The five worst web design agency clichés

Most web design agencies will put a lot of effort into their website. After all, why would you hire a company to design your website if they can't design their own?

But even web design companies, with all their creative talent and knowledge of the web, can often resort to using clichés.

We look at some of the most popular web design agency clichés and why they make us cringe.

The dog on the team

If your Doctor's surgery had an Alsatian on staff, you might think twice before making an appointment. Yet agencies love listing their pooches as employees on their 'about us' pages.

Once upon a time the cute picture of the canine team member probably made agencies seem quirky and friendly. Now, the current epidemic of dog employees makes us wonder if we shouldn't try visiting the kennel to fill our job vacancies.

Most creative agencies strive for originality, but with so many agencies looking to stand out, quirky elements can soon seemed clichéd, making the agencies that use them seem anything but unique.

If Fido's creative output amounts to a steaming pile of poo on the office carpet, maybe think twice before listing him as part of the team.

Words as images

It's ironic that 'web design' isn't a particularly visual phrase. It's one of the reasons we use images of our work wherever possible - because how exactly do you illustrate services like web design, SEO and content management?

This is why so many agencies choose to use the words themselves. The most common offenders being wordclouds, brainstorms, speech bubbles and signs.

These types of images are the exact opposite of creativity and yet so many creative agencies fall back on them.

Even we'll admit we've used a couple of these sorts of images in a blog post or two (a good image for content marketing, anyone??) but you should be very wary of a web design company who uses this sort of image on their homepage. Web designers are supposed to make the web look beautiful - they should be able to come up with something more compelling than a wordcloud.

The 'fun' team bios

We really do mean 'fun' in quotation marks. Nothing feels quite so forced as the 'fun' team bio.

Do you really need to know what your web designer's favourite vegetable is a carrot or what their favourite box set is? Will you think more of them for seeing them in a funny hat or sticking their tongue out?

On the one hand, a relaxed approach to describing your team can make agencies seems more approachable, but there's coming across as friendly, and there's coming across high. Just add the dreaded team dog and your have the ultimate quirky cliché.

'Passionate about what we do'

It seems everybody is so passionate these days - and this trend isn't exclusive to web designers. You can bet almost any business website chucks the word 'passion' in there somewhere.

The thing is, if every business was a passionate as they claim to be, wouldn't there be a lot more brilliant businesses out there? One only needs to look at the hundreds of crappy LinkedIn profiles, X Factor contestants and shady organisations to know that saying you're passionate rarely equals genuine passion - nor does it equal talent.

Most people who work in web design (or at least the good ones) do it because they genuinely care about it.  They really are passionate about it. But if web design agencies really do care about what they do, they should care about finding a more original turn of phrase.

'Not just a web design agency.'

This one is really annoying. If web design companies are so 'passionate', then why dismiss what they do by saying they are 'more than just a design agency' or 'not just a web design company'? What's so wrong with being a web design company? Web design is great!

The 'more than just' qualifier is perhaps one of the oldest advertising clichés around. There were probably cavemen selling 'more than just a wheel'.

Your company might have more functions then a Swiss Army knife, but you shouldn't have to put down your main service to big up your others.