Week 4

Business/project plans and communication

Lecture material

Case study 2 – Studio / Client Relationship

Emma Harverson and Lucy Warburton

“It just doesn’t end with handing over a manuscript does it? That’s just the same with design as well. You have to have this awareness of marketing and social media. It’s really important. Another aspect of the general direction of the book is the illustration. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you hear about Transmission and why did you approach us to do the design and illustration?”

I’m glad that Stuart and Lucy discuss promoting a book and how marketing plays a huge role in advertising/creating it – it’s not just books, it’s anything. Marketing is not an area I have a lot of knowledge in so I will consider looking into it further for this weeks challenge.

We also work with freelance copywriters, proofreaders, indexers. Obviously with inhouse we’ve still got our editorial teams, but we also have our sales teams, our marketing teams, our foreign sales teams.”
There is a huge benefit to working as a team in a collaborative approach as you will get insight from other people who are “outside of the box” and therefore produced better informed work. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own bubble sometimes (I know that from my day job) and someone just offering a fresh perspective can be invaluable at times. That also brings me to mention process improvement – and I notice that although admin tasks are now the usual go to for clients (emails, IM), calls are still really important and go a long way. Personality is difficult to interpret on text, and giving someone the time of day to have a conversation with 100% of your attention is a game changer. The client will feel valued and you will feel appreciated – it works both ways.

The set-up of their team is really interesting and goes to show that sales and marketing have a valid role in businesses behind the scenes, even in a modern society where the online world is taking over. The company could just use online platforms but still have staff covering areas which tells me they are doing well as a business. Maybe it’s due to this arrangement that the company are so organised and doing so well – it’s bound to play a part as customers will receive better customer service.
I also noted that there was a mention of having to shift your idea around to appeal to different countries; and this could apply to owning a business in the sense that you need to ensure you please various clientele with your work. It’s about being adaptable and efficient enough to switch up your processes and gain revenue, and always improving/expanding the growth of the business.

Overall, this lecture has shone a light on the importance of collaboration within a company, and communicating with your client in an efficient way by showing you value them.

Case study 2 – Studio Set-Up

Harry Makgill / Studio Makgill

“There must have been an impulse to design the best record sleeve in the world. That was probably all we wanted to do. It wasn’t, we want to be this many people, earning this much money. I think we wanted to earn money and design brilliant work. It was definitely the quality of work that was more important than the financial gain. You know, who we were going to work with and what we were going to work on, occupied us much more than targets. I don’t think that’s changed, really, I think that’s the way I set up my companies.”
This quote is a shining example of evidence that if you work hard, are passionate and see your work as a hobby rather than work then you will reap the benefits eventually.

I found it really useful that Makgill explained how the team is structured, and that he is often running about with clients whilst in-house designers can juggle multiple projects. This is something I need to consider with my collective business.
“The other thing is that beautifully simple thing. Work out what you do. What is it that you’re doing? You can change it as well. If you want to set up an agency, what does that agency stand for? Why is that agency there?”
This has made me think about Eco-Collective in more depth. I know I want to revolve the collective around the processes of sustainable design but I need to think about how I can apply this to the entire principle from the beginning to the afterlife.
The exhibitions could be made solely from wood for example, and there are forests that provide sustainably certified wood. The wood could then be recycled after an exhibition.