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Edinburgh based graphic design agency specialising in SMEs and the 3rd sector.

Our vision and the intention of The Club Design Agency is to bring a small but beautifully formed network of highly creative minds together to produce outstanding and effective digital, design and marketing solutions for the third sector and SMEs. Although we mostly operate within the 3rd sector in charity marketing, The Club also works with organisations with a shared sense of social responsibility. The concept of a ‘virtual agency’ means that we can be lightweight, saving our clients money and ultimately helping their marketing budget go further.

“Some of the finest graphic design Scotland has to offer.”

Alan Wellburn co-founded the Edinburgh based graphic design agency The Club (Formerly McConville Wellburn Ltd) in 2008. Alan has been working in the design and advertising industry since 2003. Working as head of design and as a creative director for some of the UK’s leading design, digital and advertising agencies he has been responsible for the creation and development of award-winning campaigns and projects for clients such as Amnesty International, the Scottish Government and Waste Aware Scotland. Alan loves to tackle new challenges and is involved in all aspects of the project lifecycle at The Club, from inception through planning and into launch and maintenance.

John NeedJohn Need is an internationally published and award-winning professional photographer. Offering a wide range of photographic services including commercial, events, portrait, products, interior and fashion. John simply loves photography and his passion for working closely with the client to create the best approach and solution can easily be seen in the quality of his work. John has worked in France, Germany, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Canada but can usually be found working out of his studio in Edinburgh’s Summerhall. John has had a long relationship with the Club Design Agency, initially as their go-to freelance photographer, helping to create some of their most successful work by lending his breadth of experience in photography, videography and generally making things beautiful. In 2017 John took up a more active role as Associate Partner and is heavily involved in customer relationship and project management.
Chris BobinKrzysiek (Chris) Bobin is a multi-talented digital developer and Associate Head of Digital Production at the Club Design Agency.  Krzysiek is a graduate of the Wrocław University of Technology and won “Scottish Drupal Website of the Year” for The Club with his work on a project for Scottish Women’s Aid. He has worked with The Club since it’s inception in 2008 and is also co-owner and Systems Manager for przesylarka.pl. Krzysiek loves nothing more than to design, develop, deploy and maintain beautifully elegant server-side code for a full range of web applications. His ability to implement a user-focused, agile development approach ensures The Club always deliver projects quickly and efficiently to meet our clients business goals.

Not all graphic design agencies get to know you like we do.

The Club Design Agency start every job by discovering all we can about your organisation. To this end, we develop the creative design brief. Written collaboration between The Club and you the client, the design brief outlines the aims and objectives of the project. The information we gather at this stage, however, is much more important than that, it helps develop insight into your brand and your brand strategy.

The brand strategy defines who you are, where you’re heading, how you’re getting there and why. Once we understand your brand a little better, we will help you take a closer look at the market and ask the following questions. Where do you want the brand to be? What do you want the consumer perception to be? And then the strategic and the most challenging piece, how can your brand get there? And how will you measure growth?

The design brief is an important part of the design process. It helps develop trust and understanding between the client and agency and serves as an essential point of reference for both parties. Above all, the creative design brief ensures that important design and marketing issues are considered and questioned before work is started.

A list of some of the people we have worked with can be found on the home page. Please say hello if you like the sound of what we have to offer. Alternatively, you can complete our creative design brief to get the ball rolling.

Get a quote from The Club design agency on your project today.

Design Thinking, Project Management and Delivery

Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by understanding the human needs involved, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.

 

Design Thinking tackles complex problems by:

Design Stage

1. Empathise

The first stage is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. This involves consulting the client and their customers to find out more about the area of concern through observing, engaging and empathising, to understand their experiences and motivations, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the issues involved. Empathy is crucial to a human-centred design process and allows us to set aside our own assumptions about the world in order to gain insight into users and their needs.

Depending on time constraints, a substantial amount of information is gathered at this stage to use during the next stage and to develop the best possible understanding of the users, their needs, and the problems that underlie the development of that particular product or solution. We’ll also look at the competitive landscape to establish context and benchmarks for how your site should function and then improve on that.

Developing a deep understanding of the following information about the brand/organisation, product or service at this stage is key for success:

  • History – How did the client get to where they are now and why? Who makes up the company and what makes them special?
  • Core strengths – This would be the top item from the strength section of a SWAT analysis.
  • Organisation mission – Why does the organisation exist? Where are they headed? What are their goals and what are they contributing to their sector?
  • Market orientation – What are the stated wants and needs of the organisations customers? What are the hidden wants and needs of their customers? And how does their business serve those?
  • The scale of the organisation – Are they a leader, challenger, or follower? Are they local, national, or global? Where is their growth taking them?
  • Reputation – What is the current image of the organisation amongst existing or former customers? What is the reputation and what reputation do they really hope to have?
  • Stability – How does the organisation demonstrate growth? What future goals for growth does the client desire.

It is also important to develop a deep understanding of the following information about the project:

  • Project objectives/scope – The role of the project in relation to the organisation’s needs. What exactly is to be achieved through the project?
  • Target audience – Develop insight into the personality and behaviour of the target audience(s)
  • Competition – Who are the organisations competition? What makes the client unique?
  • Unique selling proposition – How does the organisation demonstrate a difference? What is its unique selling point?
  • Substantiation – List of the reasons why the audience should believe the proposition. The evidence that supports the claims made by the organisation.
  • Brand personality or tone of voice – The overall desired mood projected by the project.
  • Previous design and marketing materials – What marketing materials do they currently use?
  • Mandatories – Specifies ‘must have’ elements to be included in the project
  • Measures of success – How will we ensure the project is appropriate for your objectives and audience during development. How will we evaluate the success of the project after launch?
2. Define (the Problem)

This is where we will analyse our observations in order to define the core problems that we have identified. We will seek to define the problem as a problem statement in a human-centred manner. The Define stage helps us gather great ideas to establish features, functions, and any other elements that will help us solve the problems.

3. Ideate

Having defined the problem, we can start to “think outside the box” to identify new solutions to the problem statement and look for alternative ways of viewing the problem. Various techniques can be used to stimulate free thinking and to expand the problem space. It is important to get as many ideas or problem solutions as possible at the beginning of the Ideation phase. This phase should help us investigate ideas to find the best way to either solve a problem or provide the elements required to circumvent it.

4. Prototype

The Club Design Agency will then produce a number of low fidelity, scaled down versions of the product or specific features found within the product, so we can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. Prototypes may be shared and tested within the team itself, in other departments, or on a small group of people outside the design team. This is an experimental phase, and the aim is to identify the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the first three stages. 

The solutions are implemented within the prototypes, and, one by one, they are investigated and either accepted, improved and re-examined, or rejected on the basis of the users’ experiences. By the end of this stage, the team will have a better idea of the constraints inherent to the product and the problems that are present, and have a clearer view of how real users would behave, think, and feel when interacting with the end product.  

5. Test

Ideally, testing happens with a recruited user group who fit your audience profile under laboratory conditions. In this environment we observe their behaviors & interactions with your website or prototype to identify problem areas. We then provide detailed findings and recommendations to correct the problem areas. This is the final stage of the 5 stage design model, but in an iterative process, the results generated during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems and inform the understanding of the users, the conditions of use, how people think, behave, and feel. During this phase, alterations and refinements are made in order to rule out problems and derive as deep an understanding of the product and its users as possible.

6. Design User Interface (UI)

When we have a complete understanding of how the site will work and how the users will interact with it we will create the high fidelity design of the site. This will be either guided by your brand guidelines or from a defined set of recommendations or mood boards created in collaboration with the client and agency.

Once we have completed the iteration cycle of the design stage and removed all potential issues we will have the, working prototypes, user flows, final UI and technical specification for handover to the development team for the build stage. It should be understood that specification changes after this point will be more difficult and could have cost implications.

 

Build Stage:

Build Process

7. Development

We’ll build a live test site that shows what the final solution will look like on a desktop, tablet, and smartphone screen sizes, providing up to two rounds of revisions on the design. We’ll then set to work developing the site using a best industry standard approach.

8. Compatibility Testing and Content Population

We’ll test the website in a variety of browsers, including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. We’ll also test the responsive design on iPhone and Android devices. We’ll test the functionality of the site to ensure there are no errors or broken links and then hand it over to you for review on a test server. You’ll have two rounds of minor revisions or tweaks to the site. We will begin some CMS training with you at this stage so you and your team can populate the website ready for launch. We hand over the website when you are happy that it is ready.

9. Testing and Bug Fixing

We will fully test the final build internally, with the client and if possible to discover any issues or bugs within the code and squash them before launch.

10. Training and Launch

Training videos will be created to help you learn more about the builder, or can be used later to refresh your memory. Face to face two-hour training sessions of up to four people and one to one phone training is also available from The Club Design Agency. Once you’ve tested the website and are happy with its functionality, we’ll simply make it live by pointing your domain over to the new server. Launch time!

Say hi today

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Get in touch

The Club
20/4 Salamander Place
Edinburgh
EH6 7JW
t: 07525268993

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