I know we agency folk can sometimes get a little uppity about our “strategic process,” like we’re saving lives with this stuff or something. But for the most part, there’s a reason we’re that way: because it’s legit! I’m the first one to admit there are certainly some situations that truly may not call for some intense strategic process – like designing a letterhead or a pocket folder. But most of the time, design is NOT just design. I think Jef Richards put it best: “Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called advertising.”
No offense to our design peeps out there that are in it to just make things look pretty, but at The Cyphers Agency, we aren’t. We’re not in the business of producing creative executions that we just happen to LIKE. Our core philosophies and passions dictate that our clients come to us for strategic creative and, by George, that’s what we give them.
Now this can present a problem when clients think they’ve come to a design firm (the “make it pretty people”) but in actuality they’ve come to a full service advertising agency (the “make it resonate with your target audience” people). Because then suddenly clients are evaluating our creative- be it an ad, a Web site or a piece of collateral – as if we’ve just put it together with no particular plan, forethought or strategy. That’s when we hear things like “this just isn’t doing it for me” and “how about red instead of blue.” This is dangerous territory for brands that are trying to establish a relationship with their target audience. The moment you start viewing graphic elements as negotiable, you’ve lost sight of the strategic value of design.
In short – if you just want something to look pretty you can get it a heck of a lot cheaper somewhere else. But as an advertising agency we pride ourselves on creative executions having meaning and strategy behind them. And isn’t that exactly what you’d want for your consumers, anyway?