We tailor our approach uniquely for every project. It’s really hard to generalize! Get in touch and we can chat about good next steps for you.
All of the dogs, none of the dogma
Simply put, we’re proud of being stretchy — in what we create, and in how we approach the work.
Some of our clients come to us looking for a soup-to-nuts creative partner, while others tap us as a pinch hitter for individual deliverables, like branding or web. And some people come to us without a defined ask at all, instead seeking our help to define the creative challenge before solving it.
We’re down with all of that. Our goal is always to create a plan that works for our clients’ needs, and to be honest about what makes the most sense for the creative work at hand.
Think of us as a camp counselor: We listen well, help you grow, and put out fires quickly.
Brains before eyeballs
Or, in other words, vision before visuals.
We always answer the “why” before the “what” — knowing that well-placed questions + conceptual strength are the foundation of any successful project. (If you’re looking for someone to execute design work without thinking about it, you’ve come to the wrong place.) Our process and deliverables are different for every client, but in general, here’s how we roll:
You’re the expert on your project, and we want to learn from you. Whether this is in a single kickoff meeting, or through a multi-step stakeholder engagement process, we feel that deeper inputs lead to deeper outputs. And we approach this stage with a beginner’s mind — believing that the best communicators are those who listen first.
In order to refine our understanding, it’s important for us to establish “conceptual guardrails” for what the project idea is and isn’t. We do this by asking thoughtful questions and gathering examples that provoke informative reactions. Sometimes, we’ll also propose and execute research to validate or challenge our foundational beliefs about the project — knowing that design is only effective when it’s based on good information.
Whether through visuals like mood boards, or verbals like brand/product messaging, we always create a cohesive “theory” of your project’s direction before we dive into design. This gives us a solid foundation for our work and clients an opportunity to participate creatively in the “bones” of a project.
With a comprehensive creative brief as our compass, we develop our initial design concepts. Generally, we like to provide multiple options in early design rounds, so clients can make a meaningful choice between equally-viable alternatives. This is valuable for the end result, but also for kindling the feedback it takes to get there.
In most projects, we include refinements in our process. We think this is important, because we want you to be thrilled-to-bits with the result.
What to expect when you’re expecting a brand.
That’s a bit like asking “how much for delivering a bag of groceries” — What’s in the bag? How far does it need to travel? Every project is different, so we’d encourage you to hit us up to discuss your specifics.
We’re always happy to talk about the ways we can tailor our approach and deliverables to fit your circumstances. We’ve worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to single-person startups, so we’re friendly to all — big and small.
In general, most projects have a core team of a designer and a creative producer. We scale up as necessary: We might add a web developer, a strategist, a copywriter – all depending on what you need! Regardless, we intentionally keep our team small in order to stay nimble + keep the flow of information direct. All of us at DEI are senior-level and client-facing, which we think makes for easy collaboration and delightful personal relationships with our clients.
Our favorite clients are those who are kind and excited. Beyond that, we love people who look to us as strategic partners; give us access to stakeholders; listen and speak in equal measure; and view the design process as an opportunity, not just as a deliverable.
Big ideas? Questions?
Invitations to happy hour?
Our inbox is always open at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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