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About Us

THOMAS DEAN HISTORY

EVERYTHING BEGAN IN MY GARAGE

Lancashire based Thomas Dean Design, was founded in 2011, The vision was to create a one stop design shop and turnkey agency providing all aspects of media production for every type of business, both large and small, throughout North West England.
Thomas Dean Design

The Business and Brand Story (How I got here)

Company Overview

Lancashire based Thomas Dean Design, founded in 2011, is a one stop shop and turnkey agency providing all aspects of media production for every type of business, both large and small, throughout North West England. Let us manage all your media requirements, from branding and design to packaging, signage and print. Start with a free one hour consultation at which you can outline your project requirements and we can show you how TDD can help. We provide the expertise your business needs. Please browse our website to view our full range of services.

Who is Thomas Dean

Dean Thomas Brabin is the founder and head of Thomas Dean Design. He leads a team of highly skilled individuals, all experts within their own fields, tasked with fulfilling customer requirements.

Dean says: “TDD stands out from other agencies because we provide a fuller, more supportive service. We understand that many of our customers want more than one type of service to help their business compete and grow. We also understand how difficult it can be for an individual business to work with several different agencies, designers and suppliers, each with a different ‘take’ on what is required or what they think is correct.

“With us, that isn’t a problem because we are a one stop shop, project managing every job and providing customers with a single point of contact, resulting in enhanced communication, reduced project costs and faster lead times. “With our streamlined processes, customers can be confident that TDD will turn their ideas into reality efficiently, on time and within budget. We create solutions that meet and very often exceed customer objectives.”

Back in 2011

I made a life changing decision, to start my own company. I’d had enough of working hard for other people and wanted to start something of my own. I decided to leave my well paid executive job as senior designer – design manager for a major international blue chip company.

I was going to work as a freelance designer and build my own business. After some basic research I signed up for a government funded program called “Head for Business” which helped me to create a basic business plan and implement a strategy. I completed the course and set up as a Sole Trade legal entity called Thomas Dean Design.

Much of my times was spent on developing the business brand, researching my competitors, locating suppliers and speaking to any body willing to listen about my plans for the business,

At the start of 2012

After many hours of research I found a business grant organisation that agreed to give me a grant for £500 based on my disability (Dyslexia). I went out and a bought a preloved  laptop, small desktop printer and some basic office furniture. My parents have a wholesale fruit and veg business.

I used my business plan as my guide. I set about contacting many of their customers who owned and ran Hotels, Takeaways and Restaurants. TDD offered them a bespoke graphic design service along with competitive print prices and a leaflet and menu distribution service they could trust. As business dripped in I used whatever spare time and money I had marketing and investing in equipment to help better the business.

2013 A Proper Office

After another year of hard work and 14 hour days I finally managed to drum up enough regular business to move out of the home office ans into a “proper office” I relocated TDD to a government funded office building called FY Creatives based in Blackpool Town Centre. I took the smallest office (the cheapest) no bigger that a box bedroom, however by moving the business to such a well established building it gave me new found level of confidence, ambition and drive.

Relocating the business also had the chance to work alongside other creative businesses which offered services I had wanted to lean more about which eventually would also allow TDD to offer such services. I continued to spend any spare time marketing and branding TDD and making as many contacts as possible. I started collaborating with other business who in turn helped me to set up a online marketing platform and company website. Throughout 2013 new customers came and went I had to navigate several learning curves and at times I found building the business challenging to say the least, however with continued hard work and lessons learnt my business continued to grow.

2014 Big Changes and New Additions

After three years of design, sweat and almost tears TDD was finally starting to feel like a professional design company. I had experimented with taking on a student. I had moved to one of the largest office units in FYC. I sold my car and injected the cash generated from the sale back into the business so TDD had a business vehicle more suited to day to day business requirements. I updated the vehicle with business signage to attract new clients.

I relocated TDD out of Blackpool to Lytham St Annes. I set up office in busy street above an old second hand store which I had future plans to one day take over, giving TDD high street design studio.

I negotiated the use of a double garage which would allow me to start making shop signs a part of the business I was eager to grow as Blackpool being a seaside town has an on going requirement for shop signage.

The Business plan was working, I continued to work towards my original end goal. Thomas Dean Design is now providing multiple design services, Graphic Design, Commercial Printing, Shop Signage and Web Development.

2014 Onwards – The Tipping Point

Since relocating TDD to Lytham St Annes TDD has now started to really take off with regular interest from new clients and a stream of ongoing work from our current client portfolio.

This ongoing work has allowed for TDD to invest in new and better equipment which has aided the business to undertake more of the production in house and lead to faster delivery and increased levels of service.

The plan to take over the shop below has come to fruition and enabled TDD to now have its very own high street design studio which includes design offices for 2 designers, a client meeting and presentation area along with a print and sign workshop and product showroom.

TDD now have an international client portfolio with clients based in both Europe and Asia and completed 3 international business trips to deliver work projects throughout 2015 – 2016. TDD has secured ongoing work with these clients and looks to increasing its client base worldwide.

Most recently TDD have invested in a new works vehicle deadicated to sign construction and onsite installation. TDD are also currently looking to invest in a multifunctional eco solvent print system, a large format Roland print and cut machine, TDD will obtain this new equipment in order to bring a very important part of the sign production in house.

It’s been a 5 year long process and its not always been all positive, it has been hard work, it has been a journey of ups and downs but if you asked me right now to come and work for your company I confidently know what the answer would be!

TDD continue to grow business and look forward to upcoming events which you will be able to read about on our company news blog.

Thomas Dean - Career History

I started off my higher education studying a broad range of design and creative skills which included: Technical Illustration, Conceptual Drawing, Graphic Design, Media Studies, Still Life Drawing and Art History. I completed a 2 year study program and was awarded a higher national diploma (HND). In my 2 years of study I practiced a broad range of skills which assisted me in communicating my design ideas and concepts.

I attended interview at the University and on the strength of my college work was awarded an unconditional offer onto the course. The Product and Furniture Design course developed my ability to think creatively across the boundaries of product and furniture design. The curriculum encourages you to develop innovative design solutions. The course allowed me to develop skills such as Technical Definition, Principles of Three-Dimensional Design, Visual Communication, Manufacturing Technology and Culture, Workshop Practice, 3D CAD For Product Definition, Innovation and New Product Development, 3D Modelling for Design, Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Culture.

Straight out of DMU I was successful in obtaining a position of Junior Product Designer. My rolls and responsibilities included: new and current product development; working from concept to product development for outdoor activity games, swing sets, swing seats, climbing frames and some sports products; designing the packaging and any instructions for product use and assembly. To start I shadowed the other more senior designers from concept through to the detail design and prototyping stages of the several product development projects. I worked up to mid level designer and worked on several personal projects such as: The Eagle Swing & Frame Set. The Deluxe Swing and Frame Set,  The Bounce Around and 3 in 1 Junior Swing Seat.

After spending my early years at TP Toys I was approached by a Design recruitment agency on behalf of Dave Berry MD at Be Modern. I relocated to Newcastle and started work as Design Manager Be Modern Design flat pack furniture division. My roles and responsibilities:  Design and Development of the corporate ID, branding and marketing literature. Also maintaining and updating the technical drawings and CAD files required for the Kitchen and Bathroom product ranges, and ensuring that the LEAN manufacturing process was correctly applied to all products and manufacturing cycle.

After spending 2 years at Design Manager I was eager to get back to full time designing and the position of Product developer became vacant at Rajan who were based in Manchester closer to home and family. Always keen on fashion, garment, accessory and footwear development my university personal project @Adidas footwear won me the position. My role and Responsibilities: Graphic design projects, e.g. garment graphics, corporate branding, brand marketing support in print and web formats and the design and development of the garments and accessories.

Head of NPD (New Product Development) Design Manager / Head Designer; managing a small product design team, reporting directly to the Managing Director, Steve A. Brown.

Responsibilities included: Continuous development of our own brands, their identity, brand rotation, develop new products, (Product Design) their packaging (Graphic Design) POS, any point of sale devices and marketing material, in-store signage, product brochures and online adverts. Pedigree has as an annual turnover of £100 million and is one of the largest importers of Pet Products in the UK and Ireland.

Activity was divided between our HQ in Nottingham and our offshore office in Ningbo, China. Part of the product development cycle required travel to China to oversee the start up and end production / manufacturing processes and sourcing new product ranges; negotiating with suppliers and factory managers.

Our Customer Pledge

TDD believes that to deliver quality work, you not only have to understand the brief and its objectives but, perhaps more importantly, the customer and their business objectives. Dean says: “No matter what our customers need today or tomorrow, by forming a long term business relationship with TDD we want them to feel confident of our full support on every project.

“This website allows current and potential customers to browse our services, read case studies for projects we have completed and purchase our products and services directly through our on line shop. “If you just want to purchase a product and already have your design idea wrapped up, then take advantage of our online shop where you can purchase any of our hundreds of products at competitive prices.

“If artwork is required, then use our easy uploading service that guides you through the artwork set up requirements before you upload any design for print or production. Or contact us with your ideas and project requirements. More than anything, we believe in the power of face to face communication, especially with new customers, and prefer a face to face meeting to discuss every new project, hence our free one hour consultation service.

Our Brand Promise

To provide a professional level of service from the start to finish of each and every project. To advise our customers to the very best of our knowledge and to be clear at all times about our abilities. To work on building a solid working relationship with every customer and work towards achieving long term business goals. To only reinvent the wheel when it is required. We understand that coming up with an idea that is unique may have its attractions but sometimes using an already proven solution will more than do. To work at speed in order to reduce lead times and project running costs. If we cannot produce what is required, to do our best to help customers find the ideal solution.

Our Brand Values

Our key values lie at the heart of every project.
Creative, we are designers and design is something we live and breathe.
Inquisitive, we are passionate about understanding your business and providing solutions that add value.
Innovative, It is our business to find solutions to problems, where necessary using new methods, new technology and new processes.

Design Manager at Pedigree

I worked up to Design manager / Senior Designer for Pedigree Wholesale who are one of the largest importers of pet products into the UK supplying large grocers to small independent shop owners. My position was responsible for the development of 3 own brands, Walter Harrisons, Pet products International and Animal Instincts. I oversaw the development of each brand along with its product ranges answering directly to CEO and Director Steve Brown I worked for pedigree Wholesale for a total of 5 years before leaving to start my own company Thomas Dean Design.

New Office at FY Creative

Once my business had started to turn over a regular but small income I relocated the business to government funded office space based in Blackpool. This provided more opportunity to obtain new clients and work alongside other creative companies.

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New Company Assests

I invested any spare cash the business had made right back into the company acquiring new tools, IT equipment  and a new modest company vehicle that would be more suited to the millage that was required to make regular visits to see clients on site, delivery print products and to distribute leaflets, flyers and menus on a regular basis.

A New Print and Cut System

TDD have recently secured funds and invested in a new printing system that has allowed us to bring more production in house giving us more quality control, faster delivery of products and a general increase in service. The new print and cut system is very versatile and allows us to complete many smaller jobs at a more cost effective price which our customers really appreciate.

The TDD Workshop & Showroom

The new high street workshop and showroom has already started to bring in new clients with new interest. Having a base we can call our own gives us a huge boost in both confidence and ambition. Our customers have reacted well to being able to pop in and see their designs coming to life either being printed or constructed before being fitted on site.

Collective Experience

With over 20 years of design service working within several fields of industry I have practiced and obtained a broad range of valuable experience. I have worked on 100 of design projects from large to small worked within teams and also lead teams. I can provide the expertise your business needs to succeed and grow, develop and outshine your competition.

Good Customer Relations

In order for us to achieve the goals and objectives set out by our clients within the design brief It’s of high importance to have a good level of two way communication with our clients.  At TDD we prefer to schedule regular team meetings to discuss the progress of the project.