This week’s Business Showcase feature is on a web and graphic design company called Collage Creative. Based in Munster, the company is ran by creative duo Ralph and Conor.
We spoke with Ralph to find out more about the company.
Q1 Hi Ralph. Can you tell me some more about the services your company offers?
We are a creative team and we work in both print and online areas of design. Our services cover all sorts of print projects, stationery, promo materials, books, logo and branding design. We also operate in online space: web design, responsive layouts, creation of social media assets and more general planning and strategic thinking (the purpose of a website, moving off-line business operations into online space, providing necessary technologies like e-commerce shops, online payments, booking systems etc.)
Q2 When was the company launched?
We started as Collage in 2011. It took us a couple of weeks to agree on the name though! I think all creative people are gifted with a procrastination gene so we’ve figured out having a partnership would help discipline each other to work hard and meet the deadlines.
Q3 Can you tell me some more about the people behind it?
Two of us make the Collage (thus the name) Conor is responsible for all print projects, branding and logo design. I’m responsible for all online jobs. Even though our skills overlap a bit we try to keep this division. This helps to maintain our partnership in a healthy condition.
Q4 What would you say makes your company stand out from your competitors?
We try to keep the relationship with clients very open and honest. Many of them come from non-technology businesses. When dealing with such clients we will help educate them about each part of the project – what we are doing and why. This may be suggesting colours (some colours may not work in certain industries), choice of paper, finish or format of the job. In the case of online projects – explaining what a domain or hosting is, why we’re picking one CMS system or technology over another.
This helps us gain trust when someone is working with us for the first time but also establishes Collage Creative as an expert. This is crucial when a good referral is helping you to win new clients.
Q5 You mentioned you do consultancy as well – usually with owners of badly designed websites. Do you find that this is a common problem for businesses?
It is, unfortunately. We’ve noticed after the collapse of the economy a lot of design studios went bust and many designers coming from the print space started “making websites”. The final effect is usually a nice looking website but lacking any plan behind it, no goal, no ideal client established, no SEO applied, no analytics running. It is especially frustrating for someone who has spent big money on a half finished project and they realise they’ve only paid for effectively a “pretty picture”.
Luckily a website is not 10,000 flyers printed with a typo – it can be fixed, gradually, to start working for the owner. We’ve seen a lot of appreciation after our involvement took place, so even though we didn’t get a chance to work on the site from the start we can still show our skills and spread the good word about Collage.
Q6 With regards to your portfolio so far, what percentage of your work would you say is split between online products and traditional print mediums?
Quantity wise – there’s probably more print projects, because they’re quicker to finish. Both me and Conor are very proud of the projects we’ve done so we try to keep a balance between the two disciplines. Collage Creative is still a “toddler” so we trying not to label ourselves as only doing one thing or the other.
Q7 We recently did a Business Showcase feature with a company that specialises in creating video ads. You mentioned that this is an area Collage Creative cover too. Are you finding an increase in customers looking for this service?
In the time of fast Internet connections, both home broadband and 4G, over the air video has become a very important part of a company’s identity. Videos get a decent amount of social network sharing, so even though we don’t have a film education ourselves, the local Institute of Technology has produced a decent amount of filmmakers willing to cooperate with us. Right now it’s more us who suggest to use video as another advertising channel, so a bit of education is necessary. We see this as an opportunity where we can definitely expand. Viddyad is an awesome service, but before anyone starts cutting their movies there has to be a plan in place – what’s the purpose of it, who it is addressing etc. and this is the space where we see our expertise comes in handy.
Q8 What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?
If you prefer old-school phone calls: 086 793 0722.
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase get in contact with me on [email protected]