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Research Case studies

Steven Taylor: Raw Design Studio


Raw Design studio was co-founded by Steven Taylor and Robert Watson and was launched in September 2006.

“We create thoughtful pieces of design and creative communications, with a focus on craftsmanship and collaboration.”

Steven, who studied Events Management at Leeds Beckett, and Robert, a graphic design graduate from Salford University, have been friends for years and it wasn’t until one day over a pint they realised that together they could have a successful business. Robert was to be in control of the creative side and Steven would manage the sales and business aspects. As a result the idea of Raw Design Studio was born. Steven enrolled into the Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2006. A four day residential course, which takes place in the June of each year, to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the practicalities and pitfalls of starting and running a business.

“This was an excellent opportunity for networking and I made a lot of contacts who I got to know on both a personal and professional level”.

Steven and Robert are now five years in; "We had a very strong three to four years but at the end of 2009 we started to lose the majority of our revenue stream because our client base was 70% public sector and the government cut budgets in a big way". They have worked extremely hard through this period and managed to win big brand clients such as the FA, The Premier League, the BBC, Liverpool FC and Wolves FC.

"The hardest aspect of the process and our greatest achievement is getting through the last twelve months without making redundancies and actually winning work with top brands, which sets us up really well for the future"

Raw Design Studio are now making huge strides in the football industry; re-branding Wolves FC and working on two high profile projects for the FA, launching a website aimed at children and teachers for the Premier League and designing the BBC Philharmonics 2011 advertising campaign. Throughout all this they are celebrating their fifth birthday this year (RAW blog) and we owe congratulations to Steven on the birth of his first child.

Stevens advice: "Just do it! After university, most graduates don't have much to lose - no family, no mortgage, and few ties - the older you get the more risky it becomes. It’s hard and you really don't know half as much as you think you do but your determination and confidence (sometimes ignorance!) will see you through."

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