YelKrab Studios @ CoSydeny Coworking Space

Since taking your course in art and design, you may have gone up through the ranks to hold many different positions within the industry. From the responsibilities of a junior artist to the many perks and rewards of being an art or creative director. You may have been fortunate enough to work for a marketing agency where you played a key role in creating a logo and helping brands to life off from first base. However, setting up your own design studio is going to be the cherry on the cake. After years of hard work, you have finally chosen to put all your heart and soul into the wonderful world of self-creation. Your style, moods, narratives, aims and most of all your artistic endeavor, can come alive at your own pace and with like-minded people who can see your vision just as clear as you do. Before you get swept up in the excitement of it all, you’ve got to remember to look and act like a business. There are a few guiding factors; you should refer to when looking to build your startup design studio.


Photo by – tunechick83

Your niche

Truth be told, you can go anywhere and venture into many different industries because there is never an oversupply of creative types. And especially, if you have assembled a team of designers who have backgrounds of all different types, you can apply their skills anywhere and achieve great results. You may find it easier to find a niche subject or skill and focus purely on that, to begin with. You can aim toward helping other businesses attain their goal of creating a logo or brand, as well as redesign many aspects online that attribute to the projection of a company’s image. It’s more a case of transferring the real-life skills or painting, drawing, game design, proportional and abstract shape design, to something that can showcase your skills and show off the uniqueness of your business. Don’t try to replicate other design studios, and in fact, go deeper into a subject area and innovate.




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The location

As a design studio, physical locations aren’t really as important as they are for other businesses. The world has changed drastically, and most of everything with regards to discussion of design, the ethos behind a logo, business card, mascot creation, etc., can and is done mostly all online. Design studios may have been something that you had to see in person, and greet the owners with a handshake and discuss options over a cup of coffee, but this has all transformed into an e-commerce business plan. Any communication difficulties that may arise if you were too far placed from your customers can be overcome with state-of-the-art conference and video communication software.

Unique Features of the building

Unlike a regular office building, the property in which you set up your business, should have a certain number of large rooms with very little natural lighting. In these rooms you can make a photography studio, so you can offer services to clients and customers which have the ability to offer customization. By being able to take high-quality photos of products made by the clients, you can transform them into something entirely unique and add your own flavour into it. The same or another studio can be used to film video so you can make use of that in the creative or editing section of your business.  

Employee contractual protection

Use experts to help you draw up employment contracts. With such carefully worded documents, you can protect yourself from potentially harmful practices done by the people you hire. Additionally, you can set up the contractual obligations in such a way that you may prevent ex-employees from taking up with your direct competitor. Legal statutes should employ a far-thinking approach, so in the event of you needing to fire people, they don’t give away company secrets almost immediately. The added benefit of this is that you can stop ex-employees from being hired by a local rival. The design is a highly competitive industry, and the brand of your company is just as important as the brands you want to work for.

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The right skills needed

When looking to hire staff, a design studio should focus on getting talent with skills rather than looking over their credentials. Many times, art students will come out of a university environment, far from developing their own style. Of course, the mundane and the plentiful jobs need to be done with a rigorous and generic style, but the really talented staff will be those that create the best projects. Design studios are hired to make anything from restaurant menus, logos, and branding, business cards, website design, company signing documents, advertisements, and book, brochure, and flyer exterior designs. Obviously, a design studio needs more than just artists that can paint and draw; you need employees that can look at the entire project and stay focused on the specific style for a brand. You need staff that can use the latest 3D modelling software, animators, HTML or modern equivalent website designers, and general artists who can design something from scratch.

Know your target market

With the styles and ethos you possess, you should channel your doctrine and philosophy of design into your employees. The only way for a leader’s vision to come true is if they have the willpower to perform individual tasks, but also have a team dedicated to the same aims, supporting them. Finding your target market will be first determined by the kind of style your design studio will focus on. Your niche is just as important as to your clients as it is to you. Pour all your efforts into a specific market, and target the plethora of customers inside that bracket. While you may also find that sub-categories will and basic design teams will have to be set up within your company to keep the main flow of work coming in, your target market should be large corporations, professional companies, established brands and e-commerce companies.

Identify what would be the profile of the ideal customer you want to do the majority of your big projects for. Preferably, they would have the resources to spend lavishly for the products and services you offer. They would find themselves, have a large audience so your creations can reach a massive consumer base as well as have your name become recognizable within the industry. Large businesses will want design studios that can carry the inception of an idea, all the way to the end which includes being involved in their marketing discussions.

Independent pricing

Every business reacts to the market, but the market is made up of millions and millions of consumers all looking for the best deal, to fit their lifestyle and financial situation. It can be difficult to know what the correct prices are for a design studio which is essentially offering services that aren’t tangible in the real-world. Your business does have a distinct effect on the psychology of clients and customers, which is the only form of currency you can weigh the successes of your products on. Before you are able to digest the sales reports, you must set a competitive price for your services and products. One way to do this would be to study your rivals within the local and national field. A business could opt to meet in the middle between the high price and reasonable offers. However, there comes a time when you will want to price to the level of what you think you’re worth to customers. The key is to factor in the general market price, and then see how many percentage points, can you go higher before consumer steer clear of your business due to price gouging.

Photo credit – AJEL

Legal practices

Every business around the world, whether small or large, need to have its own set of legal rules and obligations. Take legal advice from a professional business attorney on how to the right up your contracts for clients. There’s a lot involved as you need to have sections which explore all kinds of ramifications and up front established positions. Think about the rules you want regarding: the delivery of your products, the schedule, the legitimacy of request, additions to detail after creation of products, the obligations you’re willing to stand by, the rights of the individual and the company, anticipated and fully realised costs, unforeseen stoppages of work, the transfer of details and materials, as well as many, many other aspects of a design business. Be savvy, and write up a draft copy of your customer and client contracts before bringing them to a legal office to have them checked, balanced and finalized.

Setting up your own business is an incredibly exciting adventure. The art and design industry is one that, is involved in everybody’s life; from television, online marketing campaign, posters, leaflets, flyers, menus, animations to thorough branding campaigns of logos. The key is to make sure you hire the right people for the right job and try not to stretch your employees out too much. Art is an incredibly purposeful course that many young professionals have studied, but utilising their talents in the right manner is something that will need to be learned over time. Set yourself apart from the competition by focusing on a niche, you know no one else is offering, and begin to create your company persona from there.

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We’re here to help you to take action just like we’ve helped  thousands of other entrepreneurs, business owers and creative professionals all around the globe.

Now is the time to let your passion SHINE.

Now is the time to Make Tomorrow Today!

To your success,

Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex

Your Coaches ArtSHINE industries


About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.

1 Comment

  1. Mariah October 7, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    It has been like 5 years that I was planning to start my own design studio and for that I have learnt so many things in designing. The problem I have faced was that it takes lots of money to actually start it. We just cannot start it without the right equipments.

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