What is a Creative Studio?
Creative studios may also be referred to as a branding agency, branding design studios, creative agencies, creative branding agencies, creative web studios, brand creative studios, design studios, among many others. Long story short, a creative studio brings graphic designers, art directors, and strategic thinkers together to create and maintain brands that are unique and memorable. The best are one stop shops for handling all of the branding, marketing, and creative needs a business may have.
A Creative Studio...
- creates clarity when things seem complex.
- has processes to bridge artwork and messaging.
- helps organizations gain momentum.
- offers fresh perspectives.
- keeps the brand’s promise and guide as their north star.
- develops consistent and meaningful touchpoints.
- stays in their lane.
- integrates with partners and internal marketing teams.
- generates professional graphic design ready for implementation.
- empowers marketers and brand leaders.
A Creative Studio is not...
- a one-stop shop.
- upcharging for things we don't do.
- purchasing ads on your behalf.
- developing websites or apps.
- shooting or editing videos.
- bogged down with corporate structure.
- locking you into contracts or retainers.
- just a group of designers.
Our team of graphic designers, art directors, and strategic thinkers is often asked: “What do you do?” Some professionals can answer that more easily than others. It's simple to envision someone at work when they say they're a carpenter or work in IT; however, when we're inevitably asked and say that we work at a branding agency, there's a lot left to the imagination.
Some people assume that we're graphic designers, and although they're correct, that's only the tip of the iceberg. In this blog post, we'll give you a comprehensive overview of what Quill Creative Studio is, what it is not, and how we use the processes of creative problem solving and collaboration to create strong brand strategies and experiences. We'll help you understand the benefits of working with a branding agency like ours and when is the right time to engage.
Agencies, which we're typically grouped together with, come in many shapes, sizes, and specialties. A full service marketing agency, for example, has a wide range of disciplines, which may include services such as marketing planning, copywriting, graphic design, video production, photography, web development, and digital advertising. Working with a full-service marketing agency can be beneficial because of their range of services, but can also be frustrating due to an organizational structure that typically places an account manager and project manager between you and the person executing your work. This can lead to increased costs and slower response times for even the simplest requests. If you end up disappointed in the relationship and want out, it can be an uphill battle since they've had their hands in every aspect of your marketing, web management, vendor relations, etc.
If your goal is to retain a feeling of ownership with your brand and lean on a branding agency to accomplish tasks you're not comfortable or equipped to handle, but without feeling like you're strapped into an overbearing relationship, working with a studio like ours might be the right fit. We'll coach your team until you feel confident leading branded initiatives and campaigns. This is where a studio differs from agencies. Agencies want to do it all. Studios play a supportive role to provide flexible assistance where needed.
Often seen as the hub of marketing and business development, a branding studio like ours is a great place to start, especially if you're unsure where to turn. Since we're specialized, we've fostered lasting relationships with other niche partners over the years for services like web development, digital marketing, photography, video, and public relations, and are able to distill your goals and recommend partners to join in the effort. Since each of our partners are also specialized, you can trust that they're the best at what they do. Something that makes us unique is that we refuse to "white label," or make it seem like these partners work under Quill. You'll always know who you're working with and their invoices go straight to you without markups.
We focus our in-house branding efforts in three core areas of competency. These areas are brand strategy, brand identity, and brand support. You'll notice that we reference “brand” with each service, and that's by design. Everything we do is to move brands forward with planned intention as efficiently as possible. We do it by using what we call our "studio model," our own organizational model designed to increase efficiency and shorten the bridge between clients and the team doing the work.
We'll dive deeper into how our branding agency model works and how it benefits our clients in a future blog post but for now, let's focus on who does the work and what our brand services accomplish. Our team consists of graphic designers, art directors, and strategic thinkers who work in tandem with clients and partners to create and maintain brands that are unique and memorable.
Starting with brand strategy, we uncover and highlight the features of an organization and work to carve out a unique place in the market to position them with a value-driven foundation. Everything starts with strategic brand planning because it informs messaging and design. This is where we establish competitive awareness, brand positioning, brand values, and messaging platforms to give the brand potential energy.
After that, we move on to the brand identity, which is when we establish the visuals and personality to bring the organization's spirit to life. If done well, the forward-facing design and messaging components will communicate the brand's standpoint, ensuring that everything unique about the company stands out.
Finally, we stand by the established brand with à la carte creative support through campaign concept development, collateral creation, packaging design, and consulting. Essentially, once an organization has an established brand strategy and identity, we're here to make sure everything remains consistent and they never feel alone while moving branded initiatives forward.
If you're an in-house marketing manager lacking support, or a business owner who wants to leverage the long-term power of brand strength, having a branding team like ours standing by will ensure you move forward with intention.
There are a lot of agencies, studios, and freelancers out there, but we hope this gives you a better understanding of what Quill Creative Studio stands for and where we focus. We're more than just logo creators or another design firm – we're strategic partners who integrate and empower professionals toward brand success.
Schedule a virtual coffee chat today to hear more about our studio and share your brand's story.