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“My design professor defiantly replied “Computers will NEVER be used for graphic design!”

Creation Hotcomb Design is a graphic & web design studio based in Montreal, working globally.

They are an international Web & Graphic Design Studio that creates clean, cutting-edge, professional and custom designs for clients.

Some of their impressive clients have included ELLE Quebec, United Nations, Esprit, Mega Bloks, La Vie en Rose, MUHC and recently Hans Koechling the image is to name a few.

MO: Can you elaborate on how a disagreement with a Graphic Design Professor was the springboard for leaving the Graphic Design program and ultimately launching your own business?

Dana: Despite being a young art student with a chip on her shoulders, it was during a graphic design project in which we were to create graph paper with a pencil and ruler. Each square had to be precisely 1″ inch.

I suggested in class, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just use a computer to do this?”.

I recently enrolled in a computer arts class were I just fell in love with computers. It was fish to water. My design professor defiantly replied “Computers will NEVER be used for graphic design!” I knew right then that this dogmatic ideology was limiting and obviously couldn’t be true. I walked out of the class that day and shortly after the design program.

Ironically, design companies were in fact already making the switch to computers. It didn’t take long before I was designing. learning myself design computer programs and utilizing all the professional mentors who showed me the ropes along the way. After many great years in the field, going off on my own was the natural progression. I realized that chip on my shoulder was actually a symptom of my entrepreneurial spirit. Go figure.

MO: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked really well for you?

Dana: Being authentic. When I started freelancing, it was strategic cold calls to clients I wanted to work with it. Today with social media, I blog and post topics I’m interested in with i.e.: the arts, music, fashion, photography and world views. I’m basically targeting like minded people who love what they do, work hard and feel strongly about what they do.

MO: What inspired you to update your website and have a bit more fun with your brand identity?

Dana: The awesome freedom to know I can. It’s an exciting platform to reflect the constant evolution of the company. I can be experimental and keep things fresh. There’s a warmth and trust that lends itself from humour and humility from not taking yourself too seriously that I dig.

MO: What are some graphic design trends that you’re excited about?

Dana: I create trends, I don’t follow them, just kidding. I’d be dizzy and burnt out if I paid attention to and chased every new change. That’s the beauty about trends they come and go but style is eternal. Like with fashion, I prefer classic elements with hints of what’s current.

MO: Why is cultural awareness so important when it comes to the design process?

Dana: I strive for an all inclusive universal appeal in my design, but I am also aware that culturally many elements of a design could get lost in translation. A colour choice, image or symbol might have a different meaning from one culture to another. It can be interesting to play on the diversity, but with sensitivity.

MO: Can you share how you’re expanding upon your web design services with Multilingual Websites?

Dana: Working in Montreal, language is a hot topic. Having a bilingual website not only appeals to both the French and English therefore market casting a wider marketing net, but it’s also about cultural sensitivity, demonstrating you are thinking about the customer. Expanding to multilingual websites is just the next level towards an international market for me.

MO: What advice would you give to a company considering redesigning their website? Is there anything that they should avoid?

Dana: I love doing website make overs. The content is already there so all the attention gets to goes into creative, streamlining and editing. My advice would be to remember that the website is part of the picture and not the whole picture. The branding is key. Making sure your brand identity is consistent and that your site doesn’t look dated should be the focus. Avoid feeling like you need to know everything about web, I’m sure I don’t know all the ins and outs of your business so don’t sweat it.

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