DESIGN HAPPENS | Skillshare Projects

Thomas Garaventa






I’m an italian/norwegian graphic designer and i currently work in Norway. This project will be about the agency i’m working for. For many reasons the names and the setting will be fake while the issues are real. So let’s call tha agency SCAN (a Small Communication Agency in Norway) and let’s say that it is based in the city of  SØRBY.

SCAN is a communication agency of 22 people who work mainly with branding, design, advertising and web solutions and is the only agency that managed to survive for 30 year (under two different managements). SØRBY is a small scandinavian city that is growing  pretty fast and where business life is getting more and more dynamic. There are 3/4 other agency in the city and some smaller design studios that compete more or less with each other.

SCAN has a good reputation in terms of reliability and efficiency amongst its customers but it’s not seen as the most exciting and creative agency in town. The people who works in SCAN doesn’t feel that way and many of them think that there is much more potential.


What is Marketing for?
Marketing is the language that we use to define who we are and what we want to say as a company, institution or organization.

What are we allowed to touch?
It’s not easy to tell in this case because the management is so focused in this working pattern which is part of the problem. I think that we could be able to touch some of the working process and the approach to the clients. We should also be able to put more resources in work that promotes the agency and shows what we are capable of, right now the resourses used for that purpose are almost zero.   

What can we as marketers measure?
In design and communication it’s not easy to measure the success of the projects but there is one thing that is measurable: Time. We have tools that allow us to know which project has been a waste of time. Also the digital parts of the projects are often highly measurable.    

What can we change?
I believe we can change our goals and try to achieve a higher level of what we make... and then change the perception that actual and potential clients have about SCAN. Look more into the future instead of floating in the present.

What promise are we going to make?
Make work that we believe in.

What’s the hard part?
Exit the working pattern and the system that SCAN has today. Overcome the fear that clients will not understand the change and accept that some of them maybe will not.

Should your organization be making trends or following trends?
I think SCAN has chance to stand out locally and be able to set trends in this area.

Where is the risk?
The risk is that clients will not understand the change because they like SCAN as it is now, and then failing to find new clients that believe in the new idea. The risk is creating a new model that doesn’t fit this city.

Who is in charge?
Mainly the CEO.

Marketers spend money. Where are you spending the money? What is it for?
I think SCAN should invest in the people which is actually investing in the “product”. Maybe use it on conferences, courses, teambuilding and tools to improve skills and inspirasjon. 

How should we be spending our time?
SCAN should definetely spend some time on own identity because until now that has been totally sacrified. Take some time to work on a strategy that aims to show what SCAN is capable of. Social media strategy, portfolio and sharing info in general for example have been on hold for years because it has not been a priority.








People doesn’t know much about how SCAN work.

  • The first step will be to make the agency visible. Spend time building a good portfolio who can show what the agency can do. I bet that even internally people would be amazed to see the best work put together.

  • Create room and time where people in SCAN can inspire each other, inspired people in the inside will do a better job inspiring people in the outside.

  • More freedom to use social media, posting what they are passionate about, publish case histories and behind the scene from some of the projects.

  • Make some interesting side-project and send it out to people.

  • Create all the condition to get the creative boost that SCAN need.

  • Have more quality control and raise the bar of what the agency make


In Sørby there are plenty of company and a very dynamic economy but it is a small city and often people doesn’t know so much about design and communication, specially compared to other cities. Bigger companies that sees the real value of it, hire agencies outside SØRBY emphasizing the mistrust in local skills. That is the challenge and the change we must put as our goal, we must show people that we can do better then they think. Doing great work in order to show how important this is and earning the trust of as many as possible.


We have to use social media and internet more wisely and create a community that care about what we make. Host workshops that explains and shows the process of our work to clients and whoever will be interested, working together in order to give a taste of it and create awareness. Gives a better view of what is good work and why they need a pro to do it.

Maybe collaborate with the other agencies on events and give more strenght to local “craft”.

I think that involving people will make people talk more about it and about SCAN. It can lead to an important statement, we are the boost that empower their visions. That’s the story.





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