We do it all day, every day for our clients. We love it and we’re good at it. But… try and design a logo or a website for yourself – no chance! It is the most difficult thing to do as a creative. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because you become your own client? Or, you’re too scared to hear what you have to say about your own work. Or maybe it’s because you have no yardstick, no second opinion, no alternate viewpoint from which to draw a line in the sand and move forward from.
So this has been my primary excuse for not starting a blog for our site, which I have been meaning to do for the last 5 years. Well, I have run out of reasons not to anymore. A new year is as good as it gets to start something new – and on the back of last year, nothing seems abnormal any more. A perfect storm to launch a maiden voyage.
We are now approaching 10 years with this thing called Collectiv, and what a ride it’s been. I clearly remember being so excited about the first job that came in which was a new CI for a business. I still get that feeling when a new job lands! In our first year we did 3 websites, farming out the dev. Last year we did 27 new sites, all completely inhouse, all dev’d by our full time Rockstar Webmaster. There has certainly been tough times, usually in the form of late or non payment. I’ve learned that cashflow is everything in a small business. I’ve also honed my invoicing and book keeping skills, those old school professors would be very surprised! Every job that comes in has its own challenges, but I don’t consider these as issues, it is part of the job – actually it is the job. Design’s fundamental role is problem solving – is the credo we live by. No two jobs are the same, even if they’re in the same category, they all have different requirements, and it’s that spice that makes this profession so exciting.
The landscape has changed and continues to do so. Gone are the glamour days of TVC’s. Social Media is the top media channel now. Everyone has a mac these days, design software is freely available to the masses, so the barrier to entry into what used to be a very niche and specialized industry has disappeared. I’m still naive enough to believe that good work will stand its ground and persevere, but there is no doubt there are more agencies than necessary, all fighting over the same pie. If you look at some of the work out there, there is constantly loads of room for improvement, so I suppose it is my sworn duty to try and remedy that. One industry that has certainly been hit harder than ours is our photographer brothers and sisters. Cell phones have enabled everyone to become a photographer, and the stock sites have killed shoots. It really is adapt or die.
So where to from here? There is a lot of uncertainty about the upcoming year, big change is imminent. So let’s embrace it, work with it. We’ll continue to do our best for our clients. We will pivot and change tack where necessary, but we will also push back and stick up for ourselves. My aim for the blog is to give people a glimpse up our skirt, we’ll showcase our offerings as well as some of our work. We’ll share insights and hopefully some interesting content from all departments. But most importantly let’s try and have some fun!
Happy 2021! Be safe and strong.