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Graphic design on a shoestring budget

Why wallow when you can innovate? Lava used these trying economic times as an opportunity to structure their services into a compact cost/resource-efficient package called Crisisdesign.

By Jeanne Tan / 26-02-2009

During this economic downturn, all businesses and entrepreneurs will no doubt have to innovate and adapt to the changing situation in order to survive.

Using this as an opportunity, graphic design studio Lava have taken things into their own hands, creating a series of efficiently packaged identity design services in differing price brackets called Crisisdesign. Starting from XS until XL, the packages offer potential clients a more structured, compact range of design services with no frills attached. Han Wolbers Lava's creative director stresses this is not a PR exercise nor is it part of the bargain basement. "We do not price stunt and we're no Dirk van de Broek," he said. "But we are noticing that we have to negotiate the budgets more often." For the client, the profit lies in the increased efficiency of the design process: brainstorm is limited to one hour, maximum two hour-long presentations, proposals are presented only to the decision makers on the client side and all meetings take place at Lava to eliminate travel costs. Even the cups of coffees offered are cut.

Amidst the seriousness, there are fun aspects. At a client's request, their package can be tied to the fluctuations of the AEX (stocks) index such that falls in the index mean a further discount to the package and rises add an extra charge. If you need to hire a designer during the summer, 'pre paid' summer days can be booked. Like organising a flight, the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. Come summer, full price will apply.  

The packages will be available until 31 March 2009, after which Lava will decide upon whether to continue the project. For Wolbers, this initiative is meant as a stimulus to the creative industry. "In the world of design you see often that designers only use their creativity to make beautiful things. However, I believe that designers can use their talent to innovate at a business level. In the way you conduct business, there is often much to gain. At this time of economic crisis, the creative industry can really show what it is worth."

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