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Expert tips: Running a successful studio

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Running a studio is an exciting avenue that merges business and creative ambition – we find out what it takes to be successful

Space to think

Expert tips: Running a successful studio

There are two schools of thought on the impact your surroundings have on your creative output. When your surroundings are also the shop front for your business, there is an added dimension to consider when choosing where to set up your studio and what to fill your space with. “Environment is important, and creativity is portable; it exists within ourselves,” says Michael A. John, joint creative director of Colorcubic.

“We’re certainly creatures of habit, and though it’s generally proven that working in a familiar space with a consistent schedule is more productive, being able to design anytime and anywhere is an invaluable skill to have.”

When choosing a space to run a successful studio from, practical aspects are just as important as creative considerations. Christy Lai runs Colorcubic with Michael. “Important factors surely vary from person to person, but for us, location boiled down to commute time, access to public transportation, and proximity to good food, drink, and entertainment”, she says.

“Good lighting and furniture make a world of difference, both in defining a comfortable environment, and how we utilise it towards our creative end goals.”

It’s a good idea to make considerations for clients that visit your office, but using flashing environments to sell yourself is never a good idea, says Michael. “More than half of our clients at any given time are located outside our city. These clients have never set foot in our studio nor seen photos of it. Their decision to work with us was based on reputation alone.”


Brand yourself

Expert tips: Running a successful studio

Creating a strong visual presence is vital to your success – 3 Sided Cube‘s Duncan Cook walks us through the essentials. There is a huge amount of competition out there, so it’s all about standing out – be different! You want to create something that people talk about.

Start-up studios often neglect their own site for client work. But you can’t sell the importance of websites if you haven’t invested in your own one. At 3 Sided Cube, putting in the hours was key to creating a studio site. “We spent huge amounts of it on designing a wow website,” says Cook.

Your own website is a chance to show off on both a creative and technical level, and we’ve found that makes a massive difference to how you are perceived. Creating outstanding work is honestly the best way to market yourself; if you can wow people then they will come to you. Both Boots and the British Red Cross came to us based on our previous work.

  • All valid points. I would also say that it’s important to consider your communication strategy. It’s not enough to just have a presence on social media, you have to know what you are going to put out to your audience and do it thoughtfully.