Ever since the advent of crowdsource-fueled creative entities like 99Designs, Freelancer and Fiver, design studios -- which previously buttered their bread with business from ad agencies -- are now
upping their game, cutting out the agency and going direct to the brand for business.
Of the trend, Design Business Council Head Greg Branson said: “A lot of the designers I work with have a strategy partner or a senior person in the business that does strategy. Many of them have been recruited by the designer out of the advertising industry, with the intention of taking their business to a higher level and offering a broader range of services."
While a design studio isn't going to take over the Coke account any time soon, shifts like this are on the rise. Interestingly, even before 99Designs and the like, Barbarian Group -- which prior to Subservient Chicken was a tech design studio of sorts -- transformed itself into a full-blown agency complete with all the usual agency services.
No, there won't be a weekly parade of design studios making it big like Barbarian did, but market conditions have changed significantly enough that we will continue to see more of this.