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Distance Is No Object to Good Design

November 16, 2018

We’ve always loved that many of our design clients come from a tight knit, independent business community in Manchester. We could easily meet up. We often saw many of them socially. However, mainly through word of mouth recommendations, we started to work with clients who weren’t so geographically close. At first, we wondered if this would work, given that the main premise of our We Are Life design business was that we were local to our clients. We had concerns that if we couldn’t physically meet with people, the design process might be more complicated. We were also worried that we’d lose our credibility, if everything we did was online, and if we didn’t meet people face to face.

But then we had the lightbulb moment. Everything we did was online! Our whole business was online. And, if we couldn’t capitalise on this, and therefore be more productive, then we were wasting an opportunity. So, when a design enquiry came in from a wedding venue in Devon, we embraced it.

We’ve never actually met Paula, the owner of The Barn at South Milton. Everything was done by phone or email, but we very quickly realised that we were coming from the same position. Paula wanted to showcase her beautiful wedding venue, and having researched our portfolio, realised that we would probably have a good understanding of her vision. We also soon realised that communicating by email really eliminated any misunderstandings and we had a record of what had been discussed/agreed, meaning that any queries could be resolved very quickly.

Paula’s brief was that the design should be whimsical, but not overly twee, and with a real nod the beautiful countryside location of the venue. And of course, mobile friendly. We had the advantage of some stunning photography – which always makes our design job so much easier – and these were treated to give them a slightly nostalgic feel. Coupled with the chosen fonts and colourways, a design soon started to emerge.

Screenshot_2018-11-05 Wedding reception venue in South Devon - The Barn at South Milton

Looking back, we think The Barn At South Milton was the first project we completed without actually meeting our client. But, it gave us the confidence to realise that this way of working was achievable. Especially as Paula was delighted with the results :

I tracked Pete and Helen down whilst searching the internet for inspiration for my new website. I was searching for web designers that not only knew how to get as many couples to my website as possible, but also to have the creative flair to put across the individuality of our unique business. I haven’t looked back. I now constantly get amazing comments from my couples about how they love the website, as well as letting me know how easy it is to use. As if this isn’t enough, Pete and Helen are amazing to work with…they’re always quick to respond, and totally dedicated to making sure my website design is perfect in every way. I wouldn’t have the slightest hesitation in recommending them to anyone who is in the market for a new or improved website…since changing our website we’re now constantly fully booked for 2 years in advance! What more can I say!

We continue to work with Paula, having developed a brilliant relationship – something which is so important to us.

This change to our way of working has now paid dividends. As many people know, we no longer live in West Didsbury. We’ve swapped the grey clouds of Manchester for the blue skies (mostly!) of northern Istria, very close to the Italian border. We could not have made such a shift if we did not design websites, or if our particular way of approaching design projects still meant many face to face meetings. But, after working with clients such as The Barn At South Milton, we realised we could make things work from a distance. We’re realistic enough to know that this approach will not work for everyone and that some people will much prefer their designers to be local. That’s absolutely fine, as there are more than enough clients to go round.

Although we’re now a little bit further away, you will still be able to communicate with us regularly. We don’t work 9-5. We work from home, so within reason, we can be available by email or phone, quite easily. We also send regular emails to our client group, keeping you informed of things we think you will need to know about. So, you see, distance really is no object to good design. And, if you really do insist on meeting up, why not come out and do it in the sun?

Drop us line if you’d like to know more…



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