Roxann Patrick opened Designed Solutions Group, Inc. in February 1994 as a sole proprietorship. Working as an independent contractor, she designed marketing and advertising materials for adverting agencies, design studios and a number of small businesses. During her first few years of operation, her designs won numerous awards from her professional colleagues, including the Miami Valley ADDY awards competition. During these early years of DSG Roxann subleased studio space from a small advertising agency.
At this same time, Roxann responded to a strong desire to pass along her 16 years of experience in design and advertising by serving as a part-time adjunct instructor in Sinclair Community College's Visual Communications Department.
In June 1998, Roxann made the decision to expand her business. Her expansion plans for Designed Solutions Group began with a commitment to build a company that holds its employees as its most valuable asset; a company based on high ethics, a focus on partnering with customers and vendors; and a company with an inherent sense of marketing-sensitive design and a commitment to diversity. Roxann envisioned a corporation dedicated to excellence through diversity, believing that excellence is only achieved by enlisting exceptional, talented people who represent the broadest spectrum of the American experience. Roxann said "I wanted to prove that nice guys CAN finish first-that a design and marketing business can be successful while truly caring about employees, vendors and customers."
Roxann moved from her small studio space to her own 6-room studio/office suite in Kettering, Ohio. The plan began to take hold with an immediate increase in business. During the first six months in her new location, she worked with free-lance artists and writers to help with her larger projects. At this time, she also began pursuing clients in the larger corporate market.
By January 1999, her business had grown so much that she brought in her first full-time designer. Within the second six months, with several large corporate clients, two additional full-time designers and a part-time office manager/bookkeeper were added to the staff. At year's end, Designed Solutions was recognized with eleven awards of merit and excellence from the Miami Valley area ADDY's competition
In January 2000, Roxann incorporated the business as Designed Solutions Group, Inc. (DSG) along with her husband, Craig Patrick, as her Vice President. As a computer technical consultant specializing in the graphic arts industry, Craig lends his expertise to the technical side of the business.
In 2001, the company was certified as a female-owned business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the State of Ohio, Montgomery County, Ohio, and the City of Dayton. These certifications have opened the door to countless business contacts and unparalleled growth for Designed Solutions. As a bonus to the certification, the company has forged a close relationship with the WBENC. This relationship began with Designed Solutions Group's winning of a contest sponsored by the WBENC in 2002 to design a new logo for their annual National Conference. DSG was then awarded with the contract to develop the full gamut of event branding materials for the 2003 WBENC National Conference and again for this year's conference in June. The conference brand has been so successful the WBENC has elected to continue with it for all consecutive National Conferences.
In 2002, realizing tremendous growth, Designed Solutions moved to a larger facility in Centerville, Ohio. In addition to Roxann, the staff is currently comprised of four full-time designers, an account executive, and an office administrator.
Current customers include Evenflo, Reynolds & Reynolds, LexisNexis, Edward Howard & Company, Standard Register, The University of Dayton, Guardian Glass, The Berry Company and The WBENC.
The firm now offers a full spectrum of marketing and advertising services, including: branding development and implementation; event and destination branding; marketing research and strategy; public relations; interactive and website design, development and programming.
DSG develops strategic design for print advertising, direct mail, point-of-sale, html email, corporate ID packages, packaging, brochures and collateral materials and TV and radio production.
Designed Solutions has continued to build its technological skills by adding customized web and database programming to its menu. The DSG staff has developed expertise with Macromedia Flash and Adobe AfterEffects to create dynamic presentations, animations, and motion graphics for web and video applications.
This combination of high-level creativity, proven results for our customers and technological savvy brought an almost 50% increase in business for 2003. This growth was unprecedented in a 2-year time span of economic down-turn that had a tremendous negative impact on the advertising industry.
Throughout its 10 years, Designed Solutions Group, Inc. has been recognized with numerous awards from professional organizations including the the AAF, Art Center Dayton, Graphic Design USA, Print Magazine and the Direct Marketing Association. The NYTimes.com also recognized the company in its national Ad Innovation contest for its web banner designs for Internet Surround Sessions online ads.
And while awards are an important recognition of creativity and quality, the primary goal of DSG's collaborative efforts-documented success for our customers' goals through increased revenues, cost savings and unparalleled event attendance-has been proven time and again.
<"Designed Solutions knows their stuff." said Beth Mehlberth, Vice President of Edward Howard & Company, the nation's longest established independent public relations firm. "They listen closely to my clients' needs, goals and brand objectives and translate all of these elements flawlessly into a focused, creative execution that hits the target-with impact."
Roxann has relied on the SBA throughout the 10 years of DSG's existence. Early in DSG's development, SCORE counselors offered essential business start-up advice and the online business plan templates and real-life examples are a tremendous resource in the development of a well-written, professional business plan.
Roxann is proud that Designed Solutions Group continues to operate with her original visions for the company. Her first employee, Joe Johnson, is now the Senior Art Director of the company. Her second employee, Roger Owsley, is a highly valued Senior Designer. Customers have written testimonials praising DSG for its collaborative culture and meeting the needs of any challenge, vendors regularly refer new customers to DSG and the company continued its growth even amidst a depressed economy. "High ethics, appreciating employees, exceptional creativity and listening to your customer may seem to be out-dated ideas in current corporate America.", commented Roxann, "but DSG's success is proving that these are all still very valuable business practices."
For more information on Designed Solutions Group, Inc. please visit our website at www.designed-solutions.com.
"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."