Diversification Opportunities -- Getting Creative, By Design
In its offerings, Midnight Oil provides a twofold solution: 1). marketing itself as a creative operation for clients such as corporate entities; and 2). as a support function for customers, such as advertising agencies, that bring the concept into the mix from the start.
Learning New Tricks
|Members of Triangle Printers' Creative Services department (from left, Ben Schneider, Monica Grier and, far right, Larry Michalski) go over a project with their client.|
As it embarks on its 50th anniversary, Triangle Printers, of Skokie, IL, is dispelling the adage about old dogs and new tricks. Its seven-year-old Creative Services department provides one-stop shopping with services that include graphic design, copywriting and photography for jobs ranging from a single-color sales sheet to a seven-color, 200-page catalog.
Clients like Triangle's one-stop philosophy, which eliminates multiple vendors, partly because many communications and marketing staffs are just too busy to take on additional projects. Fast turnaround is the desired by-product.
"We actually had a client who came to us and indicated that he was outsourcing creative services," notes Harvey Saltzman, president of Triangle Printers. "He said that he would supply us with quite a lot of creative work if we offered that service. So (our new offering) was really client driven."
The department started out with one person, which quickly transitioned into a staff of four—all outside hires trained on graphic design software. Monica Grier, formerly an assistant creative director, was recently promoted to creative services manager.
"We developed a new workflow to streamline the creative services department," Grier remarks. "Today there are set procedures that have helped increase productivity while making the entire process more client friendly."
Along the way, the department realized the importance of clearly defining its role with clients. "One thing we came across was that some people ask you to provide input without paying for it," Saltzman says. "They would seek our input on speculative projects, and we figured out those people weren't sincere about paying for them. So we don't offer speculative services anymore."