Blog

Agency Collaboration

Over the past several years we have worked on many projects as design collaborations with other talented agencies in the city. In fact, most of our clients are engaged with some other creative agency in one way or another.

Collaboration

While we believe we bring high value, strong design capabilities to the table; we completely understand the need for brand consistency and respect the roll of brand stewardship.

Recently

  • Tourism Canmore (Sweatshop Creative)
  • GreenDrop/Buzz Boss (C&B Advertising)
  • Excel Homes (DeAnne Bedier)
  • Morrison Homes (Fulcrum, Cult, Vovia)

Past Collaborations 

  • Squeeze(now Everbrave), Ball Creative, Kicker, Vovia, Non-fiction, Mosaic Studios, BizBoxTV

Sliding Scale of Success

Over the course of collaborative projects we have had various degrees of design control dictated, and various levels of project success. We have found the levels of design control and success to be strongly related. 

In cases where design direction and assets are given in a collaborative and cooperative manor the end product becomes the best of the larger team’s skill set, cost controls are respected, and the overall return on investment is much larger and grows quicker.

In cases where design is given in an inflexible format we typically find timelines are extended, additional change requests are made, and costs go up due increased man hours on all teams. The end product has resulted in clunkier content management, more client involvement, and substantial shorter shelf life for the site(s).

We are flexible in how we take design direction for other agencies. We propose the partnering agency to create a strong brief and brand guideline and/or a moodboard to demonstrate the details that impact functionality. This ensures design is delivered in a format that focuses on goals, aesthetic consistency, and nurtures co-operation. 

Most importantly it allows us to bring our expertise into the equation. We can then build sites that perform better, scale efficiently, and do not need replacing often.

Executing Delivered Designs 

Web design is a complicated and quickly changing medium. We regularly turn down work if we are not invited to add our design expertise. Not because we are looking for a bigger slice of the pie – but rather to ensure project success while adhering to our admittedly high standards. The importance of all parties providing input on a project is vital, without the sharing of ideas the project is no longer collaborative. 

I could create an illustration or a 3D rendering of what I want my new office to look like, but that doesn’t take advantage of his [the contractor’s] great ideas. It’s dictation, not collaboration. Instead, I show him a Pinterest board my wife and I created. I tell him that I love these beams or this mix of materials, and we can have a conversation. I revise my ideas through his expertise, and vice versa. This is how building a website should go.

Design in any industry is far more than aesthetic. High calibre design is the marriage of aesthetic with function. The following elements are both inseparable from, and contribute to the appearance of the site. As we design the site, we’re constantly thinking through the interplay between these elements and often need to work through small changes in the development process to make the best possible solution. 

  • Making the site look and function well from smaller mobile devices, up to extra large, high density displays
  • Considering how search engines see and rank the site
  • Effectively implementing the selected content management system
  • Working against third party systems or technologies in the mix 
  • Strategically building affordance for future expansion

A big thanks to all great folks at different shops we are working with, and have had the privilege to work with over the years. 

Although we are always striving to improve the process, we have arrived at a place with strong guidelines for working with additional creative partners on client work. This allows us to provide the creative horse-power of a larger team, with minimal additional overhead.