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Subsign, the first 11 years.

Join us in this brief article as we reflect on the highlights of the past 11 years while also outlining our vision for the next 11.

Over the past decade plus one year, our journey has been marked by a multitude of changes and challenges. From navigating shifts in management and team dynamics, to staying resilient in the face of global economic fluctuations and rapid technological advancements, we’ve embraced the ever-evolving landscape of our industry.

What has truly set us apart during this time is our unwavering commitment to forging our own path, even when it meant diverging from the well-trodden route of predictability and conventionality. This mindset has not only fueled our growth, but has also empowered us to thrive amidst the changing mediums, channels, and cultural paradigms.

Looking ahead, we remain steadfast in our dedication to innovation, creativity, and client-centricity. As we embark on the next 11 years of our journey, we envision continued evolution, adaptation, and success. Our sights are set on pioneering new frontiers, leveraging emerging technologies, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in our field.

Join us as we embrace the future with optimism, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Together, let’s write the next chapter of our story—one that builds upon the foundation of the past while charting a course towards even greater achievements and milestones.

The founding and early years.

In 2013, Subsign emerged as a design boutique, focusing on the creation of user-centric interfaces, websites, and digital experiences.

By 2016, our team had grown, allowing us to broaden our skills and offerings. This led to a transition towards becoming a Digital Media agency, a shift that evolved further in 2018, culminating in our establishment as a fully-fledged digital marketing agency.

The continual expansion of our team, coupled with the evolving demands of the market and our clients, prompted us to make another strategic shift in 2023. At that point, we repositioned ourselves as a comprehensive Marketing agency.

Through all these iterations however, from its inception, the ethos was clear: every project leaving the agency should not only address a challenge, but also reflect our identity. Hence, the name Subsign; it signifies our commitment to imbuing each creation with our signature.

Our evolution and growth.

What achievements have we accomplished in our 11-year journey with Subsign? We’ve painted the world blue!

The blue marks all the countries where we have (or have had) customers.

Throughout our brief history, we’ve successfully cultivated a global perspective and presence, collaborating with clients from 64 countries across a diverse array of markets.

We are still working on getting into the right context and clients from Africa & Antarctica so we can have a truly global reach.

As part of our expansion strategy, we launched a branch in Germany in 2018. Regrettably, we had to close this branch in 2020 due to unforeseen circumstances and contexts. However, we quickly pivoted and successfully opened a branch in the UK in 2023.

But above all, what we truly value is the internal growth within our organization. Starting with just two team members, we have now expanded to a team of 15, accompanied by a substantial network of friends, collaborators, and partners.

In addition to our endeavors in expanding and understanding new markets and cultures, we’ve also evolved our service offerings to meet the changing demands. Initially established as a design boutique, we transitioned into a digital agency, and by 2023, we further evolved into a marketing-focused agency. This transformation enabled us to offer comprehensive services, including the provision of Chief Marketing Officer as a service, to better cater to the evolving needs of our clients and the human resources market reality.

Our impact and contributions.

It seems fitting to highlight and reinforce our accomplishments and accolades in this section. However, if you take a moment to follow our journey, whether through our online presence or a quick Google search, we trust that you’ll discover for yourself our recognition as a Google awarded agency for Mobile experience, or numerous other awards for web experiences and design as well as advertising recognitions.

Despite being an independent “small” agency, we’ve been honored with nominations alongside industry giants for our campaigns.

Should we delve into our work with clients in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) sector or with NGOs? Organizations such as the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save the children, Iasi Foundation, Civica, and many more have been part of our portfolio.

Perhaps we should also take the time to acknowledge the community events we’ve participated in or initiated, including portfolio reviews, ITDays, Digital Marketing meet-ups, Ladies Wine and Design gatherings, Employer Branding meet-ups, and The Marketing Experience Conference.

Putting all of these achievements aside for a bit, I (as the CEO, Bogdan) genuinely believe that our impact lies in the work culture and environment we’ve cultivated.

Our office has become a place where people want to spend time, even our clients and contributors want to come over and work from here.

Beyond our stated values and visions, this was the essence I aimed to create, recognizing that at the time, there were limited options for workplaces with this particular set of values.

Lessons we learned.

Throughout our journey, we’ve gleaned several valuable lessons. Trusting the process, exercising patience, and steadfastly upholding our core beliefs and values have been paramount. While this summary is concise, the overarching message is clear: prioritize people, especially your team. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the client isn’t always right and you shouldn’t work with everybody or anyone.

As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” This underscores the importance of fostering a strong and enduring team dynamic, which is essential for our long-term success and the growth of Subsign even after all the current team members are well and retired.

“Ultimately, Subsign is not defined by any individual or group of people; it embodies a mindset and approach to work. It’s about embracing a way of thinking and operating where respect, fairness, and thoughtfulness towards the energy and effort invested in something are not only recognized but also valued and celebrated.” – Bogdan Apetrii CEO

Looking ahead.

Amidst the growing concern about AI being portrayed as the next looming threat to our industry—a narrative we’ve seen repeated over the past 11 years with various innovations—we remain focused on a different way of seeing new trends and tech.

Our strategy revolves around building a core team of specialists who possess not only a deep understanding of marketing strategy and expertise in this field, but also have the empathy and insight to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of culture and society.

From the outset, our vision never included becoming a corporate giant with hundreds of employees. However, if there arises a genuine need for our services that sparks significant expansion opportunities, we won’t shy away from crossing that bridge when the time comes.

Our commitment remains unwavering—to adapt, innovate, and deliver value to our clients, regardless of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Our conclusion.

Undoubtedly, the initial 11 years have been a mix of challenges and enjoyment. Have we made it tougher on ourselves by adhering to the principles of fairness and playing the long-term game? Certainly! However, these principles define our identity and guide our actions. As mentioned earlier, it appears that this ethos will continue to shape our journey for the next 11 years and beyond.

Just as we’ve done in the past, our commitment remains steadfast to providing a wealth of free resources and valuable insights through our articles, newsletters, podcasts, and social media platforms. We encourage you to follow us if you haven’t already, and if you’re already part of our community, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support and participation in our journey.


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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki