Andrew has become a goldmine of useless information through working on training presentations, from the proper cleaning procedure for an industrial fizzy dinks dispenser through how to trade derivatives (including what LIBOR is) to the finer points of EC working time directive, and he knows enough correct use of section 206 orders in Local planning to be annoyed that councils rarely ever use them.
Over the course of the next 20 years, the business was regularly revolutionised, by PowerPoint, by data projectors, by Apple Macs and by divorces that first changed the name to Burlington Multimedia Limited, then lost everything but the initials. Andrew emerged as managing director of B.M.L., while the lawyers argued over who owned ‘urlington ‘ulitmedia ‘imited.
BML is currently just ticking over while Andrew studies for a B.A.(hons.) and then an M.A. in Creative Digital Media, which will qualify him to stop actually doing creative digital media and start just talking about it to rooms full of students, which sounds like far more fun, as it doesn’t involve having to put up with clients.