December 13th, 2014

An Introduction to Dark Blue

Some nights there’s just no point trying to sleep, you just lay there counting sheep and wasting time. This happened a few nights back so I took the time to explain Dark Blue, mostly to myself, but also to you too, dear reader!

I see this journey as a lot more than creating websites. I’ve been doing that comfortably as a freelancer for two years. What I want to do is build a company and treat it like a family.

The clock in the kitchen says its 01:35am. I can’t remember if it’s fast or slow, but I know it’s inaccurate. Either way, I should be sleeping right now but some nights your head just doesn’t shut down. I’ve recently started up Dark Blue and it’s the excitement that comes with that which is keeping me up. So Instead of lying wide awake in the dark, I thought I’d share some thoughts with you; what Dark Blue is, why it’s here and what I want it to achieve.

Dark Blue is a creative agency. We create things for the web with a huge focus on design and user experience. The headline of the current Dark Blue website reads “We make websites that grow businesses”. That sounds simple enough, it’s why any business owner would employ a creative agency, but we really mean it. Our mission is to combine our elite level of design and usability with bulletproof marketing and conversion principles. These are the things that really make our clients happy, as their business will thrive or wilt depending on the success of the website – we’re the ones responsible for that.

I mentioned an ‘elite level of design’ above. This is the second definitive ideology behind the conception of Dark Blue. As designers of things people use, user-centric design is at the heart of everything we design. It has to be usable, that’s paramount. My concern though is in the rush to make everything totally simple, we’ve stripped back a layer of aesthetics, the look and feel of a product. This layer can define and brand and creates that unique emotional connection with it’s audience. As a fledgling designer I remember the argument “beautiful websites are all well and good but they need to be usable too.”, I think the reverse is now relevant, you don’t need to sacrifice beautiful design in favour of usability, they both need to exist together. With the work we produce at Dark Blue, I want to ensure it always meets that elite level of both aesthetic design and user experience.

Key selling points aside, I see this journey as a lot more than creating websites. I’ve been doing that comfortably as a freelancer for two years. What I want to do is build a company and treat it like a family. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the worlds best creative agencies and have been hugely inspired by their people and culture. These experiences have driven me to create this company, with it’s own culture and a working environment that challenges the status quo of regular working environments. I want to grow people as well as profits and use both to build a successful, forward thinking company.

For those curious, the name Dark Blue is a reference to the colour of the sky at night. I taught myself design and web development in the evenings after days at university and then work. Every break I took I’d wander outside and stare up at the stars. The night sky is a majestic thing, it has understated beauty and brings a calmness that I found renewed my energy. It was under that beautiful dark blue sky I learnt to do what I do, and was no doubt the same for anyone else who loves that they do.

The kitchen clock now says 02:15am, we’ll see if this brain dump will calm my excited head and let me get some sleep. There’s good reason for the excitement though, there’s many adventures ahead.