Wednesday, 27 January 2016

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Costings

As a group, we sat together and devised a very rough costing sheet for the startup. We considered the initial startup costs, the monthly costings and the yearly ones as well. These figures are very rough and would be easy to re-evaluate and would most likely fluctuate quite a lot in the early stages of the business finding its feet. 

Startup Costs:
Studio Deposit: £100
5 x Mac Mini’s: £4645
5 x Monitors: £600
5 x Adobe CC: £3912
A3 Printer/Scanner £150
Studio Stationary: £400
Dropbox: £660
Marketing: £1000
Insurance: £400
Domain Name: £10
Total: £7123

Monthly Costs:
Studio Rent: £200

Internet & Phone: £30
Total: £230

Yearly Costs:
Dropbox: £660
Insurance: £400
Domain Name: £10
5 x Adobe CC: £3912
Total: £4932

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Business Models

When setting up a business it is important to choose the right business model, choosing the wrong one could end up with the business losing money and not succeeding in the long term. In our group of 5 we set out to each research a particular business model. This way we could all gather separate information and see which one would suit us as a group best. 

People often throw around the term business model when discussing start-up businesses. But just what is a business model? Which ones work best and why? How do you know if your start up has the right one?
A business model explains which consumer pain your start-up chooses to relieve, why your solution works better than competing ones and how big a wedge a company can drive between what customers are willing to pay and the costs.

The business model is at the core of any successful startup, because no matter how cool an idea is or how unique something may seem, a startup must have a viable way of making money that is worthy enough for future investment and to sustain itself.

It is quite difficult to define, invent or apply a business model for our startup, because it is not like we are actually selling any products as such other than our creativity. For a set up of our nature, we will obviously need to market ourselves effectively to attract clients. We would initially need to take on a number and variety of briefs to sustain ourselves and the once we have established ourselves locally and nationally, we would be able to slow down and dedicate more time to individual briefs. 

I read an interesting article outlining a number of reasons behind the failure of a number of startup businesses. The reasons were fairly obvious and are good to bear in mind for future development. 

Reason 1: Market Problems -A major reason why companies fail, is that they run into the problem of their being little or no market for the product that they have built.
Reason 2: Business Model failure - Many startups assume that because they will build an interesting web site, product, or service, that customers will beat a path to their door. That may happen with the first few customers, but after that, it rapidly becomes an expensive task to attract and win customers, and in many cases the cost of acquiring the customer (CAC) is actually higher than the lifetime value of that customer (LTV).
Reason 3: Poor mamagement of the business in the starting weeks/months
Reason 4: Running out of cash 
Reason 5: Product/services problems

OUGD502 - Brief 02 - Taking Care of Business - Services We Offer

Screeeeen would position its self as an interdisciplinary studio offering a wide range of creative solutions and services to potential clients. Our main interests would be in creating identities and promotional materials for various brands, products, exhibitions, shows and so on. Interdisciplinary means to have multiple branches of knowledge in a certain area. Personally, I think being interdisciplinary is a massive advantage in today's creative industries. It gives you a competitive edge over other collectives that offer basic individual services such as solely designing for screen or packaging for example. I am also a big believer of not placing yourself in a box or pigeon hole as a young practising creative designer.

Each member of the group has different strengths, passions and interests, instantly making us interdisciplinary in our approach to the design/creative process. I decided to look online for some design studio set ups that position themselves as being interdisciplinary to take inspiration and guidance from. I came across a few very interesting set ups who also have relatable manifestos to accompany their approach to design and wider visual communication.

YES is a art direction, technology and design studio based in London founded in 2004. They work with a variety of diverse clients who focus on culture and commerce. This studio is interdisciplinary and enjoys taking on briefs and projects from a wide range of sources. Their main passions and skills as a studio lie in art direction, branding and identity, areas that we would ideally cater for. 

MPL (RAM, Paul McCartney Archive Collection) by YES. Image No.127.

Echo Records (Moloko Catalogue) by YES. Image No.521.;_print,masp,brazil

Casa Rex is an international highly awarded house of design, with offices in São Paulo and London. Headed up by Gustavo Piqueira, a multi-cultural team of about 50 people develop strategic design for global consumer brands; original design for editorial, corporate and environmental projects; and cutting-edge experimental design for anything from typefaces to homeware. What I find special about this studio is how diverse the team is culturally. I think there is great value in learning about and exploring other cultures to your own. There is a lot to be absorbed from different people from around the world, ultimately forming a rich, diverse creative attitude and style. Again this studio is interested in identity and branding and designs for a wide range of mediums both print based, analogue and digital.

HERE Studio - their manifesto is simple but effective. They design everything from brands to bars to bakeries to books. Their collective experience covers both brand and design disciplines, guiding clients from initial ideas to finished realised projects. They claim to build from the roots up, their design process is simple, define and understand the issues and needs, translate the roots into a cultural experience that engages the client and audience/target market. I really admire and appreciate the aesthetic to their work. It ranges from clean, modernist and considered to quite expressive, abstract and pattern based. This diversity in style and approach to work is inspiring.



Thursday, 21 January 2016

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Studio Space Research

Studios expose the rich diversity of artists practice, broker new relationships, collaborations and events and play a pivotal role in a city’s cultural and creative identity. Screeeeen would benefit from operating in a fairly cheap temporary studio space to find our feet and begin interacting and engaging with the creative scene of Leeds and the North of England in general. During my time at LCA, I have heard a lot of people talk about Duke Studios in Leeds and how helpful they are in getting start-ups off the ground. I decided to look at them in a bit more detail to see what all the commotion was about. 

Duke Studios offer a wide range of facilities that would be very useful to us as a group of young professionals. Renting a studio would cost a minimum of £360 per calendar month and the contract lasts for a minimum of 12 months. This would be a decent set up, but I am sure that there are cheaper options in terms of rent. The location of Duke Studios is another major selling point. Its centrally located within Leeds and is close by to similar businesses, creative hubs and is within walking distance of Leeds Art Quarter which would be highly beneficial to our group. 

Duke Studios also have spaces available to rent at Munroe House, which is the gateway to Leeds Art Quarter. This would be an ideal location to set up in, and is reasonably priced. 

I then decided to look at what else Leeds has to offer startup creative's. I came across East Street Arts. This organisation is unique in the fact that they offer artists affordable, diverse and managed studios based within active and inspiring environments. Over the last twenty years studios have remained a constant in the work we do in support of artists.

Studio holders are an important part of our community and we work hard to ensure we have the right kind of space for you. We welcome artists working across art forms and at different stages of their careers. They currently have over 200 artists and groups working across our range of venues in the UK. In Leeds we host studios at Patrick Studios, Barkston Studios and Union 105, and in Gateshead Old Town Hall. In addition we have a variety of studios within our Temporary Space scheme.

Studio benefits include:
• Annual Open Studio event
• Professional development sessions
• Facilities and equipment
• 24 hour access
• Access to meeting and social spaces
• Wireless broadband

All our studio holders are East Street Arts members, so each member of Screeeeen would need to become a member in order to rent studio space there. We looked at all of the spaces on offer and decided that Patrick Studios would be the most suitable for us to rent as a group. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Planning of the Presentation

Things to include and points to cover: 
  • Begin with a group portrait holding printed our versions of the individual letter E’s
  • Our manifesto, a summary of the concept behind the name, our studio culture, areas of specialism
  • Branding and Identity – including a website mock-up, logo, flag, GIFs collateral etc, anything relevant that would make us stand out and give us a strong visual identity
  • Where we would see our self sitting in a commercial setting and the specific type of business we would be
  • Location and materials we would use –Izzie has a link to screen printing tools at Hull College
  • Who would do what (roles)
  • The main services we would offer and our USP
  • The clients we would ideally love to work with
  • Our main competitors OR people that we would be friends with?
  • Costings – renting the studio space, hourly rates, bills and so on
  • All of this has massive potential – touch on the enthusiasm we have as a group with shared interests

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Similar Set Ups

When setting up a business of this nature, it is a good idea to look into similar set ups and look at the ways other groups have established themselves successfully within the creative industries. As our collective is going to offer a range of creative services, I decided to conduct research into like minded design studios, who share similar attitudes and artistic visions as Screeeeen do. Should we go into business, these studios would also make great potential contacts/friends to ask for advices and to even potentially collaborate and trade clients with. I found some really interesting and inspiring set ups:

Print Club London:
Print Club London was established in 2007 and is run by managing director Fred Higginson (Sculptor/ Illustrator M.O.L.) and director Kate Higginson. The duo work closely with iconic illustrator and creative director Rose Stallard, who brings the Print Club brand to life with her inimitable 1970s fanzine-style-artwork and edgy typography. Alongside running the studios Fred, Kate and Rose also curate an annual exhibition ‘Blisters’ one of the UK’s largest poster shows, it introduces a wider demographic to affordable, original artwork, bringing a contemporary art scene to a brand new audience. Whilst providing studio space and selling work is a key focus of the studios, the trio work with clients on projects ranging from bespoke bags for Stella McCartney to live printing projects in store with Nike.

What I find inspirational about this collective is how passionate they are about analogue printing. The members of Screeeeen are also very passionate about analogue printing techniques, this would be one of USP’s to future clients. Not everything we produce would be printed, but it would feature heavily in a lot of our experimentation and various design processes.

HORT, Berlin:

HORT was founded in 1994 and has a very clear and simple ethos. For the members of HORT, it is all about collaborating with real creative people, working with them not for them. They take a very experimental approach to visual communication and don’t like to play it safe with their graphic design. HORT have made a name for themselves by producing constantly exciting and surprising communication solutions. Everything HORT does excites and inspires me. We can learn a lot from their process and attitudes as a start-up.

OK-RM, London 

Ethos of the studio: "OK-RM is a London-based design studio working in the fields of art, culture and commerce. Founded in 2008 by Oliver Knight & Rory McGrath, the studio is a collaborative practice engaged in ongoing partnerships with artists, curators, editors, architects, designers and institutions. For us, design is a conversation. Our art direction aims to engage clients and collaborators in a process that not only communicates what they are but clarifies what they are. Whether it’s a book or a visual identity, our designs seek to reflect a set of core values. This way of working often leads to ongoing relationships that track the evolution of a brand or body of work.”

OK-RM has a very contemporary aesthetic, something I am personally very drawn to and I expect the other members of the group would be too. Their main interests lay in art direction, something I am very interested in working in. I find their work really exciting, fresh and well produced. They would be a great contact to have when starting out in the field.     
Untitled, Art.

Reading the V&A

Bleed, Oslo: 

An interdisciplinary design studio based in Oslo and Vienna. Their manifesto: "We create identity and experience through concept development, art direction, graphic design and service design. Representing a mix of cultures and disciplines to challenge today’s conventions around art, visual language, Interaction, media and identity". Bleed's work is vibrant and full of abstract pattern and typography.They produce quite a lot of work that focuses on identity and branding, something that we are all in. Bleed is proud to label itself as an interdisciplinary studio, something that we would most like identity ourselves as in a commercial setting. 

Only Studio, Leeds:

PASSPORT Studio, Leeds:

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Identity Experimentation

One of my main passions and strengths is in abstraction and pattern design. I played around in Photoshop with colour and texture to create a highly abstract pattern based around the letter e. This could function as ,y own personal identity within the group or could represent the collective as a whole. 

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Personal Design of My Letter 'E'

Our creative collective is all about individuality. We thought that a good way of showing this visually would be through typography, something that excites individually and as a group. Once we had settled on the typeface, we each got to work designing individual variations of the letter 'e'. The five e's in the team name represent the five team members, which makes us unique and memorable. Below are examples of designs I have created that will contribute to the branding and overall identity of Screeeeen. 

OUGD502 - Taking Care of Business - Devising a Manifesto for Screeeeen

Manifesto for Screeeeen:

Screeeeen is a multidisciplinary creative environment based in the North of England
Screeeeen is a multidisciplinary creative studio based in the North of England
Screeeeen is a multidisciplinary creative house based in the North of England
Screeeeen is a multidisciplinary creative house based in the heart of Leeds
Screeeeen is a multidisciplinary creative collective based in the heart of Leeds

We love creating identities and experiences through concept development, art direction, graphic design and creative print solutions.
As a group of five very different creatives, we seek to represent a mix of cultures, styles and disciplines to challenge today’s conventions around art, visual language, design aesthetics, media and identity.

Seven Deadly Sins Concept: We thought it could be fun to take a be a tongue and cheek approach to writing a manifesto for our creative collective. Instead of writing a cliched, slightly cheesy mission statement type of manifesto, we used the seven deadly sins and made them our own. Each of the deadly sins relate to us as creatives, indicating what we like and are passionate about to anyone that visits our website.

Screeeeen’s Seven Deadly Sins:

Lust: We lust over gorgeous, witty and well produced print, because let’s be honest, anything that has been created by someone getting their hands covered in ink is a good thing. We also lust over brilliant digital work. 

Gluttony: We have a massive appetite for inspiration, meaning we have to be constantly on the lookout for our next source of visual pleasure. We adopt a very free and open approach to research, idea generation and concept development.

Greed: We are not single minded in our creative vision or design process, allowing us to extract ideas from anywhere and everywhere. You could say this is greedy. We like to think of it as being eclectic.

Sloth: We are dedicated to producing work that challenges the conventions of contemporary visual communication. In order to do this well, we like take our time. We don’t enjoy rushing work that really excites us.

Wrath: We get very angry when aren’t being creative, because we don’t know anything better to fill our days with...

Envy: We don’t envy much, because we love doing what we do!

Pride: We are proud to be so diverse. Each member of the Screeeeen is an individual with unique stances and perspectives on creativity, which is what makes us so exciting as a collective.