"It would be understandable to expect that a design firm with such considerable creative skill might not need to provide exceptional service. That was not our experience."
It is rare in business to find a supplier who quickly and completely understands precisely what you need, but that was my experience with Smithworks. We took on the Chairmanship of the 2007 Chester County Antiques Show with a strong desire to upgrade the look of the show, but knowing it would take a design firm with great talent and sensitivity to execute the project to the satisfaction of a specialized and demanding audience.
Right from the start, Smithworks exceeded our expectation. In my 20 years in the cosmetic business, I have done my share of advertising and I know how long it usually takes to get the design folks on track, but that was not my experience with Smithworks. With what could only be characterized as a minimum of preparation, Smithworks developed three different options, each one better than the rest. When we presented the design to the committee, it immediately drew thunderous applause. One leading dealer even said he thought it was the best show design he had ever seen.
It would be understandable to expect that a design firm with such considerable creative skill might not need to provide exceptional service. That was not our experience. Smithworks was attentive to our every need and understanding of our too frequent emergencies.
Sarah and I are so grateful to you and Smithworks for the exceptional job you did on all the materials for the show. Even to this day we encounter people talking about how we upgraded the show, but it was Smithworks that made that happen.
2007 Chester County Antiques Show
"This site is not just advertising, it is truly an internet tool that benefits both our clients and ourselves in ways we never imagined possible."
In our ever-changing print industry, turnaround times and getting quality jobs done in a quick and timely manner have become more and more important. We partnered with Smithworks and developed our new web site with this in mind. Our customers can now transfer files, generate and review quotes and proofs online, and gain immediate access to view their order status in our plant. In addition they can find directions to our plant, samples of our jobs, meet our staff and complete and submit multiple forms such as quote requests and inventory status sheets. It truly is an interactive site that makes us available to our clients — current and prospective. Our clients know they can drop files to us using our online tools feature and we receive a text message that the files have arrived. They appreciate the fact that no additional phone call is required. We are able to pull the files and move quickly toward the finished product. Our customers appreciate the flexibility and latitude the site has given them. They can upload files 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The site is not just advertising, it is truly an internet tool that benefits both our clients and ourselves in ways we never imagined possible. On top of the functionality of the site, it looks great, and shows off DBO's workmanship to the "tee".
Donald Blyler Offset
"The business results and the relationship have been excellent, so much so, that I have often recommended Eric Smith to other colleagues."
For the past ten years, I have worked with the Smithworks Design Communications team on several marketing programs across multiple consumer and industrial product categories. The business results and the relationship have been excellent, so much so, that I have often recommended Eric Smith to other colleagues.
From 1999–2005, Smithworks was the marketing agency of record for The Royal China & Porcelain Companies where I was Vice President, Marketing and Sales. Projects included upscale retail gift package design and implementation for several leading Spode brand fine china patterns, catalog and brochure development including lifestyle photography, and print advertising creative.
In 2005, when I was an independent marketing consultant, Eric Smith led B2B marketing programs with two of my clients: (1) a direct marketing communications campaign for a leading US printing firm, and (2) a new brand launch in the men's gift category including brand logo and imagery development, consumer package design and implementation.
From 2006 until now, Smithworks developed new print advertising and professional trade brochures for the architectural fabric and outdoor sewing thread product lines at W.L. Gore & Associates, targeting a more technical target customer. Currently, the Smithworks team is finalizing a retail package design for Elixir cable systems.
While the work speaks for itself throughout all the projects and the solid business results over time, there is at the core Eric Smith’s leadership, vision, commitment and exceptional design capability. Eric has always supported his clients with a talented team, outstanding customer service, clear and timely deliverables and a final design that is unique, memorable and timeless.
Global Marketing Leader
W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
"As our business has grown and our relationship has progressed, Smithworks has gladly taken on new responsibilities."
As you and Smithworks have been working diligently with my partner and I from the very beginnings of The Whip Tavern, you are very aware of the success that we have seen over the past four and one half years. Much of that success can be attributed to the efforts of the Smithworks staff. Conceiving an effective marketing and advertising plan is not only about creativity, but also about execution. Smithworks was instrumental in crafting a strikingly simple and recognizable logo, developing a rich and user friendly website, and creating a print ad format that our customers can instantly distinguish from our competition.
As our business has grown and our relationship has progressed, Smithworks has gladly taken on new responsibilities. Most notably has been Susan's role in helping us secure and prepare for our recent television appearances. Without her experience and input, we certainly would have lacked the necessary "flair" needed to differentiate our segments from others.
Being an owner/operator who has had to place a significant amount of trust in a vendor who is responsible for so much, I cannot tell you how comforted I was when Peter Gilmore, one of the most respected restauranteurs in the Delaware Valley, commented on the quality of my advertising in front of a group of fellow owner/operators.
The Whip Tavern
"...We felt at once that you understood intuitively the subtle distinction we needed to make in our work and expression to appeal to the market that we were struggling to serve."
I believe that you have plucked us from obscurity and placed us in the realm of the players in our unique niche of architecture. Peter and I established this firm in 1996 with the goal of doing the very best possible work in residential design for the best clients along the Eastern Seaboard. Through the first few years we struggled to create what we now understand to be our brand identity with very limited experience and limited success. In 2002 when you appeared, we felt at once that you understood intuitively the subtle distinction we needed to make in our work and expression to appeal to the market that we were struggling to serve. What a delight it is for a designer to be the client and receive such excellent results right out of the gate.
Our total brand evolved from a rigid series of stuffy impressions into a coherent and elegant set of graphic tools that serve us in print and web media. As I recall, your design set for our printed materials was a prize winner; it certainly remains fresh and ‘timeless’ as we had hoped. All the ancillary support with public events, media relations etc., have been invaluable. Now, seven years later we still won’t make a move in print or on the web without your consultation. We have found the clarity of your vision of how we project ourselves to the public is so finely tuned and your sense of trends affecting our marketing so acute, that it would simply be inefficient for us to do otherwise.
Archer & Buchanan Architecture, LTD.
"...it is just beautiful and functional too"
I would like to thank you all for your hard work on the website. You guys did an awesome job. I've gotten so many positive comments this week regarding the new site. They (people at Furmano's) love the design. I think it is just beautiful and functional too.
I look forward to continuing to work with you on adding new content and developing the site further in the coming year.
Thanks again for all you've done. Your efforts are appreciated and visible.
"I was very impressed by his recall about our market situation and his quick understanding of how our tactics fit into a larger strategy and our competitive landscape."
I partnered with Eric Smith on two of the biggest projects I've worked on during my career thus far. I think the two projects aptly illustrate Eric's ability to apply his tremendous creativity, problem solving skills and flexibility to a wide range of customer needs.
One project was a very high-concept B2C brochure for an expensive and sophisticated whole-house lighting control system. The other was a completely new and rather ambitious website for my current firm, which is a small B2B software and consulting firm. In both cases, as well as in the cases of many other smaller projects on which we've collaborated, Eric worked diligently to understand my needs, my audience, my budget, and the political sensitivities involved with getting approvals at my two organizations. He's great at pushing back — when needed — to drive his client toward the best creative solution, while at the same time respecting his client's opinions and maintaining professionalism. He's passionate about what he does, is highly perceptive, and is also a lot of fun to work with!
One additional anecdote that I think is telling: Eric has worked with me on a number of projects beyond the website here at Active Strategy, such as one-off brochures, logo treatments, and direct mail pieces. After about six months of not working together — due to budget cuts on our end plus my maternity leave — I called Eric and told him about a shift we are making in our brand and positioning. His response was basically this: "Oh, that's a big change...but that makes perfect sense now since so many of your competitors that you previously had to differentiate yourself from have now been bought up by larger players and aren't out there as prominently. Now that things have changed in your market, this sounds like it will work well." I was very impressed by his recall about our market situation and his quick understanding of how our tactics fit into a larger strategy and our competitive landscape. My thought at the time was that Eric brings so much more to the table beyond his great design skills.
VP of Marketing
Active Strategy, Inc.