Rachel and Marie from Curious Design
So, first up (after my own self-interview!) is Marie from Curious Design. Marie and Rachel run this Irish company and design everything from branding to brochures and email newsletters to e-commerce. They especially love creating identities for small creative businesses. Let’s meet Marie;
The ‘Curious Design’ and ‘Curious Casa’ blogs
Thanks Aisling, we really like it too!
We thought long and hard about our name. Asking questions, researching and getting to know our clients is a big part of our design process and something we really enjoy so we wanted to reference this in our company name. Curious was a nice friendly word that felt like a good fit. We are also quite nosey!
Branding, website and print for photographer Magda Lukas
We’ve been friends since we met on our first day of college in 2001 and collaborated and bounced ideas off each other all the time during those 4 years. After college we still shared inspiration and ideas when working for various companies, as well as brainstorming (some would say obsessing…) over our weddings, houses, and quite a few fancy dress parties. In 2011 we set up curious together. Those years of collaborating have proved invaluable, as we know how the other ticks at this stage and work very well together.
We have very similar taste and love simple modern quirky design. We occasionally drive our other halves batty showing them pictures on pinterest so curious casa is a good outlet and way of sharing cool things we have found with each other.
Branding for BFI - an organisation offering free resources for educators and bilingual/multilingual families.
Curious was set up in 2011. We really like working with smart enthusiastic small businesses and individuals and start ups. It’s particularly fun working with people who are just setting up as you can follow their journey from idea to fully fledged business.
Having a business partner is fantastic!
It’s great to have someone to share the load with and to bounce ideas off. Rachel has lots of experience working with print and knows all the different techniques inside out while I studied web design and development after college and specialises in that area. We overlap a lot on projects but having different skillsets means that we can offer a broader range of services to our clients, as well as learning from each other.
The downside would be that business talk can eat into “friend time” very easily, we try our best to keep the two separate but there will always be an overlap.
Website design and development for the Swift Satire Festival 2012
We started the blog to help clients get to know us a bit better and also to learn about blogging ourselves. At the time we were also launching curious so there were nerves abounding!
No. We try to make our process as transparent as possible for our clients and anything that helps us do this is a good thing.
We keep an eye on our analytics and will also usually ask clients how they heard of us. The majority of our clients are referrals but they will usually have checked out the website and blog before they get in touch. Having a little bit of our personality online helps people feel they know us a bit better before getting in contact.
Yes, and we share the proof reading too – Rachel is good at spotting typos!
Design of Irish Mammy “Tweet Towels”
We find that our blog has become a great resource for us and our clients as we have posts explaining many of the common questions we get, like the difference between a vector file and a jpeg. Connecting with like-minded people is fun too – we love comments!
Finding time to blog! Like any small business we are usually busy working on client work so it’s difficult to make time to blog on top of this.
How we plan depends on the type of post – if it’s part of a series we tend to plan more and have a shared folder in dropbox where we save our plan and schedule. We usually write and save posts as drafts and get the other to review them before scheduling them.
Posts inspired by a project we’ve finished or a lovely piece of design we’ve spotted tend to be less planned and more spontaneous.
Website design and development for Ciara of Style Serendipity
We use photoshop all the time for work anyway but it is also extremely useful for resizing and cropping images.
Rachel’s home was featured in the IKEA live magazine after one of the editors spotted our blog which was a fun experience.
I (Marie) am a big fan of Gretchin Rubin from the happiness project. She has 2 best selling books on the topic of happiness both of which I really enjoyed. Her blog has played a huge part in this success and she uses it as a reference and resource for her
If you aren’t sure how you will come up with ideas for posts a series can be a useful format. We found the design a-z was a good structure that helped us come up with ideas.