Down With Hipster Design Firms

Here’s the thing. I love paying attention to industry trends.

I read graphic design blogs the way some people read their twitter feeds. And I won’t lie: I quietly stalk our “competitors’” websites. I check them out on Facebook and LinkedIn. I want to know what others are doing and who they’re doing it for. I find this a good check-and-balance but I don’t do it because I want us to be anything like others in our industry.

I do this because I want us to be different.

A few projects have crossed my path lately that have forced me to do some… investigating.

I call it this because it’s practically become an epidemic of "designers" and on design websites these days to make it not entirely clear exactly what’s going on. To figure it out, you’ve got to put on your little sleuth hat and get out a magnifying glass and go on a little mystery-solving tour.

Let me paint you a picture:

You land on a graphic designer’s site because you’re a business and you need some graphic design help. (Logical, right?) Well, the site is just downright beautiful. The landing page is an atmospheric photo of a mountain lake with some (vague) headlines floating on top: effective design | inspired brands | modern creatives. You’re not entirely sure how these relate to what you need to be done but you came this far so maybe they’re about to get down to the nitty-gritty. You scroll down.

And right into a collage of their Instagram feed: Lofty office shot. Team building meeting at a local brewery. A heavily filtered snap of some hand-knitted mittens holding a cup of hot tea. All of the “design collaborators” playing foosball in the office lounge area.

It goes on and on and suddenly it dawns on you! You have no idea what you’re doing here and, moreover, what in the heck these people even do for a living. I know you do this because I do it, too!

As a business owner, sometimes I wonder how they can afford that huge renovated loft in the trendiest downtown district, how they can afford to keep 35 people on staff when there’s no work of note in their portfolio… how they can spend their days playing darts instead of WORKING. Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I just wonder how I got swindled into sitting through the digital version of someone’s vacation slides: Here’s me having fun doing this. Here’s me looking fabulous. Here’s me being awesome.

And, if you’re anything like me, you probably think that whatever they’re selling you’re not buying because in no way do you want to fund someone else’s iMac fund when you’re trying to be a responsible business owner. Ain’t no one got time for that.

Confused and lacking direction, you’ve also been left thinking that all graphic designers are self-involved hipsters with offices you’re afraid you’re not cool enough to even walk into. And so you decide to DIY a solution to whatever graphic design dilemma you had. (Read here for our thoughts on that!)

{Cue the superhero music!!}

This is where Markon is different. And I’m telling you this from this blog post so that I don’t have to clutter up the rest of our website… where we really are way more into you than we are ourselves. Because it’s you that matters. It’s your business that needs some TLC. It’s your money on the line. It’s your time. And all of that stuff matters to us.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have a Pinterest board devoted entirely to loft-like office spaces filled with reclaimed wood desks and floating glass walls. I do. But I’m a realist and I know that when it’s time to get to work, you want to know how we can solve problems not how amazing I look in my vintage tee and hipster flannel. (Neither of which is actually in my wardrobe, FYI.)

All of this is really to tell you to be on the lookout for some continued improvements to our site… making it even easier for you to have access to design in a space where you don’t have to feel intimidated by designers who don’t speak plain English or make you feel stupid for not understanding the meaning of negative space. We’re here to make your life easier!

p.s. Our office is actually really cool in a we-work-in-an-industrial-park-in-the-suburbs kind of way. We’ve got the requisite in-office espresso machine and vintage conference table. But there’s no pretension behind any of it. It’s really just that we drink A LOT of coffee and were really into repurposing this cool old table we had.

p.p.s. Ready to work with the most real peeps in the design industry? We promise the conversation will be 99% about you and only 1% about how cool we are.