Like many companies these days, Stamford’s Taylor Design is dealing with cybersecurity threats.
Not necessarily at the graphic design firm itself, but for its clients.
“Website security has become a huge thing for companies all around the country — big ones and small ones alike,” said founder, president, creative director and namesake Dan Taylor. “Some of our clients have been hacked and we take steps to address that and to prevent it from happening in the future,” he said. “But I always feel like we’re one step behind the hackers — as soon as you get a solution in place they start trying to find ways around it.”
Taylor Design is not a cybersecurity firm, but as its offerings include website design, it has tried to implement recommendations from the General Data Protection Regulation, a guideline in European Union law on data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the EU and the European Economic Area.
The firm expends most of its efforts on building brand identities based on such factors as real-time analytics, one-to-one customer connections and sales and marketing goals — always with plenty of input from clients.
“We don’t use templates for our work,” Taylor said. “We work closely with our clients, which tends to be time-consuming as we go back and forth.”
Such creativity can take from four to six weeks for logo projects and up to six months for websites, depending on the project, he said.
“We do everything from scratch,” he said. “We’re a very custom shop. Everything we do is from the ground up, which means our prices can be a little higher than some of our competitors.”
The firm has mined success for a variety of clients, ranging from Purchase-based air cargo company Atlas Air to pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield and Alexion in New Haven to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
It also regularly produces annual reports, videos, learning modules and publications for such organizations as Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and Hartford Art School.
“That’s typically a very defined cycle of marketing,” he said. “They have open houses in the fall and spring, so most of our work tends to be pinned to that.
“Most of our efforts are in the New York metro area, but we also have clients in St. Louis, Miami, Freepoint Commodities, which is in Stamford, but has an office in Houston, and Northwestern Hospital in Chicago. Atlas Air is in Singapore and Hong Kong, so sometimes we have to translate our work into several languages. It seems like everyone’s all over the place.”
The health care and pharma sectors have been particularly good to the company of late, he said.
“Once you do a project for one company, another one (in the same field) will get in contact,” he said. “There’s a lot of word of mouth and referrals that we rely upon.”
A new niche market is fish farms, “if you can believe it,” he laughed.
Taylor Design has done branding and websites for Waterbury’s Ideal Fish, which specializes in branzino, and Hudson Valley Fisheries in Hudson, New York, whose wares are mostly freshwater species like New York steelhead trout.
“They both sell to restaurants in Boston and New York and to places like Whole Foods,” he said.
Taylor himself worked at a number of New York graphic design firms for about 10 years, “until I decided I was bumping my head on the ceiling, if you will.”
After buying a house in Stamford, “I started commuting and decided I didn’t like that very much, so I went out on my own.”
Established in 1992, Taylor Design at 247 Main St. employs about a dozen people. “The people we hire are the top people in their class,” he said. “We’re fortunate that the people we interview have portfolios, but we also talk with faculty about who the top people coming out of school really are.”
The firm typically draws its talent from the University of Hartford, Syracuse University and Taylor’s alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, among others.
Taylor said he usually attends initial meetings with new clients, after which “it becomes a team effort. I serve as the creative director and there’s a senior designer and a designer and programmer — usually a team of three or four.”
Social media and email campaigns continue to grow for Taylor Design, he said.
“We help create thought leadership, all in a very integrated way, to help generate leads for those companies,” he said.
The trick, he added, is not to be too overt with the messaging.
“Instead of just plastering a company’s name out there, you have to be creative to get your message across, especially with younger people,” he noted.