BmDodo Strategic design has been operating out of Kingston since 2004. Fun fact: my old company, Aureus Solutions, was technically their first client! I sat down with co-owners Brian Dodo and Jen Cameron to get insight into their business and their thoughts on working in Kingston.
You call yourselves strategic designers, as opposed to graphics designers. What is the difference?
Jen: With strategic design, we focus more on the problem. Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to do? For example, if a customer asks for a brochure, we would ask why? Do you really need a website? An average graphics designer would take the size and specs for the brochure, and produce it without question.
Brian: Most designers are an extension of what their clients want. If a client wants 1000 pens, they will give them 1000 pens, whether it makes sense or not. Instead of producing things, we come up with ways of communicating.
Jen: We work on giving the best end result, instead of producing a product.
Brian: We like to say that if you the solution to your problem, we are not who you should go to.
Do you have a case study to demonstrate this?
Brian: We did some work with the Region 9 Tourism Organization. They needed to rebrand themselves, but were unsure of the best way to do so. We found that the main challenge was that their name was limiting. It didn’t capture the full potential of the organization.
Jen: This was made even more difficult because there were multiple stakeholders (ed. note: I count ten on the website alone!) that we needed to get on the same page. We settled on the Great Waterway, and took the project from there.
How do you find working in Kingston. Why did you settle here?
Brian: We set up in Kingston assuming work would come from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. Kingston was located centrally, so we thought it would be a good location. We ended up getting most of our work locally, which we never expected to happen!
Jen: Another great thing about Kingston is that we have a great quality of life. We could make more money in a larger city, but would have to make significant sacrifices. Also, the bulk of our clients are here.
Thank you for your time!
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