Good design means good business.

Concentric Design is a Chicago-based graphic design firm that specializes in visual identity, website, and print design projects for a variety of clients seeking to positively impact their customers and communities. 

As a small firm, we’re able to really get to know our customers and understand their culture and vision in order to provide solutions that work. Although we’re small, we’ve built relationships with creative partners that support us in providing quality results for diverse project types and sizes.

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2006
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 1212 N Ashland Ave, Fl 2
    Chicago, IL 60622
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Hertz, United Airlines, Paylocity, Teach For America, The University of Chicago, Netrix, Burwood Group, The Huestudio + Company, Q Holding Company, Taskfully, VoxConnect

Reviews

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Graphic Design, Branding, & Web Design for IT Consulting Firm

“They’re really good at providing different design options at the start of any project.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Concentric Design provided graphic design, branding, and web design services. They first utilized the Adobe Suite to rebrand the company, and later designed a new website using Squarespace.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Colleen Barry
Marketing Director, Burwood Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Attractive and fresh, the rebrand brought new elements into the style, collateral, content. The new website also vastly improved on the old, allowing the business to easily make changes themselves. Concentric’s team responded quickly, worked efficiently, and provided excellent options.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Burwood Group is an IT consulting and integration firm. We do technology consulting and operations work, specifically in the areas of communication and collaboration, cloud and automation, and security. I’m the director of marketing communications.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Concentric Design?

Initially, I needed some relatively minor graphic design assistance because we don’t have an in-house graphic designer. We later needed help with rebranding and new website design.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, they did some graphic design using Adobe Suite. It had been about five years since we’d done any color or graphic updates. We were looking for a modern twist on our brand colors and identity. It was a large project involving a brand refresh and uplift. They put together a new brand guide and a short style guide with a total uplift of our brand’s fonts, design features, and colors.

More recently, they designed a completely new website for us in the Squarespace platform. The website is promotional and content-focused. It was a great, inexpensive option for us. They added a layer of customization to a Squarespace site that I wasn’t capable of. They guaranteed it’d look as customized, if not better, than the site we had at the time. We still have an open block of hours, so they help us with little jobs regularly.

What is the team composition?

The two designers and managing partners, Blair (Founder/Managing Partner, Concentric Design) and Jeff (Founder/Creative Director, Concentric Design), were my primary contacts.

How did you come to work with Concentric Design?

Blair used to work at our company. I was very familiar with him as a graphic designer. We had a legacy relationship with another design firm who was more focused on web design, but it wasn’t working out. They weren’t very responsive or proactive. I knew Blair had recently started his own firm and that I liked his work, so I reached out to him.

For the web, we found out a year into working on the new site that the developer we had engaged didn’t do a great job. There was a lot on the backend that we uncovered several months into working in the new site. It was coded wrong and didn’t meet best practice or standards. By this time, I was engaged with Blair on other projects. He suggested using Squarespace because it was an easy platform for non-designers to use.

How much have you invested with them?

$25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in March 2017 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The rebrand has been very positive. A number of employees have remarked on how nice and fresh it looks. They really like the new graphic elements they introduced into our style, our collateral, and content. It not only involves new design elements, but it gave us a whole new standard set of templates. It’s now a lot easier for us to do design things internally.

We’re very happy with the website. The main change has been backend management of the website. It’s easy for us to manage the site internally. With the old one, we had to engage a developer we had on retainer even for small changes. Now that we’ve moved over to the Squarespace platform, we can do many changes ourselves. We still engage Concentric when there’s a bigger question, but the improvement is so significant compared to the last site. We’re very happy.

How did Concentric Design perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve been fantastic. They’re very responsive with problem resolution or issues. We’ve never had any issues getting hold of them in an emergency situation. With the website project, we had a little miscalculation around the scope and its duration which resulted in it being a bit more expensive than we anticipated. It’s nothing that I was upset about, but they didn’t estimate how long the project would take accurately.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re really good at providing different design options at the start of any project. No matter what it is, they get back to me with three or four different takes on the design. They’re very receptive to feedback—there have been times when I’ve told them I didn’t like anything. If I give them constructive direction, they’re very accommodating to that.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions on the work that they’re producing. They’re really open minded. Their goal is for you to be happy. Be honest with them to contribute to an honest working relationship.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Re-design for Synthetic Rubber Component Manufacturer

“[T]hey always add extra value to whatever our discussion is.... they will give the topic a lot of thought and offer advice.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Concentric Design overhauled the existing websites of a synthetic rubber component manufacturer, incorporating a responsive design and creating an additional corporate umbrella site. Their design also served as the foundation for other marketing collateral.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Ohio
Marketing & Communications Manager, Q Holding Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The redesign has resulted in an increase in usability for customers and a dramatic improvement in sales since the engagement began. The team is responsive and reliable throughout the process and carefully considers the best ideas in each and every conversation.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the marketing and communications manager for a synthetic rubber component manufacturer, Q Holding Company. We make components for automotive, industrial, and medical devices.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Concentric Design?

We didn’t have an up-to-date website and wanted to totally revamp our existing websites. The challenge was not only to create something new, but that would also reflect on the leadership position of the company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They revamped our two existing websites and added two new websites; the first was an Umbrella site for the company and the other for another division of ours. It was essential the websites feature a responsive design, which was something they did very well.

The main audience is composed of engineers and we wanted the structure, navigation, and information we’re providing to be of use to them. Concentric Design learned about both our company and our audience and then translated that into a dynamic website which helped us reach those objectives.

We used the website design as the foundation for building other marketing collateral. They helped us design trade show displays that complement the website and continue to build our brand in the marketplace.

 What is the team composition?

I generally work with Blair Hannah [Founder & Managing Partner, Concentric Design].

How did you come to work with Concentric Design?

We had already been working with them when I joined the company in November 2015. It was my decision; however, if they would be the right partner to revamp our websites. I met with Blair and had the opportunity to learn more about their capabilities and what their approach would be. Afterwards, I felt comfortable hiring them for the project.

How much have you invested with them?

We have invested between $75,000–$80,000 in total.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in the middle of 2014, and engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’re very happy with the quality of their work. The members of our sales team think it’s awesome that we have a website that really tells the story about our company, the products we manufacture, and how we make them. It walks the engineers on the user-side through all of our capabilities and has helped tremendously in sales.

How did Concentric Design perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re excellent. We were communicating on a near-daily basis during the web design process when there was excess to review. We used several different tools including Asana. They also developed a Gantt chart to track our progress.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Whenever we have a conversation, they always increase the value of the discussion. They don’t return to their office and regurgitate what we spoke about but instead give it a lot of thought. They come up with their best suggestion and offer advice, even if it’s contradictory to something that I might believe we need to do or the way we need to do something. Their consulting has helped tremendously and sets them apart from a lot of other companies who just do exactly what you tell them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of anything, to be honest.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Trust them to be honest and be open to listening to their recommendations because most of the time it's really valuable. Take full advantage of their consulting capabilities.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very good and keep you up to date if something like a client revision, will cause them to miss a deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide the value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I haven’t found anything lacking in those areas.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Identity & Design For IT Provider

"They do great work, and that is a big value-add to our organizational functions and needs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Concentric Design created a brand identity for a large national event, including logos, signage, and other assets. They also manage long-term differentiation for several brands.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Bannockburn, Illinois
Pamela Hoover
End User Adoption, Netrix
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Company leadership and attendees loved the fresh new logo and brand image. Concentric Design set themselves apart with their transparent management, cohesive methodologies, and broad talent pool. The agency's trustworthiness and reliability made them a valuable partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was previously the marketing director of Netrix, as well as a partner in the organization, but I currently work in end-user adoption. Netrix is an IT consulting organization that covers many different practices across business technology, ranging from network infrastructure to collaboration conference room design, and everything in between.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Concentric Design?

We needed some outside assistance as it pertained to high-level design. We had people internally who could manage, edit, and come up with really clean and simple designs and have engaged Concentric on a few projects. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

One project we worked together on was an international organizational wide kick-off in Chicago, which we do yearly. We invite all of our national employees, as well as our international employees. We had Concentric build out the brand and persona of that event. They designed all of the brand assets that we need from a signage perspective, as well as the logo identification process.

Another project we have kept them on retainer for is assisting with additional sub-brand identification. Netrix has a few different sub-brands that are part of the organization but might have their own sales group, identity, and book of business so-to-speak. They deviate slightly from the Netrix corporate brand, and we have had Concentric on hand to help come up with a brand identification for those groups.

For both projects, we did a block hour agreement based on what we thought would be an estimated amount of time to complete. For the open-ended project, it is a standard yearly block hour, but for our yearly kickoff, building design concepts from the ground up and working with the Netrix team to finalize those what was really in the scope. They build out what the mood boards and brand logo should look like for the event and create the components associated with that. This included the final decal design, the pop-up signage design, and PowerPoint.

For the rest of the projects, there wasn’t a formalized scope as it was a block hour retainer fee. Typically, if we know we have a new project coming up, we would engage the team, set expectations, and goals, and then they would come back with timelines, mood boards, and recommendations for completion to final design.

In terms of the logo designs and brand identity, we always have a good idea of the direction we want to move forward with but are open to their expertise, and their help to bring it to life. Given our posture, in knowing Concentric as well as our team, it was probably a 50/50 working agreement.

How did you come to work with Concentric Design?

I had worked with Blair [Founder and Managing Partner] previously.

How much have you invested in them?

We have spent around $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Concentric in May 2016, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our executive management team, our marketing team, and all of our leadership are really pleased with the work. From that perspective, that is a gold seal of approval in my opinion. The feedback we got on the new logo was great. When we do surveys from our big kick-off event, people feel like it is an impressive event and a big part of it is the branding and having that large-scale presence, which would have been difficult to achieve without Concentric’s help.

How did Concentric Design perform from a project management standpoint?

We receive reports on time usage, and I have never had any questions regarding how hours are being spent. I feel like there is a lot of trust and understanding in what they are working on, and is matching the hours that they are reporting to. From a project management perspective, I don’t have anything negative or neutral to say. We have always had a good working relationship.

What did you find most impressive about them?

What makes them really stand out is their expertise that their team brings, as well as the backgrounds they have. They have interesting corporate backgrounds, but because they are a smaller shop, I think they take a lot more time to manage and understand the client versus being one of many, and just a number, as part of an agency.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we always keep them on a retainer. They do great work, and that is a big value-add to our organizational functions and needs.

5.0
Overall Score They do great and clean work, and strive to really make those visions come to life.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We haven’t had any issues with them not meeting deadlines, or at least communicating changes in timelines, which are fine.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We appreciate the work that they do, and you pay for that expertise.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They have taken feedback we have given them, and incorporate it to really meet the vision that we have, and allows them to put their own design expertise into that.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I pass their name along quite frequently.

Branding for Event Company

"[They] offered alternatives which were extraordinarily brilliant, and actually better than our original ideas."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2010 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Concentric Design created a logo and full branding, based on minimal frameworks. They also created print collateral, designed a WordPress site and contributed to SEO and marketing campaigns.

The Reviewer
 
Greater Chicago Area
Jeff Hughes
Chief Experience Officer, The Huestudio + Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Concentric Design stays up-to-date with trends, and their collaboration and creative skills are unparalleled in the area. Their work resulted in a 35% uptick in clients and a 50% increase in social media presence. They handle project management and communication proactively and with no missteps.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My name is Jeff Hughes, and I’m the chief experience officer at The Huestudio + Company. We are a luxury event planner offering exquisite services in the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as destinations throughout the world. We handle any type of corporate, private, wedding, gala, for-profit, not-for-profit event, and have a great time doing it.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Concentric Design?

We wanted to establish a definitive brand which was representative of our core values. We create and design event experiences which are colorful, utilizing circles of color, vibrancy and energy. We’re the nontraditional event-planning company in the Chicago land area, where we stretch the limits, and our goals for design, branding and the website were uniquely nontraditional, and distinctively different. When guests and clients would stumble and be directed to our website, they would immediately be filled with joy and happiness, knowing right away that we are not only a fun company, but we also celebrate and honor all color.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Blair Hannah and Jeff Meador from Concentric Design were incredibly instrumental in bringing our unique challenges and vision to life. What they ended up doing was to create a logo and full branding, after we went through two or three iterations. They hit the mark running, based on our specifics and scope. Not only did they take our branding, they expanded it to various partner logos and lockups. They also created print collateral in terms of personal and business stationery, business cards, and all the accessories and offerings which make up a luxury brand such as ours. They have created a spectacular website which is intuitive and informative, but also allows our team to manipulate and change spinner images, and the dynamic text on our spotlight pages.

We provided minimal frameworks for Concentric Design to base the work on. They are a full-service company which encapsulates the client’s vision. With creative clients like ourselves, it’s difficult to document and capture all of these nuances, in terms of color, typeface, design and imagery. For the investment we made, Concentric Design hit the ground running.

One of the platforms we use on a regular basis for changing the site and populating the blog is WordPress, but I don’t have information in terms of hosting and other elements.

Concentric Design has assisted with our SEO and pay-per-click advertising, during our initial launch as well as through several other campaigns.

We’ve increased our marketing, and are currently undergoing a new design of our logo and typeface, as well as a full marketing communication plan for us to launch during our 10-year anniversary.

How did you come to work with Concentric Design?

I’ve known Jeff, their graphic designer, through United Airlines. I retired from that company five years ago, after close to a 30-year career. I was responsible for the entire enterprise of recognition and appreciation of the 85,000–100,000 employees worldwide.

At that time, our small creative services department was tiny, and Jeff was a freelance graphic designer who was brought in specifically for the projects I and my team had going. For a large corporation such as United Airlines, the branding specifics and marketing aspects of the programs were immense, but he learned that quickly, and became our go-to person.

During this time, we engaged with Jeff separately, in order to start the branding and design for The Huestudio + Company. We had a small platform and presence, but, because of the work he did with us, specifically with my team at UA, he was a natural fit with our communication and style.

I’ve known Blair for five to seven years. Both of them are different, but they’re also uniquely collaborative. They offer a service which is unparalleled to other company in the Chicago area. Concentric Design is responsive, up on current trends and happenings and proactive in sending things to us for examination, in terms of new concepts and technologies. We’ve referred many of our friends and business partners to Concentric Design, in order for them to create similar looks to ours.

How much have you invested with Concentric Design?

I would have to specifically go back and look at our business tax returns, but, as a ballpark, we’ve probably spent around $20,000 to $25,000. This is inclusive of not only the website design, but also the graphic design.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Concentric Design seven years ago. The relationship is ongoing. Concentric Design not only hosts our website, but are also working on our ten-year anniversary material and other items.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We are using a number of branded icons on a monthly basis. The website is substantial in its branding, and we’re actually looking to package an incredible gift for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is now on Broadway. Many of the designs made by their team are being shared with the two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle, as well as some of our other five lucky golden ticket winners.

We’ve been in business for a total of ten years, and, seven years ago, when we started working with Concentric Design and changed our brand, we saw not only a 35% uptick in clients, but our online presence on Instagram, Facebook and Google increased by anywhere between 40–55%. We started the website five years ago, and had a refresh to it two years ago.

How did Concentric Design perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re responsive, document everything, have exceptional contracts, and have presented no issues in terms of timelines or deliverables. We haven’t had any problems with their recommendations in terms of service partners, printers and so on. I can’t say enough about Concentric Design, and a part of this is because they’re so small, and can be responsive. We have had the opportunity to go with larger agencies at a much lower cost, but we’ve preferred to stay with Concentric Design because of their style, and the way in which they handle things. In terms of project management, they’ve handled the shifting of files over to our printer, delivered follow-ups on tracking numbers, and there were no missteps at all.

What did you find most impressive about Concentric Design?

Their immense imagination and creativity. We might have sudden thoughts and dreams about what we want some things to look like, or how they should be positioned. Concentric Design can take those thoughts and massage them into a visual identity, color, thought and so forth. Looking at our website and scrolling to the very bottom of the page, you can see how detailed we’ve been with our brand standards. I think that taking nothing and making it into something is an extraordinary feat, especially when done with minimal changes and direction.

Are there any areas Concentric Design could improve?

At first, it was a somewhat frustrating process, but Concentric Design pushed back on our crazy requests in terms of color, type treatment, fonts or style. They were coming at it from a consistency standpoint, and challenged us to see their point of view, but went about it in a way which would seem so interesting to us as to turn us around.

Rather than being a negative, it’s an incredible positive for them to push back. They’ve really encouraged us to think differently, and look at things from a very different, young, fresh perspective. It was off-putting at first, but Concentric Design offered alternatives which were extraordinarily brilliant, and actually better than our original ideas.

5.0
Overall Score The vibrancy, color and energy of our website is one of the reasons for our company having such delighted clients. We have curated a fabulous product and brand.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very specific in quoting a timeline. Not only do they meet that every time, but also deliver early.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost estimates are right on target or lower. If Concentric Design ever exceeded our estimates, there would be a rationale for that, usually based on changes we made to the scope.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work was always exquisite, detailed, on-point and what we asked them to deliver.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have recommended them publicly online, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to people who are looking for website or graphic design. We know that our friends and clients will have an equally great experience to ours.