The Designory Reviews | Glassdoor

The Designory Reviews

Updated February 17, 2017
55 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Paul Hosea
27 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Definitely some fun projects and great people, which made coming to work something I usually looked forward to (in 7 reviews)

  • Great place for young creatives to start their career (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • air conditioning doesn't always work (in 5 reviews)

  • Upper management is far more concerned about the bottom dollar than their employees' well being or financial stability (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Company to work for!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Long Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Long Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Company treats people with respect. Super cool environment and location. I love coming to work everyday.

    Cons

    I do not have any cons to write about.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Let go of the past and get out of your own way."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Long Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Long Beach, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at The Designory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are a lot of great people that work here. Many of them are top notch at what they do. Atmosphere is casual, sometimes too casual. Morning snacks are provided on Tuesdays and Thursdays (get there early cause they go fast). There has been several updates to the building which look great. The business development team has brought in a lot of new clients which are exciting to work with.

    Cons

    This company has been a print shop for a long time and we are slowly transitioning to a more digital shop. Unfortunately the people making the decisions about the future of the digital program are very old school and stuck in their ways. The development team were mostly flash developers and have never gotten past their old flash development days. Designers are print designers trying to design for digital using the same methodologies.

    Advice to Management

    Look to the leaders (new and old) that understand the digital marketing space and allow them to voice their opinions on how things should be done to grow the company and our teams. Listen to what they have to say, they know what it takes to get it done right. Let go of the old school that have not come around and joined the digital revolution. Print is dead/dying and the only way we'll compete with the big agencies is to adopt digital NOW.


  3. "It's a great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Designory full-time

    Pros

    - Location, People and Clients:
    The location, people and clients are all highly prized. Anyone getting started in this industry, or seasoned professionals, would enjoy all three benefits of an amazing location in So. Cal, some of the friendliest and helpful co-workers at any agency, and top-tier clients that will boost your portfolio like no other.

    - Flexibility
    Having worked at numerous agencies in SoCal, The Designory is by far the best to work for. If you are able to manage your time properly (because they don't micromanage, they expect you to get your work completed on time and accurately), then you can be very successful at this company.

    - Camaraderie
    Everyone that I have worked with (which is most since I am not assigned to one particular client), is friendly, supportive and understanding. While everyone is professional when the time comes, they are also laid-back and enjoyable to be around. It's not uncommon for a new intern to have lunch daily with a Director of the company, for example. Everyone seems to get along really well.

    - Work/Life Balance
    The Designory is really great about appreciating the value of a work/life balance. Most managers in most departments have families themselves and understand and support the balance between getting your work done while still being able to enjoy your family time.

    Cons

    Not too many, I mentioned it in the Pros, but I've been at multiple ad agencies in SoCal and none really compare to The Designory.

    Advice to Management

    Don't just listen and nod, work put things in place to improve employee's daily lives

    The Designory Response

    Aug 19, 2016 – HR Director

    Thank you for your thoughtful review and for contributing to Designory's successes. You pointed out some things that many folks work hard at to make it a good place to work, and there is always room ... More


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  5. "Good experience, but not enough digital exposure."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good company to start your advertising career and build your resume. Also there is work life balance. Great restaurants around the area.

    Cons

    Pays less than a lot of its competitors. There is no guidance from managers when new hires start which makes it difficult for some to feel at home.

    The Designory Response

    Aug 19, 2016 – HR Director

    Appreciate your input and we are glad you are finding a good work/life balance. That can be tough to get in our business. Your "Cons" thoughts are points well-taken - so thank you for those.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Really good workplace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter in Long Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Copywriter in Long Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -opportunities to move up, for example I started as a Proofreader and worked my way up to be a Copywriter
    -prestigious brands to work on
    -fun atmosphere
    -co-workers, great personalities
    -great many walkable food options

    Cons

    atmosphere may be too relaxed for some, but a lot of great work comes from the focus and creative spark that comes from constructive chaos

    Advice to Management

    thank you for your continued transparency and efforts to make this the best workplace you can. looking forward to continuing to advance my skills and career here.

    The Designory Response

    Jul 20, 2016 – HR Director

    Thank you for your comments! We are glad you are having a good experience here at Designory. Happy to have you here.


  7. Helpful (14)

    "An Apple Rots From the Inside Out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The Designory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Like many of the reviews will tell you, there are some great people here that make the workplace pretty fun. The hours are standard 9-6 with some flexibility if work on the global accounts or if you have some unexpected childcare/personal issues that come up. Upper management is friendly with everyone and generally approachable, when present. Breakfast twice a week and weekly afternoon socials.

    Cons

    Leadership positions have been occupied by the same individuals for over 10+ years. Little advancement opportunities and promotions are empty titles. Most teams are disproportionately staffed with too many "leaders" who are always out of the office at some conference or [NAME DROP] networking event. If not then it's vacation because they need a break. Like another review mentioned, it wouldn't be a nuisance if they didn't have to approve projects.

    Training is a major problem since it's non-existent. New team members are left to flounder around until they figure things out or have a team member show them the ropes. Across the board insanity on how to do a project if someone get switched out midway. The global accounts are managed in complete chaos. Multiple high level individuals on the same project yet having no tangible evidence of work other than forwarding emails - so others can actually do the work. Account leaders don't draw a line with clients so all requests are fair game (no matter how unreasonable).

    Other Cons -
    -Empty promises of opportunities in other office. Sure a couple of people switched to other offices, but that's hardly a program to brag about if it's only temporary until someone local is hired.
    -People get hired for one role and then get placed in an area where they are unqualified.
    -General incompetence is not frowned upon but the norm.
    -If you have hobbies, forget them. You won't have time.
    -Little to no effort to retain talent. I get that in the ad world agency hopping for raises is typical, but then again so is rewarding those that have put countless of hours get the job done.
    -Management makes promises to clients that aren't practical/feasible and then flip out on the team when there are issues meeting deadlines.
    -No communications on team members that leave/get let go. Work seems to get diverted to people at random with little awareness to ability/workload.
    -Ethical problems aplenty. Management ignores issues so most go unreported. Even if you do go to HR they can't be trusted to actually do anything to the tenured or those that were hired because of nepotism. Open door policy is kind of a joke.

    Advice to Management

    The company once had a meeting to discuss the negative reviews and PH said if people agree with the negativity they should quit. That kind of lets people know that areas hemorrhaging

    Oh, don't reply to reviews. I'm sure it's tempting, but It's just awkward like a soulless robot trying to display feelings. People here just want to speak out on their experience to potential employees in a real way and honest way. People will continue to leave reviews they think is accurate and PH will hold awkward meetings that show his lack of awareness.

    The Designory Response

    Aug 19, 2016 – HR Director

    Here is a real and honest response, similar to the others, as this site works two ways: We are sorry to hear that you have not had a great experience at Designory and that your issues are many ... More


  8. Helpful (8)

    "Associate Product Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Product Specialist in Long Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Product Specialist in Long Beach, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Designory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, deadlines are set but rarely enforced. Silver lining of minimal management is the freedom to work as you wish. Very good place to be for print work.

    Cons

    6 months at Designory = 2 months experience elsewhere. Lack of presence from department management (as in, actually gone all the time) with no leadership. Would have been productive to sit together as a team to discuss insights and industry trends, rather than operate as four silos. Plenty of talent being wasted.

    Pay is 20-30% below LA average. Print shop trying to be a digital shop.

    The Designory Response

    Jul 20, 2016 – HR Director

    Sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience here, and thank you for your comments. Your point is taken about management presence. Best to you in your next place.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture, ok clients"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay, semi-flexible schedule and friendly culture.

    Cons

    Project management driven and lack of advancement.

    The Designory Response

    Jul 20, 2016 – HR Director

    Thanks for your comments.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "not an ad agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Production Artist in Long Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Production Artist in Long Beach, CA

    Pros

    The place is very sweet. People are very friendly and decent, most have been there forever, it's hard to get fired. HR and Office Services are very attentive, and put out a lot of freebies to make things nicer.

    Cons

    This is not an advertising agency, it is a production house. The work is limited by its very definition and everyone needs to stop fooling themselves that the stuff produced is even remotely current. No possibility for advancement and even less chance to do anything at all creative. Churn it out, go home, turn around and do it again.

    The Designory Response

    Jul 20, 2016 – HR Director

    We appreciate your comments here, and you are correct. Technically we are not an ad agency, but a Global Content Marketing shop. While we do engage in a good amount of production work, we also ... More


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Specific to working in the IT department for The Designory"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Designory full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I worked at The Designory for just over two years. I was not in any of the creative departments, so i can't speak to how is working with deadlines and those type of constraints. I was in IT and it was a great department. It's a smaller department, only 7, including the director. In the years i was there, the department appeared to have a great reputation with the rest of the company, whom they supported. From within IT, it appeared that we were respected and appreciated. Jeff, the director of IT, is a great boss, not a micro manager, but still stays abreast of what each of his team is doing. He's a little quirky, but that never made things difficult, but rather, made things more entertaining. Mondays are a drag at any job, but listening to your boss sing gangster rap in the next office will make your Monday a little less draggy.

    As far as the company goes, they do weekly socials where they bring in food. They bring in breakfast twice a week. They do a lot of social events and because of that, coworkers from all sorts of departments tend to know each other even if they don't cross paths in the normal course of business. They do a company wide BBQ during the summer, and often have office events related to holidays. These are all part of the variety of little perks they have.

    There are many people here who have worked at the Designory ten years or more. they have remarkable retention.

    Cons

    i checked this very website before i took the job, and one of the biggest complaints i saw was about pay increases and how inconsistent they are. i did not personally experience this but this was the biggest complaint i heard about from coworkers. What i was told by many was "Strongly negotiate your pay when you start, because it probably wouldn't change much after."

    In IT, with a small department, you're not going to have any real room for growth. This didn't really bother me, but if you're expecting to climb some corporate ladder, it probably ain't gonna happen.

    Another issue that would arise were issues with the building. they often had HVAC issues or problems with the elevator. As of late 2015, the building had just been bought and many of those issues were being addressed, new elevators were promised, HVAC were already being replaced.

    i probably would have stayed a lot longer but stumbled upon a job that had better benefits, both health insurance as well as retirement. If these offerings were a little stronger at Designory, i might have stayed longer. They aren't terrible, but they aren't great either, in most ways, they're pretty average. so many other things about this place aren't average, but being a part of a large marketing conglomerate likely prevents them from making any real changes to their benefits package. That oversight will likely continue to tighten and worsen, making things worse rather than better. obviously that's conjecture but when has being owned by a big monolith ever made things better?

    Advice to Management

    what advice could i pass on? i was a small cog in a small wheel in a bigger machine. Management makes themselves present, they meet and greet new employees on a regular basis. They seemed to be very aware of some of the biggest complaints their workers have, even at times recognizing this very website. One thing i can say is that the success of the company rarely trickled down to the employees in a monetary way.



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