RT picks up RAR Top 100 design agency position

We are the only agency in Dorset and the surrounding counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire, to be listed in a first-of-its-kind table from the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

We were delighted when, after months spent collecting and collating the financial data of hundreds of recommended agencies, the Recommended Agency Register’s Design Review – a table that recognises design as a discipline – placed us 62 out of 100.

We have made the list because we have been highly rated by our clients through the RAR’s ratings programme. The agencies in this elite group not only have the high regard of their clients, but have also demonstrated that they have remained strong across our financial rankings in spite of the current economic state.

RT Media founder and Creative Director, Ross Thornley, explains: “Traditionally, design was seen and treated as a separate entity, and even with a certain reverence within the industry.  For some time now, especially with the advent of digital media and the shift from traditional marketing channels to the exponential opportunities of the Internet, this has not been the case.

“As an agency which creates highly effective campaigns for our clients using a whole host of marketing channels, we welcome a ranking table that acknowledges design excellence within the context of all the other core disciplines we have mastered to make our business successful.”
RAR has been identifying the best agencies based on client feedback since 2004 and more than 6,000 ratings have been made by clients.  RT is already a RAR listed company and we were finalists in the awards for best in video production last year. All of the team are really proud to have achieved this status and it is the result of lots of hard work all round!

The table published in The Drum was created as the result of clients recommending agencies for their design excellence, despite not being specialist design agencies.  Ross concludes: “While RT Media ranked #62 of 100, the table was set out in terms of size of operation in the absence of other parameters, since this was a ‘first-of-a-kind’ listing, and does not reflect the size or scope of the campaigns we are capable of on a local, regional, national or international scale.”

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The worst presentation I have endured in my entire life…

University festival of design, last night I went to the open evening and I wanted to share my experience!
I arrived a little late to a packed lecture theatre with a still atmosphere as the first keynote speaker was introduced. He was a design engineer from mobile phone manufacturer, a 30 something who had been at the company since his first job as a tester, which he got whilst studying. During the following hour the audience were subjected to the most dry, boring and drab journey of this uninspiring, un-engaging individual. I often refrain from criticising others, especially when they are qualified individuals, respected within their profession.

This chap had all the qualifications, had some great experiences over his career and holds an influential role, but I have to tell you this was the worst presentation I have endured in my entire life. What was the point to the keynote… Your guess is as good as mine, I learn’t some trivial information about his early years, about where his office was, how many cars he has and all of his qualifications. Maybe I had missed the point, but speaking to everyone after it was a widely shared opinion that is was truly terrible. Had it not been for the second keynote speaker who totally got it I would have been asking for my time back! He showed passion, energy, told an engaging story and awakened an audience who had been left in a coma from the first guy.

This made me realise that despite good qualifications, experiences… and before you are fighting this mans battle he said he was an accomplished presenter around the world to teams and schools, this was a ‘keynote’ for this there are no excuses. He was unable to read or engage the audience, prepare a good presentation and deliver with any zest what so ever. To top it off, the most awful PowerPoint slides made this a memorable event for all the wrong reasons.  This becomes even funnier as the event was about celebrating design innovation! Shocking.

So, I was hoping that the student’s work would make up for this… I was drawn to the sustainable graphics and packaging course grads, in a small room was a dozen or so people from another Uni, and a mix of standards. Some good concepts and ideas with poor execution, and vice-versa.

Now sat in the gardens waiting before my next meeting I remember two individuals; One, a young chap who’s work was already at a commercial level, he talked with a clear drive and an understanding of the subject. I have no doubt he will find work and will be an asset to whom he joins. The other was a mature student, an ex designer in an advertising agency who had created an interesting concept, a working retreat for designers to escape. An environment to learn, reflect and design in a harmonious way. Aptly named ‘The tree house’. I would love to see this concept become a reality, so I can take my team for some ‘time out’ whilst still producing project work. I am compelled to help connect her to a few contacts that I think can help her pull this off.

It’s a great idea, and I am sure many design teams would love to spend a day or two to re ignite their passion for their craft, which is often lost in the hubbub of the working environment. The 4 hour event soon flew by and had filled me with excitement, knowing there is good talent coming through. With the lasting bonus, experiencing how not to present! Something I hope I will never be responsible for inflicting to an audience in the future! Sorry Mobile phone man, but please, please,  ‘step it up’ or stop presenting!

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Can fast and quick be any good?

The pace of business is astonishing. With technology working so fast how can we keep up… and should we? I joined an online community of very charged, focussed and talented people. There are now over 3,000 very active members is just one week. We are collectively looking at publishing a book together in such a short space of time.

I have clients expecting artwork and designs to be turned around in hours and the pressure to deliver is intense. But should we be reacting like this? Yes the competition will always promise faster, quicker…. Better, but how good can we be if we don’t have time to think?

As a designer we are often seen, as oh that’s easy – left click right click! Anyone can do that – comments like even my son can build websites and design. Do we expect too much too quick and who does this help?

My best asset is not my skills on the Mac, nor how I can make illustrator or Photoshop sing but what’s in my head – how I think, why I believe what I do and the influence I have on the process of design and branding. The challenge is are people willing to pay for thinking time or are they only interested in the delivery?

What are you paying a design agency for? The end result of course but over demanding time scales will only deliver mediocrity. Too much dilution through input of many will also create mediocrity… so what does the future hold?

I say give me time to be me, give me time to do my best, give me time to think, give me time to give you my best, slow down and think. Best is not always the quickest. And I promise you will see and feel the difference.

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