Norbord Industries (a OSB manufacturer with $1 billion in sales and $1billion in assets) has been a fantastic client for quite some time. We’ve produced a large amount of work for them, but only for their product marketing, and never their corporate communication. We were thrilled to finally have gotten the chance to work on some of their corporate materials, in particular, their corporate site.
We going into it that it would be a substantial undertaking. The design and structure of the website was reasonably straightforward, but it’s always a challenge when multiple departments (on both sides of the pond) all have a say.
All things considered, the entire process was a reasonably smooth one. The most important take-away for us was this: do your absolute best to produce designs that will still be relevant as long as possible. Of course, this is easier said than done. The the issue is one of intent. At least attempting foresight. Quick, ephemeral campaigns are loads of fun, but something like a corporate website will likely need to have a longer shelf life.
The second lesson is one we are constantly learning: how to manage expectations. Not only do we need to give clients a clear idea of how long projects will take and help them work through their own internal bottlenecks, but we also need to be realistic with ourselves. While a project might take two years to complete, there are large pockets of time where the client is reviewing the work, or has simply bumped the project further down the priority list. Knowing in advance that a project will be a slow-burn helps us pace ourselves, making sure that other work is scheduled appropriately.
Not every race will be a 100m dash. Learning how to go the distance is critical to keeping your sanity in this typically insane industry.