This month, we took the opportunity to catch up with Andrew Whittle, one half of the design duo, that makes up the husband and wife team, which is Whittle Design Studio, based in Penzance.Andrew and Sarah work across graphic design, branding, illustration and web design, they work supporting companies, not just locally, but across the UK, including The Work Crowd.
Andrew can you tell us a little more about the services you offer and the work you do for your clients
As a small husband and wife design studio, we provide a complete range of design services including graphic design, branding, illustration, website design and development and surface pattern design for clients in the fashion and home furnishing sectors. We like to work on a wide range of projects for a variety of clients across the UK and Europe.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Because of our size, we like to offer a personal service. When a client works with us they work with Sarah or me directly, not an account manager. Also because of our wide range of skills we have developed over the years, we can turn our hand at high-end digital design to traditional techniques such as lino printing or watercolor for illustration projects. We like to craft our work and take great care and attention to the final result and the creative process. A lot of agencies focus on one core aspect of work such as branding or digital and go after a certain type of client in a specific sector, whilst we like to work with clients from all types of backgrounds, it keeps work interesting and pushes our creativity.
You work remotely with most of your clients, how do you make this work?
We used to live in West Yorkshire and had clients in the North West but in 2016 we relocated to Penzance, Cornwall. It’s taken some time to build up our profile in Penzance and Cornwall but we are getting there. I would say our clients are split 50-50 between remote clients and local clients. We are lucky, we get to work in a remote cottage in the deepest depths of West Cornwall with a view from our studio of the Atlantic. Its only possible with super fast broadband, which means we can hit them crazy deadlines.
You recently worked with us, helping us with an upgrade of our UI and UX, can you tell us about any other projects you have been working on recently?
We get to work on a wide range of projects so work tends to vary from week to week. We are currently working on some web projects, branding and some really cool illustration work, which once done we will share on our website and social media channels.
What advice would you give companies who are deciding how to choose the right design partner?
There are so many factors on deciding which studio is the best for your business and project but I would say the number one factor would be to not base your decision solely on price. Clients always have a budget, that’s expected but we get asked time and time again “what is your day or hourly rate”? The problem with this question is that a day rate can vary drastically from one design studio or freelancer to another and if a client decides to go with the cheapest they may ultimately pay more. This is because a junior designer may have a cheap day rate but take three times as long as an experienced designer or studio who may charge more per day but complete the project in a third of the time due to their experience.
It’s not just about the budget but a client and design studio should be a good fit. There’s no point working with a client or design studio if you don’t get on, especially if a client is choosing a designer because of their low day rate.
Also, it’s important to remember that a lot of designers work across different sectors and that a designer or studio should not be dismissed by a client for a project if they have not worked on a project or brand that is similar to the clients. It’s always worth getting testimonials from a design studio and most will have these on their website.