The umbrella focus is where you can really get creative!
You identify a common denominator, a common idea, a through-line among the different types of companies and industries you would like to work with.
One example of an umbrella could be the idea of “transformation.”
There was a client who wanted to work with companies whose work had to do with transformation. Sounds a bit vague, right?
But if you think about it, he could work with yoga teachers and thought leaders and conservationists–all people looking to create change for people or for the environment. That is the common thread – all of that can fit under his “niche” umbrella of “transformation.”
Sometimes it is hard to see a potential umbrella focus for yourself. Often others see things you do not see.
So, if you like this idea and want to try it, here is what you do. You look at all your samples, the work you have done, and you ask: what is the common denominator?
Ethical Design Co: Design Agency
Ethical Design Co. is a small, Melbourne-based design agency, run by designer Sonja Meyer and social advocate Caitlin Jordan.
Since 2019, they combine their skills in creativity, design, anthropology, sustainability and community development to solve difficult design and social problems at the same time.
Their term "Ethical design" is an umbrella term used for anything that could be considered eco, sustainable, green, socially and culturally conscious.
It's a focus that allows Ethical Design Co. to work across many sectors - from small business, community non-profits and social enterprises to NGOs, governments and corporations.
Explore case studies of the projects they are most proud of.
How Ethical Design Co. Positions Their Agency
Market positioning refers to the manner in which you present and market yourself to potential clients.
You create a positioning statement as inspiration for persuasive language in all your marketing. The positioning statement is the DNA of your brand. It's invisible but controls how you appear to the world.
When you're consistent in your messaging, it makes it possible for your potential clients to perceive the qualities (or identity) of your brand or services correctly.
Ethical Design. co. could have written a positioning statement sounding something like this (write your own statement using this template):
Our names are
Sonja Meyer and Caitlin Jordan
We are the
Ethical Design Co.
Our firm creates
primarily websites, brand identities, reports/presentations, and infographics/data visualizations
small businesses, community non-profits, social enterprises, NGOs, governments, and larger ethical corporations
that allows them to
promote social change, environmental sustainability and technological innovation
other design agencies
follow specific ethical design principles and practices and adhere to a unique sustainability policy in our design practice and business
have 14+ years design/UX experience, and experience from a number of human rights and community non-profit organizations
passionate about working with clients that share our ethos in designing for a sustainable future
Some examples of how the positioning of Ethical Design co.'s materializes in their web copy:
"We work with ethical clients and partners to promote social change, environmental sustainability and technological innovation – to design a better world."
"By working with us not only will your voice be heard, you’ll be supporting a business that gives something back to the world."
"Ethical Design Co. is a sustainable brand and digital design agency"
"This website is powered by 100% renewable energy."
Did the marketing of Ethical Design Co. pique your interest? Follow them on social media:
More Examples of Designers with Umbrella Focus:
If your business "starts with a green field", Kathy Lacy at Greenfield Graphic Design will work with you - from thoroughbred to equine, agriculture to liquor.
If you want to digitally launch your product or service (especially in the APAC region,) that's what Digital Launch is focusing on.
Amy Weiher at Weiher Creative designs for "good causes and good people with good intentions."