Core Creative Group LLC
I am an award winning graphic designer. You may know some of my work - mentos candy (perfetti Van Melle) packaging and branding | Amstel Light branding and labels | Aleve aspirin branding and o.t.c. packaging, Philips Sonicare (I was awarded the best exhibit prize for the global launch of Philips Sonicare - I am why dentists recommend Sonicare to their patients.
I have had an agency for 35 years firstly in Europe and now based in the US, since 2010. My big brand experience and 'rural NH' location makes our rates extremely attractive even for start ups on limited budgets and small business.
I want to make a difference, affordably without compromising on the quality and by aligning with top professionals in their respective fields, we are able to give a comprehensive all round package of services to our clients, big or small.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
1. Listening to what they have to say.
2. Understanding their challenges and based around these, provide solutions to these challenges.
3. Communicating regularly with the client - I do not leave them hanging or 'in the dark'. I inform them of how i see the challenge, what I am going to be doing about it, why, what it will cost and a timeline. this is for their understanding and ultimate approval.
Clear communications on both sides is always a good arrangement to have in place!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a qualified Architect (trained in London UK).
I migrated to The Netherlands and spent 3 years mastering fluency in Dutch. I then enrolled at the prestigious Design Akademie in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and gained an hons. degree in Graphic and Industrial Design (cum laude). I had a successful agency in The Netherlands from 1993 - 2010. My first client was Heineken!
What put my agency on the map in The Netherlands, was when I was approached by a Danish Medical Products company about my concept of an insulin pen (in 1999-2001), where insulin can be calibrated and administered correctly, with minimal fuss and less invasive.
This was the worlds first Insulin Pen. That was the NovoRapid Flexpen and the Danes were Novo Nordisk.
I am now stateside and Brit/US national (since 2016). I am also a Design/Marketing Consultant with the USDA in DC and execute some 'sensitive' gov't work for a NH-based R&D company (Creare Inc. ) based in NH - hence my US citizenship, and proudly so!
I have been in this business for 36 years. I have designed for major brands (mentos, Aleve, Amstel Light, Sonicare, Unilver, Bacardi, Sony, Asus, Nintendo, yet we work with small clients that have minimum budgets.
I am flexible with my costs because small business needs the experience, professionals like me can bring to the table....AFFORDABLY, EXPERIENCED, and COMPREHENSIVELY, especially in these pandemic times.
It is no longer about what I am worth, it is certainly about what contribution can I make to the common good in a fair and affordable way for BOTH parties.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
Standard pricing is $110 per hour for small and medium size business. Well below standard freelance rates in NH let alone, agency rates.
Monthly retainer fees are also charged $110 per hour for me and my team. If I am only involved, then this will be a lower budget obviously, but it does mean that we can get many services catered for simultaneously, all coming together because we are all coordinated and 'singing from the same hymn sheet'. $110 buys one hour of our time.
We are open to negotiations on select clients that have a desire to work with us for all the right reasons if not the full budgets. We do not do Pro Bono work however.
For our corporate clients it is +/- 25% higher. Still great value for money for all client sectors: small, medium, large and corporations.
How did you get started in this business?
I trained as an architect and decided that Graphic Design and Industrial Design was where I wanted to be.
I am a good organizer and just like building a home involves more than a builder and a carpenter, I have a hand-picked team to assist me in many facets of a typical project. I design, (also Creative Art Direct), and I have my SEO team, my Social Media team, I have my visualizers and animators, programmers, marketing specialists, brand strategists, PR team, Print experts, Packaging specialists, the list is extensive.
What types of customers have you worked with?
In Europe I worked eclusively for corporations:
Philips (Sonicare- I am why dentists recommend Sonicare to their patients), Sony, Amstel Light, Aleve, Nintendo, Asus, Acer, American Express, Unilever, McCain, Aldi, Stop&Shop, and may smaller less well know clients too.
In The US, my agency business model allows me to cater for small start ups, small business and medium - size businesses that are ready to go to the next levels, but they need (affordable), external help on many levels - design, brand development, websites, lead generation, trade shows, PR, advertising, promotions, events, displays, etc., etc.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I love the fact that after convincing Philips that professionals in white lab coats (dentists) will gladly recommend your product to their patients for years to come, (without so much as a commission), if they try it themselves,....they are still doing so, after 15 years on the market.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
1. Ask lots of questions.
2. Make sure this designer or agency is right for the job, not simply because your neighbor recommends them!
3. Exercise due diligence - dig around, ask questions, ask to see references.
4. When about to engage, never assume anything, and make sure all tasks, services, and timelines are clearly laid out in writing in the form of a mutually agreed contract between the designer and the client.
This is for both parties to adhere to, no ifs or buts.
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
What do they (the customers), want? Do some homework in advance. Set out a list of what you want to achieve and what you expect to receive from the designer/agency.
What is your budget? Is it realistic? - Can it be phased so that payment is spread over time?
What are your timelines?
All too often, unscrupulous (desperate) designers (I use that label cautiously), will try to sell you what they are skilled at, BUT not necessarily what you want or need.
Many get out of their depth but were never forthcoming from the start by saying, ..."ah! that is not what we do here, but I can recommend someone for you if you are interested".
A good professional will be staight with you from day one and tell you as much about what you don't want to hear as all the 'good bits', and be prepared for the truth. By the same token, there are many ways to deal with challenges, and I know many of them.