Sarah Talbot Design StudioSarah Talbot who owns a Cornish Design Company called DesignStudio has an innovative way to promote her design company through a cook book she has designed. I asked Sarah if she would consider an email interview for Graphic Design Blog and she kindly agreed. My thanks to Sarah for taking part.

1. Please could you tell us a little bit about you and your company and the type of design work that you do?
I run a graphic design company called DesignStudio, we typically work with small to medium sized businesses helping them to strengthen their ID within their marketplace. We build open and professional relationships with all of our clients, in light of this we are able to understand and pinpoint their needs, likes and dislikes which has led to producing the best possible design solutions to meet individual requirements, from a simple brochure or a much broader campaign.

2. The idea of creating a cookbook as your design company’s brochure is very unusual, what gave you the idea?
The recipe book has come from a very unique service that we offer our clients, we bake them their favourite cake and take it along to development meetings. So popular has this service become I decided to make it a feature of my new brochure.

3. Has cooking always been a passion of yours as well as design?
I love cooking, anything foody and I’m there. The fact that I now combine two of my passions in life is fantastic!

design cook book

4. I understand that some of the recipes came from your existing clients, how did they respond to your unusual request for recipes?
They loved the idea, most of the recipes are mine, but some are from clients. Some of my suppliers have pages as well as initially they were upset that they weren’t in the book. It’s also a thank you to my clients for their support for my first 2 years in business.

5. How has your book been received by potential new clients?
Brilliant, people’s eyes light up when they see it. It has been described as ‘porn for foodies’. It’s great because, although at the end of the day I’m selling my business and looking for new clients my new brochure contains nothing about my company, no services, no features, nothing. People’s guards go up when you try and sell to them – this does exactly the opposite.

6. How do you plan on distributing the brochures, will they be used as a direct mail piece or handed out at meetings and events?
They are being handed out at networking events, they will be used as a direct piece of mail and followed up with cold calls. They will also be given to my existing clients to hand to possible referrals.

7. Have you any further plans for spin offs of the brochure ( e.g. recipe postcards as marketing material)?
Yes! I will be starting my own networking event by the end of the year. Called ‘afternoon tea with sarah’, this will be informal, invite only and instead of having a guest speaker we will have a guest baker who will cook their fav cake, with my help, live in the DesignStudio kitchen! I can’t wait…

8. Do you think you will do a follow up design cook book next year?
With out a doubt, I can see a whole series of books, maybe one day I’ll do a Delia style ‘all in one’.

9. Has the concept been successful in terms of generating new business, or increasing the profile of your design company ?
I have only had the book for a week, so too early to say as yet. But I think absolutely, it had already increased my profile, I have 2 live studio radio interviews this week I will be appearing within the Cornish press. And I think because the book so interrupts the traditional selling, I think it’s a certainty of not only generating new business but attracted exactly the types of companies that I’m looking to work with.

10. Have you ever done any other unusual marketing campaigns for your design company?
Not really for my company but I have sent out live penguin boxes containing clockwork penguins for one of my clients John Richards Shopfitters. http://www.penguinholiday.com hopefully should explain it!

Have you had success with an unusual marketing and promotional campaign for your design business? Drop me an email if you would be interested in sharing your idea on Graphic Design Blog.