The Value of Design

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Setting the Scene:

The interview took place at the Gloucestershire Business networking event at Ellenborough Park in the Cotswolds. Our creative director was interviewed by Adrian Malpass. You can follow them on twitter and facebook #glosbiz

Question 1: Who are you NOT related to?

A misconception but Im not related to Roy or Robbie Keane or even the group for that matter… ( ICE BREAKER )

Question 2: Explain the link with J R Hartley and Werthers

OK. I advise you if you haven’t already to get a mentor. Mine was invaluable. He used to be creative director at Abbot Mead Vickers (AMV) a while ago I might add. He had a hand in the JR Hartley Advert and Werthers Original advertising campaigns, which are iconic adverts to this day. If your younger than 35 then here is the video for you...


Question 3: You’ve been involved in designed for 15-20 years, including with a large agency. What are the differences when you’re running your own business?

So I have worked Inhouse for Fitness First, Printers, Exhibition Company, Design Agencies, Advertising Agencies and now run my own company. Before I was hidden away and had to do the guess work on what the client wanted, rather like Chinese whispers, and if the account handler isn’t very good then it would go backwards and forwards for ages. Running my own business, apart from the obvious that everyone has to deal with… Sales, Admin, Tax etc. means that I get the brief from the horses mouth and the clarity is there straightaway. Client is happy and Im happy too.

Question 4: Many designers focus on web, or print, advertising, etc – how did you come to specialise in all of them?

All the jobs that I have had, I've never said no to. So if someone said can you illustrate this or design this website I have always said yes, I'll just figure it out later. This has meant that I can now design in a wide form of media. I enjoy designing for a variety of mediums its what keeps me alive. I have also designed in a variety of sectors and this also helps with keeping my design passion alight too. These have ranged from Motor to Finance to Property, Health and Fitness and Leisure and Tourism. ( to name a few )

Question 5: The value designers bring to a business - what can good design do for a business?

Can I start by saying what bad design can do to a business, it can bring about a lack of trust from a consumer perspective. The value that designers bring to a business can help to generate brand awareness. When you have a strong brand then this is a step closer to business success. Getting it right can take time and effort.

Strategy behind the design and Experience.

In the past I have created:

• Brand guidelines are key to keeping a brand in order and develop it in a way that consumers will eventually remember you by. A disorganised brand can give the wrong message to its customers. I have created brand guidelines for small to large businesses but my favourite is a brand book for Hiscox Insurance - which is not a set of brand guidelines. When you pick it up you will realise what the brands tone of voice is and what they stand for. - INTERNAL USE ONLY because not only is it important for your customers to love your brand its important for your Employees to do so too. 

• Wall art for a school nursery in Twickenham. They have hardly had to do any advertising, as this has showcased them as a trendy secure place to leave children which is fun and inviting for them.

• The value of getting it right also goes so far as to emails. We did send them everyday until GDPR, but how many got opened? More importantly how many converted into leads! I was invited to help an agency whose client was struggling. Their open rate was 1%, after 1 send we brought them up to 15%…

• A well known car brand had a similar issue… They wanted to send an email out for test drives. I went into the agency and created a mobile friendly design and sent it out. Then they received a phone call to say please don't send anymore just yet as we are inundated with requests. The contract was for 6 months. 6 years later and still going strong they are still creating emails for them.

• Website launch with a reservation system for a pub in the Forest of Dean went live just before Bank Holiday weekend, They had 8 reservations per day for a week constantly. That income was roughly £4500 added income to the business.

• Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival… We have been working with them for 7 years since that time we have grown them to Marlborough and Swindon and now just back to Cheltenham.

• Chase Distillery were sponsoring Casino Royale in London. How do you keep a brand in the pocket of a celebrity? They have a throw away lifestyle. I came up with a branded casino chip. - Simple idea, High end value for the client.

Question 6: How do people find you?

OK so. I'd like to tell you a memorable story. My wife chose omega3design, at my expense I might add. I HATE FISH. Funny right? The idea behind it was that omega3 makes you more intelligent and therefore more creative. Now I've either had too much as a child or I never needed it - you decide.

So website is your best bet -

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Linkedin @omega3design and Linkedin richkean

Lasting message to leave with you:


Good design is at the heart of every successful business and when paired with a smart strategy can make a huge difference in building trust and credibility, generating attention, and increasing the number of leads for your business.

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