Razor Creative Solutions: design with an edge
When the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, Roberto Carreiro was left to find another job like so many others. Roberto didn’t plan to freelance, but when his old colleagues started calling him up for his expertise, he realized his next move.
Founded in 2001, Razor Creative Solutions is a unique graphic design agency located in Brampton, Ontario. Their team consists of talented designers, social media specialists and creative strategists who are committed to the promise of design with an edge. Razor.ca speaks to Razor Creative’s simple yet sophisticated design practices, featuring their portfolio of work. The team has adopted a unique storytelling approach with a fresh design perspective that incorporates the latest trends and breakthroughs in design and communications.
What sparked the creation of Razor Creative Solutions? The dot-com bubble burst after a period of major interest in internet startups and this left Roberto, and 250 of his colleagues, without a job. As Roberto searched for his next traditional role, he began receiving unexpected calls.
“I was sending out resumes and trying to find a traditional job when my old co-workers, who landed at other agencies, started calling me up and asking me to give them a design rate. That's how Razor Creative Solutions began as I became busy doing freelance work.”
Razor sharp focus
Razor Creative uses its small size to its advantage in order to set itself apart from other graphic design and advertising agencies.
“Our small and nimble approach allows us to be very client-focused, which is what many of our clients really appreciate. Our clients love the fact that they can pick up the phone and speak directly to myself, the founder and creative director.”
Razor Creative quickly developed a reputation for providing dedicated attention to clients and offering a unique storytelling approach. This led to many client referrals and new business. Razor Creative found its niche in the pharmaceutical industry but has expanded, now working with automotive giants like Acura, Honda and Kia. They’ve also worked in the cosmetic space designing work for MAC Cosmetics’ Toronto and New York offices.
“We always look for new opportunities that could let us expand, grow and give us diversity from a work and design perspective. We like to take on work that is challenging or that could give us a new expression of what we do.”
Razor Creative likes to take on opportunities where they don’t just work for profit but can make a real difference too. Razor Creative has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel York in the past, along with North York Storm Girls Hockey.
“When we hear the stories of what our work does for the kids across the community, that's what it's all about.”
Creating a digital presence and brand
Roberto managed to secure his nifty domain razor.ca back in the 2000s and has since registered many more. Registering different variations of your domain name is a great way to protect your brand and help customers find you online. Roberto did just that and secured three variations: Razor, Razor Creative and Razor Creative Solutions.
Having a short, memorable domain name was important to Roberto as it all comes down to memorability. Keeping domain names short, like razor.ca, is a best practice to follow when choosing a great domain name. It's easy to remember and reduces room for error when it’s typed into a web browser.
“The shorter the better—it's about making that memorable moment that connects with your audience. If you can pick something that's short and sweet, then do it!”
When deciding on his domain name, having a Canadian connection was important to Roberto as he’s proud to be Canadian and works closely with Canadian clientele. It just made sense to choose a .CA domain to firmly establish Razor Creative as a Canadian communications and design company.
Razor Creative works with many start-ups and helps guide them from the very start. What's the first thing Roberto tells his client to do? Well register a .CA domain of course.
“You have a unique brand that you want to start and you have this idea of a name of a company. As soon as you register your business with your lawyer, it's very important to capture the .CA domain.”
When helping clients choose a .CA domain name, branding is always top of mind.
“I think social media plays a big part in choosing a domain name too. What I try to say to clients from a strategy perspective is to get the domain and social handles to match. That's our strategy—it's the only thing they have to remember.”
Building a website
Roberto built his website right when he established his business. He knew the importance of having a website and the immediate credibility and professionalism it signals to your clients.
“I feel today that people just think that they could have something as simple as an Instagram account and that would be enough. I feel like it does not convey experience or reliability, and these are what people look for when wanting to invest in a company. You can't go wrong with having an online presence as it really speaks volume to the credibility of your business.”
Roberto chose the registrar Rebel for his website and recommends it to all his clients due to their unmatched customer service. Being an agency that prides itself on a client-focused approach, it's no mystery why Roberto chose Rebel.
“Since we've been using them, it's been nothing but a great experience. I can't even put it into words to describe the amazing experience that they've offered our clients. We love hearing the praise coming back from our clients and how appreciative they are; Rebel has made a huge difference.”
Lessons from one entrepreneur to another
Roberto’s advice for new entrepreneurs looking to take their business online is to lock down your domain first and begin investing in your image.
“Definitely start with buying domains, they are more important to me than your social handles. That's where the primary focus is from a credibility standpoint, you want to look very professional. From there I would really invest in your image. It's very important to look professional because there are so many people out there that don't feel like investing in themselves is worth the value. It's important that you invest in yourself and that you design your own brand identity to stand out. As soon as you're looking for a job or clients are looking at you, perception is everything. If you haven't invested in yourself, then why would clients pay for you to invest in them?”
Celebrating Canada Day right
.CA is Canada’s domain so we asked Roberto how he spends his Canada Day.
“It's usually at Sauble Beach—that’s our thing. We love the festivities that happen there and you’re on the beach. Our vacation lands around that time so we go up for a couple of weeks and hope for good weather. Canada has got so much to offer!”
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