Where to order a design for a startup: in Russia or abroad

Today, more and more entrepreneurs decide to relocate their business abroad, and at the same time they are faced with a choice: start working with foreign designers or collaborate with a Russian team. Roman Gorbachev, founder and director of a branding agency “Logomashina”talks about the pros and cons of each of these options.

Where to order a design for a startup: in Russia or abroad

Where do entrepreneurs move their business?

The most popular destinations for business relocation from Russia are neighboring countries: Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

Entrepreneurs are attracted to these states for a number of reasons, among them: the absence of the need to obtain a visa for entry, the relatively low cost of living and relocation, and low taxes.

However, neighboring countries are not always the final stop for company owners.

For example, entrepreneurs may consider the relocation of business to Kazakhstan as an opportunity to further enter the markets of Asia, since the republic borders on China. And the relocation of the company to Armenia may be the first step in entering the European market.

Why is it important to take into account the cultural characteristics of the country in the design of the company

Despite the worldwide trend towards globalization, many countries retain their cultural and national characteristics: residents of different countries may have different consumption habits of goods and services and even the perception of their external design.

That is why, when entering a foreign market, it is not enough to translate the visual content of your company into a foreign language, you need to localize it: adapt the design to a new target audience.

The cultural characteristics of a country can manifest themselves in different ways, for example, through the way its inhabitants perceive colors.

White color in Russia is a symbol of purity and triumph, and in China – mourning. For decoration of festive events and weddings, the Chinese choose red, which symbolizes happiness and joy. This is important to consider so that the company’s identity evokes the desired emotions in your audience.

Individual cultural traits of the country also influence the format of text placement and other design elements.

So, in Arabic countries, the text is placed to the left of images and icons, and the menu button, unlike European countries, is located on the right side of the screen.

Menu format on the IKEA site in Saudi Arabia and France

If in the US and European countries minimalism is welcomed in design, then in Asian countries the audience is used to animations and icons. South Korea’s Samsung website is pastel-colored and looks a bit childish compared to France’s austere homepage design, which is dominated by dark colors.

startup design 2

Cultural characteristics are also taken into account when designing product packaging.

For example, baby food manufacturer Gerber entered the African market with jars on the labels of which a child was depicted, and the names of the ingredients that make up the puree were spelled out in text. The image of a baby attracted the attention of buyers in Europe, but in Africa, where a large percentage of the population cannot read, it was more important to see the image of the ingredients that make up baby food on the product.

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What Gerber packaging looked like when the company entered the African market, and how it looks there now


Pros and cons of hiring a “local” design team

Some entrepreneurs, when entering the foreign market, prefer to refuse the services of Russian designers and choose “local” specialists. However, there are both pros and cons to working with foreign branding agencies.

  • Pros of hiring a “local” design team
  1. Experience in the local market. Employees of foreign branding agencies know the cultural characteristics of the state and the preferences of the local audience. Such companies already have experience in the country’s market and a certain amount of vision – the team will be able to create a design that will appeal not only to you, but also to future consumers of your goods and services.
  2. Knowledge of new trends. It is generally accepted that all design trends come to us from Europe and the USA. If you move your business to these countries and hire a team of local professionals, you have the chance to work with high-level designers and quickly pick up new design trends before they become hackneyed.
  • Cons of hiring a “local” design team
  1. The language barrier. In the process of working on the design, the customer and the contractor are in close contact: the client must convey to the designer all his wishes for the project in as much detail as possible, and the contractor should take them into account and adjust his work. The language barrier can further complicate your communication with the design team, and then the identity development process can drag on indefinitely.
  2. Differences in mentality and business culture. In Asian countries, people really appreciate punctuality – all work calls and meetings begin exactly at the appointed time. But in Italy it will not be considered late if the designer comes to the meeting fifteen minutes late – and you also need to be prepared for this.

Pros and cons of working with a team of designers from Russia

If you are entering the US or European market, where cultural differences with Russia will not be as pronounced, you can consider hiring a Russian design team. Let’s talk about the main advantages and disadvantages of working with domestic branding agencies.

  • Advantages of working with a team of designers from Russia
  1. Non-standard approach. The view of designers from Russia will differ from the vision of “local” specialists. For example, Russian branding agencies are beginning to go beyond the domestic market and work with companies from China, gaining new non-standard experience. This means that your company will be able to stand out in the market thanks to unique design ideas.
  2. It is easier to find reliable specialists. It takes time to form business connections and acquaintances abroad, so you will have to choose a branding agency solely on the basis of cases and words of company representatives. You have a better chance of finding reliable specialists from Russia thanks to word of mouth and recommendations from colleagues.
  • Cons of working with a team of designers from Russia
  1. It will take more time to study the market. The first step in developing a logo and corporate identity for a company is to conduct a design study, which includes an analysis of your main competitors and potential consumers. Russian designers who are not familiar with the local market will have to spend more time analyzing it than their “local” counterparts, which will affect the timing of the project.
  2. Different time zones. If an entrepreneur and a designer are located in countries with different time zones, it can be difficult for them to solve operational problems and coordinate joint work. You will have to take into account many organizational issues, for example, discussing in advance which time zone the design team needs to focus on when scheduling a work call or presentation of the finished work.

Conclusion

To make a decision about the team from which country you will work with, you need to take into account both the cultural characteristics of the country where you are going to enter the market, and the organizational aspects of cooperation with designers.

Foreign designers are well aware of the tastes and preferences of local residents. In addition, designers from the US and Europe are considered the creators of new design trends – by working with specialists from these countries, you have a chance to pick up new trends as soon as they appear. However, be prepared to be tolerant: language barriers and differences in business culture can make it difficult for you to work with foreign designers.

Cooperation with Russian branding agencies has its advantages: colleagues can suggest reliable contractors, and thanks to the fresh look of Russian designers, your company will be able to stand out from local competitors. But even in working with agencies from Russia, difficulties may arise, for example, due to the difference in time zones.

Cover photo: Marty O’Neill / Unsplash

Photos in the text: provided by the author

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Source: RB.RU by rb.ru.

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