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Joining Dossier

A newbies thoughts on Dossier and design in Vancouver

Now that i’ve been a member of the team at Dossier for 4 months I thought it would be nice to piece together some of my initial thoughts about working here, my team mates, and working as a designer in the North American market.

Its suffice to say that moving to Vancouver from the other side of the world definitely comes with some cultural and creative differences. However the design industry in New Zealand is surprisingly similar to the one here in Vancouver. Its full of strong boutiques, who work hard and achieve great success, a few large fish who like to splash about and make a lot of noise, and an overall unified community of creatives who back one another and help the industry move forward positively. There is however a large difference in consumer cultures and buyers needs that have been interesting to learn about.

As a mid sized agency Dossier has a reputation that is well known in the Vancouver design community as a humble, yet unashamedly great agency, producing leading consumer design and research. I was instantly attracted to the work produced here and found myself lucky to be asked to join the team.

As a small tight nit team its clear that everyone here has one anothers back.

Projects here are not silo’d off but are shared for the whole team. Input at any and all stages is open to the floor for critic and input and the team here do a great job of keeping one another standards high. On the few projects I have work on so far I have found that the collaborative spirit and openness of the team have helped propel my own work forward in unexpected and interesting directions. Its great to feel that the team leave their ego’s at the door and approach projects and solutions as a real team.

There have been a few unexpected learnings ? along the way. The first was realizing the way north american consumers read packaging and brands. It has to be clear, straight forward and bold. The brand drives everything here, especially when we are dealing with brands that want to go into the USA and require growth and fast distribution. But I think this comes from a marketing/business need to jump off the crowded shelves in USA.

The second surprise was learning to deal with two languages. As Canada is bi-lingual it means that French and English have to play an even roll on anything that goes on shelf, especially if its going into Quebec I don’t speak french so it leaves me a little at a loss as to what I can and cant do with it, especially when it comes to type setting.

Overall being at Dossier has been a fun journey, and I have a great team who help with advice and tricks for working here in the industry. Working at Dossier feels natural and organic, it is a company that excels at growing team members which in turn creates excellence in the work. I look forward to future projects and my continued growth here.