Q&A with Chris Baker of Creative Brand Design, a leading web design agency

For our most recent interview, Business Leader chatted with Christopher Baker, the Founder of leading web design agency Creative Brand Design.

What was the inspiration behind setting up your business?

Following university, I worked for years as a freelance SEO consultant, full-stack developer, and where needed an all-around designer. I worked with some amazing clients, mostly SMEs with a couple of larger clients in the mix. I loved the combination of creativity and technology – constantly finding problems to solutions in a creative way kept me driven.

The main reason behind founding Creative Brand Design was the need to progress. To create more creative designs or more technologically advanced development. Working freelance by yourself often has resource and budget constraints. I knew if I wanted to design and develop groundbreaking websites I needed a strong team to back me up. I needed to build a reputation as an agency that creates innovative work in order to work on amazing projects for leading brands.

In a bustling market, how do you plan on separating yourselves?

Constant evolution

When you work in a tech industry the evolution of technology is nonstop. The coding syntax and languages I learned at university are now completely depreciated. It has meant that I’ve constantly needed to learn new coding languages, design principles, design for new device sizes, evolve with Google algorithm updates, etc.

The agencies that do not embrace new technology and approaches to their process tend to fall by the wayside. By constantly evolving we aim to stay ahead of the competition and produce cutting-edge projects.

Interactive design

One key evolution in the website design industry is the introduction of more interactive and immersive website design and development.

We’ve focused on embracing this trend and the new technologies surrounding this into our process to create leading website designs that stand out.

SEO optimised websites

This is a key point that is often overlooked in website design and development. If potential visitors cannot find a website on search engines then the site can be effectively useless. We build our websites with SEO built right into the core.

Focus on high performance

With the introduction of website builders/themes and platforms that allow a subjectively nice looking website to be created without much difficulty.

Our focus however is on high-performance websites that require a lot of consideration and need to operate at a high level. By focusing on creating sites that have fully optimised user flows, UI/UX consideration, interactivity, extended functionality, SEO, etc. we’re able to appeal to companies and organisations that require their website to be cutting edge and not just designed subjectively nice.

What latest web design trends do you see happening within the industry and how has the Web Design market changed in recent years?

The problem with web design trends is they come and they go each year, often the trends and predictions never actually come to fruition because there is a new predicted trend that’s already arrived before the previously predicted trends have had any impact. We predicted our trends last year for 2022 here and also for 2021.

I think what’s more important is to look at the industry as a whole and what is really going to change.

The technology behind websites is evolving. The era of needing an installed app or software is disappearing and there are now incredibly powerful, fully web-based systems running on java, javascript, etc. For for instance we can control our whole AWS hosting infrastructure from within a browser. Expect to be able to do more on websites in your browser without the need for additional software.

As a follow-on from this, you can expect more immersive sites. I think tools like three.js and canvas are going to evolve more and more, ultimately giving us not just text-based web experiences but more widely available fully immersive 3D interactive experiences.

Is it important for all brands to be more sustainable? And how does your business encourage sustainability?

We actively promote and encourage sustainable web design. This means designing and developing websites with sustainability in mind.

The internet produces 3.8% of the world’s global carbon emissions and websites that are processor-heavy, use bloated non-efficient code, and have un-optimised resources all contribute to this growing carbon emission figure.

When we build a website, we ensure we adhere to the sustainable web manifest, creating clean, efficient, open, honest, regenerative, and resilient websites. The websites we produce help companies reduce their carbon emissions and ESG requirements/quotas.

How has the business changed post-pandemic?

Our client base up until the pandemic was 99% UK-based companies. The pandemic for us resulted in the ability for us to broaden our client base globally without the need for physical locations in each area.

As a result, we’ve had the opportunity to work with companies all over the world from the US to Dubai, communicating through video calls. We’ve also been able to expand our team globally, bringing onboard team members from throughout Europe since the start of the pandemic.

What are your future plans for the company?

I’d like to expand on the globalisation opportunity that the pandemic has brought us. We’ve been able to work with some amazing US-based firms such as Genvid and Turton Bond and I’d like to continue our work in the US and globally. We’ve been lucky enough to pitch for some amazing global brands this year and I’d love to continue and expand on this.

I think like any company I’d like us to focus on increasing our team and offering, especially in the digital marketing and hosting departments, allowing us to offer a more full-service online solution.