TY BRADFORD Finck

Relays

# business

It was only a matter of time before Allison and I started working together again, professionally speaking. Almost a year ago we tossed around the idea of starting a branding studio. At the time we were both doing our own separate things–I was making fonts and freelancing and she was taking photos and…also freelancing. But, we were also expecting a baby (who ended up arriving a little early).

So now, almost exactly one year later, we are finally in business together. It make sense since said baby is a little over one year old. If you’re a parent reading this then you probably understand. It means things are a little more predictable in terms of scheduling and, if I’m being honest, sanity.

Last spring when we started to take this just a tiny bit seriously we kicked around name ideas before ultimately settling on Relays. Just the one word. And the URL we chose uses the .team domain because that’s kind of what we’re about. Teamwork. Our team, your team, some combination of a same team. Either way, there’s a back and forth and, eventually, a handoff that takes place, involving people every step of the way.

We initially built a website and…never shared it with anyone. Never told a soul. It was just our little secret that actually stayed that way. And of course, we set it aside while we wrangled kids. Here is what the first beta site looked like:

At some point we talked about what if Relays operated as a temporary “in-house” brand shop for one client at a time, for only a few months. Part of the problem we want to solve is working with people and organizations that either have a creative team they like but need a little extra help, or don’t need a creative team at all but just need the push to get going. We wanted to fill that gap beyond just freelance/contract pieces, but we also didn't want to replace anybody. After all, the salary of an in-house designer/photographer/writer/strategist–ok that’s probably a few people–would far exceed what we would charge for a short-term engagement. So we put together the following site( another one pager) and again, didn't tell/show anyone. Here's what it looked like:

That was close, but still not right. After some iterating we finally got the vibe and language in an even more organized manner, combining some of our favorite parts of v0 and v1 above. You can explore it at www.relays.team

We’re building brands from the ground up and then making as many necessary pieces to support the new identity. In 6-10 weeks. Our client (yes, singular, since we limit it to one at a time) has our undivided attention. We’ve stopped taking on any non-Relays projects. I'm still making fonts, but on off-hours, if there is such a thing.

Believe it or not, I began writing this blog post in late February and put it on hold while we started and completed our first project. So when I initially drafted this blog post it was just a fun announcement with some nice graphics and good ideas. But now, after a deliverable-loaded 9 week project for our first client, I can re-read this and appreciate that our idea is not only solid, but a lot of fun. Check us out.

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