What does "Good design for everyone" actually mean?

Published: October 27, 2015

M. Kendall Ludwig,
president and principal designer

I just finished “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert (fantastic, by the way!), and feeling inspired to embrace CurlyRed's creativity and uniqueness in the marketplace. Furthermore, my husband, Mark Ludwig, told me recently how much he still believes in CurlyRed's vision, or our “why.” This got me thinking.

From CurlyRed's “about” page: “As our business has grown and we’ve developed deeper relationships with more businesses, I’ve realized that there is an even more important challenge ahead. I see, over and over again, other design firms and advertising agencies holding their work ransom for sums impossible for anyone to afford, except the largest and wealthiest companies. Something seems fundamentally wrong about that. There are far too many small business and non-profits with great vision but a limited marketing budget. Don’t they deserve the same access to good design?”

But I want to expand for a minute. Every time I speak about my “why,” questions come up, such as:

As a business owner, don't you want to make money?

Yes, I would love if this business continues to help support my family, and enable us to give back. But the dollar isn't driving my business—my love of creativity, and my desire to serve the outliers and the over-looked drives me. To serve the companies and organizations who assume that they could never afford strong branding, a great website, etc. The ones that go to a few agencies, get quotes, and walk away discouraged.

Does that mean that everyone can afford you?

Sadly, no. If marketing isn't a priority, or if a potential client comes to CurlyRed hoping to get the same rate as a student or crowdsourcing website, they might not see the true value of our services. But we do our absolutely best to work with our clients' budgets, and develop creative ways to make our services as affordable as possible.

Besides cost, why else would someone pick CurlyRed over a large firm or agency?

It's actually a long list, but here are a few reasons:

  1. The client will get to work directly with me. Yes, I have a team working with me, but I am involved in every client relationship, and have a creative hand in each project.
  2. A real person answers the phone when you call (during normal office hours).
  3. We deliver within our clients’ budgets. Always.
  4. Our clients know exactly what they are getting with CurlyRed, from the very first meeting. We lay out our expectations as clearly as possible, and make sure we are on the same page with our client before starting any job.
  5. Everything we create is custom. No templates, and no recycled design work. That goes for our branding, print and web work.
  6. When we meet to discuss your project, CurlyRed works hard to discover who our clients are, and design around their needs and preferences. We listen. We care. We want the creative process to be a relationship, a dialogue.


Convinced? Almost? Awesome. Please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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