10 years of Hangar

The principles that laid the foundation for our studio

07 December 2022

history
10 years of Hangar Image

by Clint Tabone Founder & Creative Director

10 years of Hangar Image

Hangar turned 10 this year.

That’s a quarter of my life.

I wasn’t always sure that I wanted to start my own studio but certain choices and situations led me to. I’m happy I did.

I had never worked at a studio before but I knew exactly what Hangar should be and how I wanted it to be different. Here’s a look back to what made us different in the last 10 years.

Small and lean

The size of the team shouldn’t be an indicator of success, but the quality of the work should. We don’t have a sales team or account managers and this also means less friction. The other reason that we decided to not have a sales team was that we believe that our work should sell itself and the best voice for it are the people who actually work on the project.

1 vs 3

More options is not equivalent to a better outcome. It just increases the chances of winning, but we don’t like to gamble with clients’ businesses. We’d rather give them what we truly believe is best for them from the outset. You can read about this in more detail here.

No pitching

Great work requires time and a structured thought process. Each project brings with it a relationship and we should be allowed to nurture that relationship before completing a project. This is more complex than just that of course. Pitching for free or spec work is harmful to the industry and opens up doors for abuse, what I call a cheap or cheat approach.

As designers, we are expected to give ”an idea of how the final outcome should look like” before we are the contracted service provider. The client might have dozens of designers or studios to choose from, thinking that it will make their job easier. But this is far from the truth.

This approach throws the design process out of the window. We can never work on a project without first understanding what the problems are. We will have questions, a lot of them, and do you think that the client will care to answer all the questions from all the participating designers? It will be an almost impossible task. Blair Enns writes this better in his book the Win Without Pitching Manifesto.

I’ve yet to hear a story where this benefitted the designer or the agency.

Remote

As a designer, I always noticed how the environment, time of day, or location can have an impact on the level of output. Thankfully, technology made this easier for us. I wanted this for myself, but it also worked for others. Not having a physical space was at first perceived as a weakness because you know, real businesses have an office, but over time this became a differentiator and a perk for new hires.

Saying no

No helps us ask more questions and eventually get to the right answers. No to projects we don’t add value to. No helps us stay focused. We’re not Yes people and this makes us ask more questions. No became our business strategy.


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