When Sawyer Riley Compton creative director Bart Cleveland was struggling with an "incredibly difficult poster design" for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, he headed to The Imagination Brewery.
"They produced the most beautiful work I'd ever seen," said Cleveland.
The Atlanta-based Imagination Brewery, a visual resource set up by LTC Group, provides photography, illustration, image creation and retouching services to clients either wanting to cut costs by outsourcing or willing to pay a premium for high-end production values.
"After agencies got Macs and Photoshop, they tended to bring these services in-house as profit centers," said Cleveland. "But unless you've got extraordinary talent in-house, the quality of the work always suffers."
"We may save a client money by being a one-stop shop for these services," said LTC Group managing director Jeff Evanson. "More importantly, we don't leave a bad taste in their mouths when the project is done."
Thanks to assignments from agencies like SRC and Fitzgerald + Co., both in Atlanta, The Zimmerman Agency of Tallahassee, Fla., and The Campbell Group in Baltimore, LTC Atlanta has seen its revenues increase from $5 million to$9 million over the last few years—despite the economic downturn impacting the advertising industry.
"Big accounts still have big budgets," said Evanson. "They're still out there whether the economy is bad or not."
LTC Group (formerly Laser Tech Color), headquartered in Irving, Texas, is a division of Baltimore's Vertis, a privately held advertising solutions provider with annual revenue of $2 billion. Sister LTC shops providing pre-press services similar to The Imagination Brewery in-clude Image Tap in Dallas, Lot 44 in Richmond, Va., IC2 in New York, Bang! in Chicago and Digitango in San Francisco.
The Imagination Brewery is staffed by photographers, artists and designers, a few miles from LTC's pre-press facility.
"We wanted to create a boutique for art directors," said studio director Mike Bailey. "A place where we can create partnerships that impact the work."