Scottish Design Review

Drawing conclusions

Scottish Design business of the Year – Third Eye Design

After another strong year, in which the agency enjoyed worldwide recognition as well as continued success closer to home, Third Eye Design has topped three of the polls – Financial, Creative and Peer – to be named Scottish Design Agency of the Year, for the third year running.

But how did the agency, as well as its rivals and peers, perform across the research?

Financial Poll - Third eye design

Baker Tilly constructed the table on five aspects of financial and business performance which have been calculated and contrasted across the Best 25 consultancies.

Each consultancy is ranked on design turnover for 2007, design turnover growth, design fee income growth, revenue per design staff employed and revenue per design client – with an average score calculated for the final positions.

By using a broad range of categories on which the companies are judged this should present a balance of the financial aspects key to a design company.

The consultancy that tops the table is Third Eye having been second last year and, indeed, first in the previous year.

This year 19 consultancies managed to achieve design fee growth and 19 also managed to achieve design turnover growth year on year, slightly down from last year (22 and 21 respectively).

Some other key facts from the research are:

The 25 companies have a total of 854 design clients which is an increase of 18 percent. Average turnover per design client is £26k which is down £16k from the previous year. There are 155 qualified design staff and 91 support staff employed - down 25 percent on 2006 figures. Average turnover per design staff is £143k. 12 of the 25 agencies have a turnover of over £1m 80 percent of consultancies achieved design fee growth year on year The 25 agencies in the poll generate a turnover of £22m

Client Poll - Good Creative

During the research The Drum also contacted 250 clients and asked them to rate the design agencies they deal with across a variety of criteria. 125 clients answered the survey and rated in terms of account handling, creativity, strategic thinking, value for money and overall professionalism. Good Creative came out on top.

From the research, some interesting facts were gleaned:

30 percent of respondents had a marketing spend of under £50k. 45 percent were in the £50-£500k bracket. And 25 percent had a budget of over £500k. Creativity and professionalism were rated highest by the respondents. Whereas value for money was rated lowest.

Peer Poll - Third Eye Design

The Drum asked the industry which design consultancies they rated. The results were perhaps tighter than in recent years. However, the agency that came out on top was the same.

Third Eye Design was voted by its peers for its global presence, its clear positioning and for its quality of work with luxury brands.

One to Watch - Tayburn

As part of the Peer Poll research The Drum also asked the Scottish Design industry to chose a managing director as the MD of the Year and an agency as their One to Watch.

This year’s One to Watch is not a new start up or an agency that has suddenly erupted from obscurity. The unanimous feeling in the industry is that all eyes will be on a rather more established agency. With a new team at the helm following last year’s management buy out, the message from the industry is that the new leadership will lead Tayburn onto greater things.

MD of the Year - Keith Forbes, Good Creative

A unanimous decision was also reached in this respect and this year’s title holder has received recognition for his active involvement with the DBA and his desire to put something back into the industry. Added to this his hard work and determination, ability to build a strong business from scratch and eagerness to give support to those in the same boat.

Creative Poll - Third Eye Design

A key indicator of a design agency’s success is its creative output and entrants were asked to submit a portfolio of work to be judged by a panel that this year consisted of clients – Lynn Dalgleish of Glasgow City Council, Chris Dempsey of Registers of Scotland, Clara Suess of UZ Events and Charlotte Gross of Scottish Ballet. Third Eye Design’s portfolio was singled out for its original, stylish, exciting and beautifully crafted work.

Continuing on from the Creative Poll, one individual piece of work was also singled out for its craft and print quality and for hitting the brand on the button – Contagious’ Beefeater Gin London Book.

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