We recently sat down with Janice Ferrante, owner of Oblique Design, during the 15 year anniversary of her company. We asked her to tell us about the changes and challenges she experienced within the advertising industry over these years.
What has been the biggest changes you’ve seen within advertising and branding in the past 15 years?
The biggest change I have seen is that everyone is now able to work remotely and collaboration has grown through online mediums. Oblique was started in New Jersey, but relocated to Boulder, Colorado, because it became feasible to serve clients remotely and see them when needed. Quite honestly, clients don’t have the time like they used to for face to face meetings with agencies. Advancements in video conferencing, sharing ideas through the cloud, and of course, social media, helped make client/agency collaboration seamless. It has been remarkable to see how easy accessibility has become with all these new advances.
It’s been also interesting to see the progression and continual evolution of web design trends. Whether it’s parallax scrolling, responsive or collapsing menus, it’s a whole new world. If I were to go back to school to study graphic design, the classes would now focus on social media, UI/UX and interactive web design.
How has Oblique adjusted and adapted to these changes?
Throughout the years at Oblique, we have done everything the design industry has to offer: brand strategy, naming, logo design, taglines, print brochures, ad campaigns, websites, creating content for social media, you name it. However lately our sweet spots are brand strategy, interactive and packaging.
We have also become a small boutique agency, by design. Although we have taken advantage of the technology around us, we always prefer face-to-face communication. We enjoy the simplicity that technology gives us, but Oblique still believes in old fashioned teamwork and partnerships.
What do you see as biggest threat to the future of advertising and branding?
The biggest threat is that logo and web design are turning into a commodity. A myriad of new companies are now offering inexpensive standardized logos and “cut and paste” website design. These might be solutions for certain businesses, but more serious companies need tailor made solutions to support growth potential and build memorable and lasting brands.
Any last words of wisdom you want to share after 15 years in the design industry?
Change is inevitable. Irrespective of your industry, the world is changing at an ever faster pace. My advice is to embrace change, make it your business to stay ahead of the curve, and enjoy the stormy ride.
To see Oblique Design’s portfolio, click here.