A group of Guelph graphic designers is launching a new website today to show off the creativity of local designers, illustrators and photographers: www.designersofguelph.ca.
The website aims to highlight the quality and diversity of design expertise in the Royal City. It lists 18 graphic professionals currently working in Guelph, with online referrals to their websites for anyone needing a logo, brochure or website. It sports a snappy sky-blue and magenta logo created by local designer Andrew Forbes, which uses two intersecting lines to represent Guelph’s twin rivers.
The site’s online directory includes a local web design company (Barking Dog Studios, who designed the website), several illustrators, a photographer, packaging and app designers, an infographics specialist, a marketing agency, a calligrapher and a web copywriter. Many of the members also do the complex work of logo design for businesses, organizations or individuals.
“It’s a way of showing how much design talent there is right here in Guelph,” says Art Kilgour of WriteDesign. “Even though it’s possible to crowd-source design offshore nowadays, there is real value in shopping locally for graphic communications expertise, and being able to collaborate with your designer face-to-face.”
The group started quite informally about eight years ago, as a monthly social night and newsgroup for designers, many of whom work as freelancers in sole proprietorships. They decided four months ago to formalize their group, to better market the strength of the sector in Guelph, to local businesses and beyond, through the new website.
“There’s a synergy that comes from designers knowing and being in touch with each other,” says Gareth Lind of Lind Design. “Although we may sometimes compete for the same jobs, we also all benefit from a strong design community. We think globally, but design locally.”
The Designers of Guelph welcome other graphic design professionals who wish to list their businesses on the site – there are many more than 18 in the city. There’s an application button on the home page, and Lind says there are only three criteria: “You have to live here, you need to be doing design for a living, and we’d like to meet you at one of our monthly, after-work socials.”