Meet Black Bear Design, the Atlanta-based digital web design agency that specializes in all things web. With a strong and nimble team of designers, marketers and developers, Black Bear is bringing their corporate level marketing and technology to all the small animals of the forest. Looking to revamp your website and upgrade one of the most valuable assets in your business? Then choose the king of the web design forest – Black Bear Design.
Keep reading below to learn more about what Black Bear Design does for their clients, why they are beloved, and the projects that put them on the map…
Location: Chamblee, GA
Core Services: Web Design, Graphic Design, Internet Marketing
# of Employees: 10
# of Four-Legged Employees: 1
Company Mantra: “Our mission is to create remarkable experiences and help you stand out in the forest!”
Does your agency have a cool origin story?
Our agency was started out of the effort to get out of the corporate world and bring corporate level marketing and technology to small business. Randee and I (Joel Black, Co-Founder) both worked for very large corporations, probably two of the largest in Atlanta, Emory and Suntrust. We decided that we could take all the difference pieces of marketing and package them into a service we could offer large companies and small startups, built to scale for what they need and their budget. We actually pitched this service to Suntrust (a local mortgage branch) and they loved the idea so much, that they were are first retained client. Employees would leave Suntrust (or wherever they were within arms reach), go to other companies that had similar offerings, and would bring us on to “do the same thing we did for them”. Our company grew exponentially, and the small company we started in the spare room of our house quickly grew to 10 employees and a very cool loft office space!
Most interesting physical thing in your office?
A Bear Head
What does #agencylife mean to you?
It means people that are excited around a single thing, #theBlackBearLife. We all work together towards an idea, that what we create can move our clients forward.
“There are over 1 billion websites on the internet today, most of which will never be seen. How are you going to stand out in the forest?”
In 10 Words or Less, What We Do for Our Clients:
We help clients look better and grow faster.
3 Characteristics We Look for in Potential Clients:
- First is do they want our help, or do they just want someone to push the buttons. We want to work with clients that want us to help them move forward.
- Second, do they want a long term partner or do they want someone temporarily. We want to know our clients, that way we can do better work for them. It takes months to really know a client, so we want clients that want to work together for the long term.
- Third, do they have a great product or service. We do not want to work with someone where every review on the web is negative, or produce a low quality product or service.
Our Clients Love Us Because:
Because everyone we work with matters to us. We do not want to go out and find more business, we want our current client base to succeed so they can take us with them!
Clients We’ve Helped:
Bella by Alethea, Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, reKindness
The #1 Thing We Love About Web Design:
That you can start with nothing, and end up with one of the most valuable asset in your business.
Is there a web campaign from the last year that inspired you or a classic campaign that you draw inspiration from?
Everything we do is very custom, we meet with each client before we start a project to discover their business goals and how we can help move those goals forward. So every client is very unique, we draw our inspiration from our clients.
What is the one web design project you are proudest of? Why?
Oh boy, that is like asking which child is my favorite. If you ask us all, everyone will have a favorite, my personal favorite is nanwo.org. The reason that is my favorite, first I think it is a great idea. Second, we have been involved since this was an idea, written down on a single sheet of paper. From developing the logo, the website, and print collateral, to developing a trade show booth and traveling all the way to San Francisco to work the booth with him, it has become a friendship, not just a project.
If different from above, what is the most recognized web work you have done? Tell us a bit about it.
Some of our most recognized will go unrecognized due to NDA’s. One site is top of mind from going 0-60 in a short amount of time. reKindness was featured in all types of magazines, the Today show, and a multitude of other online and print media. The site has been converted to the most part to an app now.
Which one to three brands need to redesign their website?
Well, as you see in the next question, I’m not a big fan of big brand websites. For example, why can’t Chick Fil A have a fun website? The commercials or cow impersonators and cows hanging off water towers around Atlanta are so much fun, and then you get to the website and it’s just a plain website like everyone else’s.
Which one to three brands have a great website?
My favorite website of all time was taken down a couple years back, and that was JimCarrey.com. It was so different and so far out of the box, it is a shame he took it down. I really don’t like a lot of the big brand websites, they are impersonal and not very creative. I like the small startup websites like Bench much better because they are outside of the box.
What is one thing people don’t know about web design that they should know?
The biggest thing people don’t understand is cost, and that is because cost is so wide when shopping around. With web design, it is a service, mostly based on the amount of time someone invests in building a site. So if you have a single person, working as a freelancer, building an average site with the experience of that one person, the cost is obviously cheaper than if you have a team of people working on a site with over a hundred years of experience, all with different perspectives related to technical performance, design, seo, marketing, and all of the other variables that go into building a website. That is always going to be a mystery that has to be explained.