May 19, 2022

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SLANT Marketing and Design: An agency built on problem-solving

Christopher Cecil, founding partner and creative director of SLANT Marketing and Design Agency, started off as an architect. In fact, the only reason he ended up forming a company that handles advertising campaigns, new product packaging, and rebranding is because his first job out of the Clemson College Of Architecture offered a lot of downtime.

“SLANT came to be because after I graduated, I moved down to Charleston and took a job with an architecture firm,” Cecil says. “And as a new satellite office for the company I was working with, it was a little slow from time to time. So to help fill my time, they had me start working on presentations and marketing materials to help generate new business for the office.”

As it turns out, Cecil was a natural at his side-gig.

“I started getting pretty good at it,” he says, “and then started doing a little bit of freelance work on the side after people would see some of the work that I had done. So I did that for a couple years and then in 2004, I jumped ship from architecture into design and marketing.”

He didn’t entirely leave the architect’s mindset behind, though. Cecil says there are skills from his old job that transferred to his current one.

Creative problem-solvers

“First off, Clemson’s architecture school does an exceptional job of teaching you how to solve problems through creative and nonlinear thinking,” he says. “And so, I do think that the core philosophies behind understanding a problem and then finding creative solutions to them were ingrained in us.”

SLANT has built an impressive client list over the past decade-plus, doing work for the Spartanburg Regional Health Care System’s Sports Medicine Institute, Samsung, Phillips, the Northside Development Group and many more. But one of Cecil’s favorite examples of what SLANT does is their work with the city of Spartanburg.

“We got a request from the city of Spartanburg because they said that they needed a new website,” Cecil says. “But during our research portion of that project, when we got to dive deep with them, that’s when we realized that they actually really didn’t need a website; they needed a brand positioning process. Spartanburg at that at that time really did not have a voice of their own. They didn’t have a brand; they didn’t know how to talk about themselves. So, the project actually completely shifted to become an entirely different project because of that.”

SLANT did develop a new site for the city of Spartanburg, but they also changed the city’s foundational messaging strategy, refreshed the city’s logo and launched numerous supporting ad and marketing campaigns.

Cecil says that plan of attack is what SLANT does best: Problem-solving.

“A lot of the requests come as, “We really think we need a new website,’ or ‘We think we need to rebrand,’” he says. “We really call it problem solving because what the client believes they need or thinks they need right out of the gate is not necessarily the case. We’re going to have an ‘aha’ moment where we get the client where they need to go.”