Designing local brings out a community’s character through design

With a keen eye for alluring design and a mission to showcase and honor the one-of-a-kind flair of different local communities, Designing Local is a consulting firm that seeks to bring the inner-beauty of a given locale to the forefront.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Designing Local is celebrating a big milestone – one year in business of bringing pride, legacy and prosperity to the projects and communities they take on.

That three-pronged goal is essential to Designing Local’s success, and what separates it from the pack. They work to honor the heritage of local communities and build pride for localized design, cement a legacy that makes each community both timeless and authentic to its geography and history, and help communities thrive by instituting design that attracts businesses and residents.

To help communities display their heritage and unique attributes, Designing Local offers a variety of services they consult on, everything from planning and historic preservation to public art and cultural tourism.

“We are passionate about communities, and are passionate about helping communities extract locally-unique design attributes that can be translated into locally-inspired projects of every kind,” Amanda Golden, one of Designing Local’s three co-founders and principals said.

Approaching design with the mindset that flash and substance can co-exist, Designing Local attempts to tackle the epidemic of uniformity.

“Our company was born from the belief that homogeneity has plagued communities for far too long,” Golden said. “We believe in helping the communities in which we are working, and desire to help those communities recognize that prosperity does not equate to copying what others are doing, but is found in generating pride in who they already are and who they are going to become.”

As a growing small business, one of the challenges Designing Local faces on a daily basis is simply figuring out what does and doesn’t work – for their clients and their business model. Luckily, the creative minds behind the firm are open to the experimentation that’s necessary to combat this challenge.

“Our competitors set a high bar, but we hope our approach to storytelling and strategy for leveraging that story outshines others’ processes,” said Golden.

One of the more exciting and liberating aspects of being a small consulting business is the freedom to chase after the work they want.

“We love being able to choose the communities we work in. Because our line of work requires us to apply to work in these communities, if we aren’t drawn to the community or the mission of the leadership, we don’t apply. So, we generally find ourselves in cool places with cool people.”

With more than 39,000 communities in the United States, Designing Local is looking to expand its reach to some of America’s quirkier, more unique locations. Every community has their own unique story rooted in history and the local environment, and Designing Local can’t wait to help tell more of those stories through design.

Small Business Profile