Are you envious how great your competitor looks, but find outsourced design services to be a bit pricey per job? You’ve looked at having an in-house graphic designer to feed them as much work as they can process, but the salary is a bit steep (and don’t forget the HR nightmares of permanent staff).
With Design Desk, you can have your cake and eat it. You can have all the design work you want, and only pay half the salary of a junior graphic designer. Besides the cost savings, you also get the benefit of the skillset of two seniors – A senior designer with 25 years experience over a range of different fields, and a web designer who can code. A total skillset that is not possible to find in one single freelancer/employee.
So what can I get?
We deliver rock-solid ideas, designs, illustrations and motion graphics that communicate in a simple, effective and direct way that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. The right design for the target market is an intellectual decision with lots of thought and doesn’t come from an all-night, drug induced “brainstorm session”.
Look in your cupboard at home. Most of your clothes probably come from Mr Price and Markhams. The experimental arty-farty statements we see on Fashion TV have no place in our regular lives, and our designs are no different – what’s all important is that the target market the product is aimed at responds positively. When this happens, the brief has been fulfilled and we’ve totally succeeded. Our aim is successful clients – not stroking our egos by winning awards from our peers.
Print design will never go away. There is something very special about handing over a unique business card or thumbing through a printed catalogue.
The problem is that designers today are not trained to product repro-ready artwork. Quality artwork at the proper resolution, in the right colour format, with bleed is rapidly becoming a lost skill. Stephen studied Graphic Design in the early 90’s (before computers were even mainstream) so you’re getting the real deal.
Your company logo & Corporate Image is the heart of your business’s brand. It’s going to influence the design of everything to come – now and in the future, so it’s really important to get it right. A good CI is not just legible, unique and appropriate to your service/industry, but it must also reproduce reliably and consistently. It must survive in black & white, be embossed into leather, engraved onto a plaque, cut out of steel, printed on a pen, made into a rubber stamp, be embroidered and presented tall and wide. If your pretty new 3D logo with drop shadows and light flares can’t do these things, then you’re guaranteeing a future “re-brand” which will require reprinting EVERYTHING.
A website is your digital HQ. Like it or not, everything online converges here. Whether it’s a single landing page or an extensive 500 page online magazine, it needs proper consideration so it delivers the goods.
We like to compare a website to an employee. When you’re looking to hire someone, you know their position and exactly what they’re expected to do. Same with your website. Is it expected to sell, promote, market, reference, train, distribute, educate, book, share or do something entirely different? If you have no idea what your site should be doing or what role in your company it should fill, we can consult and advise you here.
We work in HTML, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and PrestaShop to deliver nearly any type of website performing any function.
Emails are the little brother of websites. Effectively, they are 1 page websites in an email’s InBox with a very specific, focused purpose (eg: to sell, educate, remind, distribute or grow memberships). Done well, an email has the highest response rate among all social media and advertising platforms.
Email campaigns come with full analytics and reporting to guide you to create the most popular content for future emails.
Video is the fastest growing media on the internet. YouTube is the world’s 3rd largest search engine (second only to Google & Facebook) and social media platforms are scrambling to accommodate it or risk becoming obsolete. Demand is so high, that even Twitter what was built on the principle of 144 text characters, now supports video!
Run a YouTube channel, vlogging, staff communications from the CEO, unboxing of products, training, corporate videos… the sky is the limit. Anything you can deliver in writing, can now be delivered as a video, just with so much more impact through a multi-sensory experience.
Okay, sometimes video is a bit overkill when you want a 5 second long animated something that’s enough to stand out in a social media feed. Animated GIFs and Plotographs (or cinegraphs) are perfects for this. Without audio and looping perfectly, these are great video substitutes that are created from a still graphic or photograph.
Whiteboard Marker Videos
A simple 1 minute script explaining something fairly complex is best delivered as a whiteboard Marker vdeo. We draw a 5 frame cartoon, and show each frame being drawn on the screen. The beauty of what we do, is that we actually draw the frames you want to appear – we don’t rely on miss-matchingstock pictures or force you to settle on images that are “close enough”. You should not need to re-write your script to match the cartoon image.
These are 360 degree photographs that have been pieced together into an interactive tour that’s hosted online. This is the next generation of the online gallery. You can embed text, images and even videos to expand the expand the experience increase the information being delivered.
This is ideal for any public space that takes bookings or is for rent. Conference centers, restaurants, holiday lodges, campsites, showrooms, virtual offices, galleries sports facilities… the list goes on and on. By giving a sense of scale and displaying the relationships between the images, it removes the risk of poor holiday bookings and reduces the need for site visits by event co-ordinators. (Note: all imagery can be edited to deal with potential security concerns, eg: erase alarm keypads and passive sensors)
We don’t know anything about dentistry, chemical engineering or bio-mechanics, so why should we expect you to know the digital space, color psychology, universal symbolism, appropriate web platforms, typography and and the other goodies we work with on a daily basis to better establish your brand or communicate your message or position your business online.
We can advise you on all areas of visual communication before you blindly jump in and potentially waste money. We can also do assessments and reporting on existing media, e.g.: websites, branding and corporate image.
You can even use us to interpret quotes from other designers. Companies tend to use a lot of jargon and advertising BS to pretend to be smarter than they really are to impress you. We’re more than happy to be used as an outside consultant to help you make an informed decision between quotes and their relevance to your business.
We are happy to share our knowledge and up-skill you and your staff. Some might see this as teaching ourselves out of future work, but we see it as empowering and raising the levels of respect for our industry.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are very capable individuals who believe they can do everything themselves. Considering how social media and many other online services are intended for self-service, this is largely true, however, it’s a minefield out there and who has time to learn from the school of hard knocks?
Our workshops hold your hand through services you can do yourself. We can’t transfer 20 years of skill and knowledge in one day, but we can help you avoid common mistakes, use [legal] resources for free, create a consistent corporate image, make files that print reliably and generally avoid making material that looks amateurish and homemade.
All these services are available in Unlimited monthly retainers, set quoted project prices or at plain old hourly rates.
How can we deliver all this at such a low monthly rate?
A designer’s day loses many, many hours to admin. We have to log our time, create timesheet reports, generate quotes, follow up with those quotes, invoice, chase payments etc. All too often, we practically have to do the whole job just to figure out what to quote. All of this time is not billable. This means we have to inflate our productive time to cover this lost time just to stay in business. (We all do this.)
If we don’t have to do all this, then our productive time doubles and our effective hourly rate halves. We do what we enjoy, and you get a great price – everyone wins!