Joe Berg had always planned to set up his own design consultancy – but doing it so early on in his career, and in the middle of a global financial crisis, wasn’t necessarily what he had in mind! But, with a winning mix of ambition, technological and creative flair and support from the incubation at Ravensbourne scheme, Joe has seen his business go from strength to strength.
After completing a Degree and Masters in Product Design at Leeds University, coupled with an International Diploma in Industrial Design from Queensland University of Technology Joe still found it hard to find a job, leading him to set up Prod Design “Luckily I got my first client within a week and we’ve been growing from there,” says Joe.
Prod Design, which offers graphic design and product design and development services had been running for around eight months when Joe successfully applied for the incubation at Ravensbourne scheme.
“I’m very ambitious for Prod - I want to build the brand name and reputation, provide our services to larger companies and to add our design skills to the bigger projects,” Joe says. “This was very much in my mind when joining the incubation scheme.”
Access to Ravensbourne’s facilities and equipment has been a key factor in Prod’s growth, by enabling it to bring prototyping in-house during the development of its product-based projects, it has become more efficient and more competitive on price. Additionally, the Prod team has been able to develop its expertise in emerging areas such as 3D printing by having the chance to regularly use and experiment with the technology.
“It has put us ahead of many design consultancies who are only now starting to adopt and utilise the technology,” Joe says. “The facilities also provided the opportunity to offer an additional graphic design service - we can design a logo, and then produce it in 3D on the 3D printers, or produce branded display materials such as bespoke signage and leaflet holders using the laser-cutters. This really allows us to differentiate our services.”
Ravensbourne’s creative focus certainly provided added benefits for Prod. “The incubation scheme is built around a creative, collaborative atmosphere that has prepared us very well as we take the company forward. Having companies on-site that were building websites, filming and producing videos and providing other creative services allowed us to offer a fuller service to our own clients, and thus brought more work into the incubation scheme,” Joe explains. “Similarly, by meeting others on the incubation scheme we made connections to potential clients through them, expanding our reach and network.”
The incubation scheme has brought Prod many tangible business benefits and positive changes. “Our business grew significantly during the scheme as we built a larger client base, and also added new expertise to the company that allows us to offer more services and a larger team,” Joe reports. “We are now seeing clients return to us with new challenges, which is great, and allows us to grow as they grow. We are also starting a number of collaborations, where we are providing our design and technical expertise to other designers in areas such as 3D printing, giving us access to new markets such as fashion and jewellery.”
“Ravensbourne provides a great environment to work in, and surrounds you with the right people, facilities and events to grow your business. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for both me and my company.”
Find out more about Prod Design’s work at www.proddesigns.co.uk
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