David Pannell and Craig Burgess delivered a presentation about their work in the Design Mechanics, which also included a question and answer session. This journal entry is a summary of this presentation.
Dave Pannell is the company director of the Design Mechanics. After initially working for other companies in advertising, he set up his own advertising agency in Huddersfield, called D.P. Design and Marketing, and worked for large companies such as McVities, but realised he enjoyed being more involved with smaller companies.
He then set up the Design Mechanics with a business partner with a web design background. Initially the company set-up was too large to manage and this led to complications, so the company was stripped down to just three people, which included Craig Burgess as a web and graphic designer. Craig is a former student on this course. After his first year on the course he worked part time as a designer for a vehicle renting company, which he said was a steep learning curve.
With this three-man team, the company then started off small as originally advised. Currently, the company claims to have around 800 clients.
One key feature of this company is its marketing strategy. This includes a price list in the brochure, which appeals to smaller companies as it shows transparency and reduces the mystique of design agency work. They also combine both web and print in their products as the design agency companies that are struggling are the ones that are too specialised; and a good logo or design will work across both web and print media types.
The company asks for a twenty five percent deposit from a client before work starts, to cover against the client pulling out. Another technique to discern seriously interested clients is to ask them to visit the Design Mechanics offices.
The Design Mechanics set out to offer value for money but still provide good quality and exciting design work.