“It’s not just about design, we are solving problems”
Vancouver, September 11th, 2017
Rebecca Rochon and Alejandro Quinteros were able to combine their close friendship since college and their wide work experience by creating Pivot and Pilot, a digital agency from Vancouver that has been quickly growing over the past few years and is now considered one of the best in the city.
The agency works with clients from Toronto and the United States and offers fully responsive, engaging, interactive and highly customized websites, logos, motion graphics and print collateral, combining Rochon’s background on animation and Quinteros’s on communication design.
From Vancouver, Rebecca Rochon, Founder and Creative Director at Pivot and Pilot, talks to TIA to give us the inside track on the agency.
“We saw that Vancouver was going through incredible growths and we wanted to be a part of it. The business in the city were rapidly changing and people started to understand the importance of innovative design and branding,” she said, explaining the reason of starting the agency.
What are you passionate about and why did you choose to do what you do?
Good design is powerful. It’s the way of communicating ideas. We want to help our clients by identifying their key messages and positioning their brand. Our goal is to help business stand out. We see people trying to replicate the same look on their websites repeatedly. We want to push the boundaries and make things different. We want our clients to stand out. If you keep aiming towards the same standard, it just doesn’t work.
What was the driving force and inspiration behind creating Pivot and Pilot? Tell me its history
We saw that Vancouver was going through incredible growths and we wanted to be a part of it. The business in the city were rapidly changing and people started to understand the importance of innovative design and branding. Alejandro and I were in different jobs and we have been friends for a long time. We work very well together and we wanted to create something ourselves so to be in charge of what we do.
Tell us about your team!
We first saw the need of bringing inhouse developers into the team. We presented things to clients and realized we needed developers to create something different and new. We hired an inhouse developer straight from school and he is a very enthusiastic person. Another designer started a month ago and he was recommended to us. When we do our websites, we think about every aspect of them and the motion they should have. The user experience is key. We also work a lot on animation, probably because of my background.
How do you work out your design, taking into account your target audience or users?
We take into account all of those things. We try to go through a brand position session first. We want to understand the personality of our clients and get them to understand us as well. There’s so many ways to represent something visually depending of the client and the product. We need to know everything about the client from the beginning. We aim at different directions first and we later choose one. It’s a very collaborative process. Once the best option is selected, we create a logo option. But it’s not just a logo, it’s creating an entire brand.
Which are the most important web tools that you use?
Most our website are WordPress based. We use a combination of HTML and various codes to create our sites. We create costumed templates for the clients.
If you had to choose the three most successful projects you have worked on, which ones would they be?
–We worked with a pop dance festival that had been going on for a while. They didn’t use digital marketing for their previous years. We ended up coming up for different strategies for them. We did a website to sell things through the site and we worked on mobility to increase sales. We came up with a strategy to get sponsorship that changed their whole business. Tickets and sales went really up because of what we did.
–We worked with a small real estate agent. He had a website that was really stuck in the 90s. We came up with digital and printed marketing strategy. We are digital but we believe in the power of in person marketing as well. We developed a website with many animations that showed the process to buy a home, from meeting realtor to moving in with all the financial aspects. He now has one of the most frequented visited websites here.
–We worked with a doctor who does medical esthetic. Many people are scared of the procedure and many doctors have the same type of websites. We used a deep dark navy blue so it feels an elite service. People felt safer because of that. We used more natural photos than the digitally altered ones. That really helped him. We organized the site more strategically. His business improved a lot.
Name a challenge your team is currently facing
We are doing fine with clients but at the beginning people would come to us and expect it to be very cheap. They didn’t understand what design is. It’s not just about design, we are solving problems. There’s a lot of time spent on educating clients. People might think that they can do them by themselves, using for example a cheap template. But they are missing the strategy part. It’s not just having a website with your contact information.
Any new projects or future plans for Pivot and Pilot?
We want to keep being a small boutique agency with six to ten employees. We want to focus on quality and not quantity. We are not jumping from trend to trend. We don’t pay attention to trends, we want to do what we think it’s unique for the client to make them stand out. We want to keep the quality high and we do costumed work. We would like to reach out to clients in Toronto in the future as well.
What do you like doing in your free time?
We don’t have much at the office but we like to go to the beach as we live in the West Coast. I like hiking as well and Alejandro loves drawing and singing.