About Level 2 Design

Level 2 Design is a strategy, design and development firm. Specializing in web strategy, our projects have ranged from deisgn and development for the FBI to a complete media/e-commerce overhaul for GoDecals.net. Level2D can help you shape your image on the web or in an advertising campaign for a magazine. Whether you are a small business, large business, educational institution, government agency, or circus clown Level2D can help connect you to your audience.

Projects have a life of their own and we communicate throughout the process with our online management platform. We believe that design is a process and each step of the way is coordinated so that you are receiving exactly what you are looking for on your timeline.

More About Level2D: http://www.level2d.com

We have an award winning team dedicated to making sure that your business will have a design that will reflect your unique business and personality.

Please call or e-mail us to see if we are the right fit for you:
E-mail: info@level2d.com

Interview with Level2d - Chris Johnston

1. Tell us about Level 2D?

In a nutshell, I would summarize Level 2D as an integrated design firm that specializes in two things: 1. Delivering creative solutions based on forward-thinking strategy and 2. Building trusted relationships with clients that enable us to do so. Our perfect client would be an active partner with a clear vision for their company that also happens to keep an open (but keenly critical) mind regarding trends found both online and in culture.

2. Your team looks like a bunch of grungy-tattooed hipsters but you are retained by such impressive clients as the FBI, Jamestown Properties, and Lee University. What attracts high end clients to your team specifically?

Thanks man…, I guess? I would say that our most practical strength lies in the ability deliver unique and creative solutions both on time and on budget. That said, the one thing that it seems that our clients most appreciate about us is our dedication to creating a culture of open communication. In our industry communication is key, and (unfortunately) this is a trait that many of our peers do not share. Keep the lines open, deliver great creative, be mindful of the project… all great rules.

3. What makes them keep you?

You know, I could easily drop some grandiose statement about our brilliance related to some "blah, blah, blah competency," but in a day and age when there are literally thousands of vendors willing and ready to take on your project, there is always at least a bit of mystery that surrounds the idea of client retention. As much as I would love for it to be a simple formula, it really just isn't.

Yet, if I were to single out how we were able to develop such awesome client loyalty, I would say that the two feathers in our proverbial cap are the open communication that I mentioned previously and our ability to speak from experience when it comes to creative strategy. Though our skills in design and development help us substantially in initially landing clients, it's our ability to speak plainly about culture, demography, long-term strategy, and technology trending that keeps our clients coming back. For instance, when we begin a large client project we try to think two to three years out and advise not purely on what may be the hotness right now, but what we actually believe will be valuable to their bottom line. We may look like young "grungy-tattooed hipsters" but we've been around the block more than once!

4. We see merchants from all over the world in every industry online, and there is a lot of competition from international companies especially in relation to price conscious clients. How do you compete with lower priced international companies?

The truth is that we don't. It's not that we are totally immune to overseas competition, but it is pretty rare that our clients look at overseas firms as viable options. In our industry many competitors may offer (technically) the same services, but the value in using an American or Western firm is, I believe, a matter of perspective. When we are hired by a Western (North American / European) client, we are typically hired to communicate the value of an idea or product to those immersed in that specific culture. Anomalies aside, most of the participants in that culture interact using symbolic and unspoken gestures obvious to them, but highly difficult for an outsider to replicate. It's our conviction that these rules are what is most great about using a marketing or design firm local to your audience. They will be able to reach your audience with a subtle smile or an inside joke rather than a cultural cliché.

5. How is it that so many marketing/design companies in your industry find it hard to make deadlines and stay under budget but you continue to do both?

It's kind of sad actually (and I mean that without any sarcasm). I've seen amazing firms come and go because they couldn't pull their act together and get the work done on time and on budget. My perspective is that this happens more often than not because many of us in the design / marketing industry come from purely creative backgrounds with no real business experience to reference. Like all of us, they begin a business with the idealist desire to design beautiful products for their clients, but quickly find out that things like ROI, market targeting, analytics, and realistic deadlines matter to the rest of the world. Now this may sound really condescending, but I mean it with the most sincerity because we were there as well. I remember times in my career when I was faced with these "harsh" realities and I, like the rest of Level 2, chose to embrace rather than run from them.

Simply put, when running a design firm it's important to consider your client and their project needs first. Once you have that down, then you can start to get crazy with the creative!

6. You've chosen to use UltraCart over and over as your ecommerce partner, what is the attraction?

Access to the full suite of features, predictability cost, awesome integrations, customer service, and a proven track record. We know that when we drop a Fortune 1000 company on Ultracart that they won't be falling through the cracks. (Plus being in the same town with UltraCart gives us the ability to go down and have a few beers with them!)