How Design Agencies Are Replacing Creative Departments

The times they are a-changing in advertising and media circles. In truth, times have been changing for quite some, ahem, time. We’re talking about the old-fashioned Madmen era of creative departments and siloed teams. 

How Design Agencies Are Replacing Creative Departments
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, February 19, 2021

Things are evolving in all sorts of ways, of course. The seeds that had already been sown pre-COVID have taken a rapid and large step forward in recent months. Not least, because people are so comfortable with remote working now. 

This seismic change has allowed us all to see what’s possible here. And if we round back to that old idea of a creative department being stuck, siloed, in an office somewhere, we can see more than ever that this is the opposite of agile working. 

What is a creative department anyway?

We’re not the only ones to size up the old way of working and see just how this siloed approach is unfit for modern business

We’ve seen it first-hand over the years, way before COVID forced everyone to work differently. Creativity is so important, and you need the whole team to be a part of that process. That’s how we’ve always worked. It’s only through this collaboration that marketing comms and client needs are realised. 

It isn’t just the job of creative thinkers. It’s them, with the graphic designers, web designers and so on.  

What does a modern design agency do then?

Our team here work together through a set of processes. While specialists will take the lead with specific tasks, it’s a collective approach to an end goal, or goals. 

Our work includes: 

  • Data visualisations 
  • Customer journey maps
  • Emails
  • Social campaigns
  • Brochures
  • Presentations
  • Marketing materials
  • Websites
  • White label partner marketing materials

That means that everything you need to tie together to make a project happen gets the full attention of our team. 

It’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable

That idea probably sums up the last year, right? We’ve all been trying to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. But we love this article about the death of the creative department. It reflects our way of thinking, that old-world creative departments need to reshape their thinking to fit modern times.

Or, you could rightly say, they need to shape the business around the client’s needs. Because it makes sense that if you work in a disconnected way, your product could end up being disconnected from the users it’s intended for.  

Working with a design agency as a creative department 

As we believe your design agency and your creative departments are the same, we always look at the bigger picture. It’s worth noting that a good agency will legislate for this. 

Remote working has so many benefits from a creative perspective too. We know that creatives need different scenarios to stimulate the brain. We like to look at projects with fresh eyes and tying people to a desk doesn’t always have this effect. But most of all, creativity needs collaboration to thrive. Ivory towers are being torn down in favour of swarm-like structures, proper collision methodology and marrying all disciplines, And we for one, are on board.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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