Hello Design Reviews

Updated Oct 24, 2019

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2.8
37%
Recommend to a Friend
Hello Design CEO David Lai
David Lai
0 Rating
Pros
  • "Good environment (music, dogs, food/drinks), chill vibe(in 7 reviews)

  • "Nice people, centrally located, dog friendly, some good clients(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "He will then yell at you because he hasn't seen the creative or feels out of the loop or feels like "no one is pushing the project forward"(in 4 reviews)

  • " positive reviews (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (2)

    "A real review of Hello Design"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Hello Design full-time

    Pros

    I work at Hello as a full time employee and I have had great experiences working here. By working day to day with David the CEO I have developed a strong relationship that has helped me grow in my job and abilities. He has a lot of experience and knowledge to tap into. This is a place that has a strong core of people who want to stay and grow within and once you realize that you will thrive here. Fast paced environment that forces you to do your best work and wear multiple hats. Since it is a smaller agency you are forced to own your projects and that will set you up for success as long as you can handle agency life (which to be fair is not for everyone).

    Cons

    The one con I would say for Hello is that we are stronger as a team and everyone needs to remember that daily. You are not in it alone and should not act as so. Communicate with the team and it all works out.

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "You get out what you put in"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Creative Director in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people who make up Hello are amazing. There's a lot of really talented and smart people working everyday to do the best they can. There's no shortage of white space to grow into should you be ambitious enough to do so, and you can learn a lot by working for a place that has high expectations.

    Cons

    It's a smaller agency that sees a fair amount of turnover. This means that some of the institutional knowledge and communication can suffer. Sometimes people struggle not knowing that they should speak up or ask for help. Small teams sometimes mean that people are asked to do things outside of their comfort zone or there is a lack of clarity to who is responsible for specific tasks.

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  3. Helpful (14)

    "Stay far, far away"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    That feeling of liberation when you finally quit this place.

    Cons

    Let me start out by saying I am too embarrassed to be associated with this agency and consider my time here a black mark on my career. It is omitted from my resume because I’d rather have a gap in my work history than have people know that I worked here, even for a few months. All of the negative reviews on here are truthful, and no matter what the management of the company would like you to believe, all the positive reviews are written by the said management or poor employees who were “asked” to write them. You will have to endure constant belittling, gaslighting and mansplaining by the CEO and his sycophant. At my exit interview, they acted like their turnover was completely normal because “people come and go at other companies too.” Just to give you an idea, in the short time I was there, at least one person would quit or get fired every other week. Sure Jan, that’s absolutely normal for a company of less than 30 employees. The CEO is a textbook narcissist who loves the sound of his own voice. He can go on and on for hours about all these “low hanging fruit(s)” pillars” and “2 cents,” all the while telling everyone he’s just “talking out loud.” (Yes Dave, we all know you like to talk out loud. The correct phrase is “thinking out loud.”) Unfortunately, nobody could ever successfully locate this magical low hanging fruit he speaks of, so we always ended up getting berated for not being able to read his mind. Even if you were able to correctly read his mind though, he would very quickly change it then just so he could still yell at you. The CEO and the management are so inexperienced, I still get secondhand embarrassment thinking about how little they know about their jobs. I’m quite convinced they all have been living under a rock together for the last 20 years. I often had to try to explain to them how things should be done, but they would always respond by publicly belittling me, to cover up their own ignorance. Instead of doing proper research or taking a deep dive into each project, they repeat the same gimmicks and comps from their past projects over and over, no matter who the client is or what the specific ask is. I had never in my career been reprimanded for wanting to do the due diligence and take the time to research the subject I was asked to work on. Pretty wild!

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  4. Helpful (9)

    "Tell Me Lies Tell Me Sweet Little Lies"

    1.0
    Current Employee - Account 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Maybe you'll learn something about yourself under such extreme conditions. Maybe you'll learn that bathrooms can be a place of escape. Maybe you'll learn to appreciate your life outside of the confines of this cursed concrete bunker. Maybe you'll appreciate the trees that line creek that runs behind the office.

    Cons

    The last positive review is clearly written or encouraged by management in an effort to offset the negative reviews. Why else would they call it "real "? Hello Design is not a place you want to work. It's not a place I want to work either but unfortunately I'm stuck here until I can find a job that doesn't make me want to cry everyday. It's hard to find a new position though when you are constantly fatigued. Who has the energy to fight every night with job applications and resumes when you already spent 9 - 6 fighting for your projects, fighting for your dignity, fighting to be heard and respected by a management cohort who does everything in their power to make your job difficult. Hello Design should be studied by scientists. Misery loves company and clearly this is Hello's most consistent and longest running client. I desperately wish I was learning something here but all my efforts are undermined. There's no one to teach you anything because the only people that have been around long enough to do that have committed themselves to treachery. I wish some of Hello's clients would read these reviews so that they understood that the strained smiles we plaster on our faces for video calls are fake and that we're sad. Sad for the situation we're faced with but also by the fact that we can't deliver our best work because the conditions simply are not present. Please listen, please help.

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  5. Helpful (14)

    "Taking a job here was the worst decision of my life"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Director 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    On Wednesdays, the front desk person makes waffles for breakfast.

    Cons

    The entire company is run based on the CEO's mood and ego. You'll be fighting other teams daily for his time because he needs to approve every single detail of creative yet it's more than likely he wont show up to meetings you've scheduled with him to review creative or timelines or discuss projects. He will then yell at you because he hasn't seen the creative or feels out of the loop or feels like "no one is pushing the project forward". Getting a simple piece of creative out to the client takes not weeks, but months. He will unprofessionally discuss other employee's performances with you regularly. Someone was fired or quit every single week. The company is not big and the turnover is mind-boggling. If you are considering a job here, please take these reviews to heart. Do your research and reach out to past employees on Linkedin.

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  6. Helpful (13)

    "If there's a hell, this is it."

    1.0
    Former Employee - Project Lead 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hello Design full-time

    Pros

    Some cool people (but they are going to quit or get fired soon anyway)

    Cons

    EVERYTHING. Even the so-called "cute" dogs aren't that friendly. The turnover rate is insane. By the time I left the company, everyone I had started with had left already and this was a company of just about 30 employees. I applaud anyone that makes it past one year. The environment is completely toxic and needing therapy from working at Hello is pretty normal. Managers overreact and will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat and CC upper management or even the CEO in emails whenever they please to make you look bad without speaking to you first and even when you're not at fault. This was a regular occurrence. Taking a sick day is an ordeal. Personal days aren't a thing. Managers will often not allow you to leave even when you are visibly sick and question your sick day every chance they get. Some of us have been asked if our condition is "critical" when trying to take a sick to get better. Try coming in late or leaving work early, it is the most uncomfortable thing ever as you can feel management eyeing your every move, ready to dock those mins you missed. It was an emotional and mental battle at work every day. Each day felt like a year. Casual convo w/ coworkers at Hello: Who is going to get fired next? Who is going to quit next? Who is going to cry today? Is there a new Glassdoor review? Mantra at Hello: Getting fired is not the worst thing. I would avoid Hello at all costs and wish the best of luck to every new hire.

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  7. Helpful (13)

    "A Sweatshop of Young, Underpaid People"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Exciting people (who will eventually leave because they realized they under-sold themselves from working here or were fired without warning.) Indeed, 10% of veteran staff have been there for 5+ years (while 90% of the company are new hires with a very high turnover rate) dogs

    Cons

    You will be underpaid. You will be denied having your projects on your portfolio. Don't be fooled by the projects on their site. A right amount of them is from years before. I assure you, the majority of positive reviews are fake. If they do respond to this, saying their positive reviews are varied, it shows how in denial they are, writing false negatives like "getting full from free snacks," "so much do sometimes" and "parking is hard." Those types of reviews are either written by an entry-level person or Operations. I feel like those a part of operations either have Stockholm Syndrome or are just a complicit lapdog to the CEO. But if someone else were to step in, they would end up getting fired for calling out the CEO on the unethical behavior. The reasons why deadlines are tight is because the CEO approves all projects, meetings are delayed waiting on the CEO, and the CEO may make last-minute changes before the deadline. There is no onboarding, no training, no communication. Even Startups that are "learn as you go" are more structured than this place. For instance, some Project Leads may get impatient because you didn't read specific prompts or pitch decks. It turns out, didn't send it to you, but the wrong person, creating confusion. Many project leads/managers may be cool people to hang out with socially, but professionally, most of them are terrible communicators. They will not explain how they want things done or organized. They are willing to throw people under the bus so that they don't get called out by Upper management or the CEO. This is what the Hello Design's responses refer to as "spirit and drive." The veteran staff members are talented, but their retention in the company has to do with flying under the radar and becoming immune to the CEO's verbal and emotional abuse. They also adapt to their toxic environment by acting passive-aggressive towards new hires that they feel are deadweight instead of guiding them. Or they are the select few that understand David's erratic, contradictory gibberish, which is a tremendous gift. Heads up: The hiring process is quite easy. You listen to the CEO rant without disruption, then you compliment on the agency's projects. That's why the turnover rate is high, and new hires are set up to fail: they don't get screen candidates accurately. They don't properly onboard nor train people.

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  8. Helpful (17)

    "HELLO? HELL NO."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Lead 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Hello Design full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    .....uh... yeah, not so much.

    Cons

    It's taken me over a year to recover from my time at Hello. Even after leaving Hello, I carried the anxiety, fear, and self-doubt that CEO David Lai hammered into his employees. I, along with my other talented co-workers, was berated and belittled daily. Every small task becomes filled with dread. It truly and deeply hurt my sense of self. It was also easy to see that David Lai targets women with his manipulation and gross power-play tactics. Truly disgusting. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

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  9. Helpful (18)

    "You can do better!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hello Design full-time

    Pros

    Some employees are nice and helpful. Can make lasting friendships! And dogs! (Except when they poop by your desk and no picks it up for a long time).

    Cons

    CEO has been reported to HR partner company MDC for his verbal abuse and bad business practices. 6 people (including a managing partner) quit the company in March 2019. Since then others have left and 4 employees have been fired. I urge you to avoid this company. They under pay greatly when compared to industry standard. They are desperate right now due to losing major clients in recent months... But please don't buy what they are selling. Management takes no responsibility for the wickedness and abuse its employees go through.

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  10. Helpful (12)

    "The absolute worst. ever."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - A Study In Blame Shifting 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Hello Design full-time

    Pros

    Pros: free snacks, free parking, forced team bonding when people leave the company (which is nearly once a week) and on birthdays.

    Cons

    Cons: An alarming lack of essential employee essentials including but not limited to: - appropriate pay for their work - competitive benefits - respect for time and talent - boundaries around personal life - regard for work/life balance - visibility into the organization's plans - Ethical and competent leadership - tools, resources, and equipment to do the best work - generally pleasant office environment Without the aforementioned essentials for employees, the pros are frankly irrelevant.

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Found 56 reviews