ARCHIMAGE: GETTING CREATIVE AMID DOT-COM WOES


“We just had our best year ever,” Jerald Reichstein told LocalBusiness.com. He attributes that success in part to the backgrounds of Archimage’s executives, who have experience at running businesses, including startups.

“We’ve lived the life and understand what these young or established companies are going through,” Reichstein said. “Our clients think they’re just hiring designers but soon discover otherwise. We approach every project as if we have a stake in it.”

Archimage, which has seven employees and has evolved its business over 16 years, provides business expertise along with creative service work and works to help clients obtain goals despite scaled-back budgets, Reichstein said.

“We make sure clients are not burning their dollars,” he said.

Fit the Service to the Client
The company’s wide-ranging client list includes startups and established companies alike in various industries. Richard Buday, Archimage president, said the firm still has plenty of work, but activity isn’t as high as it was in the first part of 2000.

“In many of the startups, the attitude has changed from ‘When are we going to be millionaires?’ to ‘Will we be in business next month?'” Buday said.

Archimage has designed an administrative building in Houston for Time Warner Communictions, office interiors for Compaq Computer Corp. and computer animation for The Walt Disney Co. and Nintendo as well as designing Websites for eCitySuites, Compubank, GE Financial Networks and Ziff-Davis Publications.

Archimage ensured its workload flow by targeting larger, established companies which wanted to become more active in the online environment. Reichstein said it’s hard to gauge how much of the workload is from dot-coms because the line between the traditional companies and the dot-coms has changed from black and white to gray.

“We’re seeing the old world economy and the new world economies coming together,” Reichstein said. “It’s a bit blurry as traditional companies are trying to make the web fuel their other businesses.

“We’re attracting more work from larger companies looking to introduce, revamp or expand their company, Websites or Intranets. More and more companies are working on co-branded Websites with partners.”

Adding a Partner
Last month Archimage announced a partnership with NetMason, a Houston application service provider for companies looking to create online exchanges and auctions.

Neal Verma, Netmason founder and president, said the Archimage partnership gives NetMason a competitive edge by offering a technology package that also includes design, usability and branding.

“Now, a smaller business can get both the NetMason technical solution as well as the customized Website design so important to B2B success,” Verma said. “Archimage can provide our clients with the kind of customization that will enhance branding and ensure usability.”

 


COMPANY: Archimage Inc.

INDUSTRY: Creative services

PRODUCT/SERVICE: Design studio that merges the latest computer technology with architecture design, animation, multimedia and the World Wide Web

YEAR FOUNDED: 1983 as Buday Wells Architects and renamed Archimage in 1990, symbolizing both its architectural design and digital imagery services.

MANAGEMENT: Richard Buday, president and founder of Archimage. An architect, he has taught at the University of Houston College of Architecture for more than 10 years, and he helped established the college’s Computer Aided Design Center.

OUTSIDE INVESTORS: None

EMPLOYEES: 7

FISCAL YEAR REVENUES: Not disclosed.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS: All clients.

CUSTOMERS: Time Warner, Compaq Computer Corp., The Walt Disney Company, Nintendo, GE Financial Networks, Ziff-Davis, Synhrgy and VALoans.com.

COMPETITORS: Web development firms and architects

STRATEGY: Our strategy is to find clients who have a need that is more than one part of their business and that leads to a variety of work such as corporate office design to trade show booth design.

WHAT KEEPS THEM AWAKE AT NIGHT: “The thing that keeps me awake is the same thing that keeps any small businessman awake, and that is you never can see more than a few months into the future. It’s making sure there is a flow of work so you can grow the company.” Jerald Reichstein.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Archimage was founded in 1983 as a multi-discipline design studio. Projects include office buildings for Time Warner Communications, corporate interiors for Compaq Computer Corporation, computer animation for Nintendo and The Walt Disney Company, CD-ROM games for Knowledge Adventure, television commercials for Volvo, and Web sites for Ziff-Davis Publications and Baylor College of Medicine. The firm has won more than 30 international awards for its work.

Contact:
Melanie M. Lazarus, MPH
Archimage, Inc.
tel: 713.523.3425
email: mlazarus@archimage.com

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