There are so many things to consider when opening or operating a small business; suppliers, accounting, budgets; the list goes on and on. But one of the most important items that can often get push the wayside is good design for things like logos, business cards, and marketing materials which can be terrifically detrimental to your company. These items are the face of your firm. You can have an amazing product/service but if the marketing does not align, then you are putting your company in a hole from day one.
And its not hard to see why this can be the case. Design (and designers) can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the industry. Often times there is no concept of price when using a design service and can range from the reasonable to the outrageous. Terms and packages can be confusing. So owners's answer (and in the past I've been guilty of this) is to be your own designer. Well guess what? There is a reason people get paid to do this! They do it better; way better. The result from a vetted professional is a cohesive and comprehensive package that matches your product/service with your audience and positions you for success.
But how do you change the system to make it more engaged with its client base? Enter the new pop-up creative firm UpTo hatched by marketing and design firm Shift Collaborative. UpTo launched in summer 2013 with a goal to bring good design to small businesses in order to best showcase their product/service. The aforementioned daunting factors of traditional design firms are addressed by offering a menu of services with designated (and incredibly reasonable) price points allowing the business owner to select the services that they think will best serve their needs and their budget. Housed in temporary 'main st' storefronts within each location, 'UpTo aims to source locally and work with main street businesses to inject new creative thinking about how small store fronts present themselves,' says UpTo writer Eric Sloss.