Posted on 28th October 2021
by Jacqui Vear
‘Design retainer’ doesn’t really do justice to what we have in mind! It’s an exciting way for us to make a mutual commitment to win business and do business together, in this case by you having creative graphic and digital design expertise within easy reach, day after day.
No time off, you don’t even have to add us to your coffee round, we’re on your team without being in your team!
We provide design expertise for our clients on a project-by-project basis, and also through design retainers.
A design retainer is based on an agreement for us to work with a client on a longer-term basis, usually reviewed every 6 months. It’s driven by the need for regular graphic and digital design support, although the work need not be the same type, or evenly spaced out. We agree an average number of hours per month that we apply to the design of online and offline projects. Those hours are converted into a monthly design retainer value, a predictable, budgeted cost for our clients.
It’s a skillset that you buy into, not a fixed type of project. The scope of work is as broad as our expertise. Retainers work well for;
1) Ownership – We’ll build a Systematic Team around your ongoing needs; you’ll have a lead project manager who will coordinate the input of our specialist designers, great for accountability and efficiency.
2) Brand consistency – Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with your supplier knowing the ins and outs of your brand; its look, personality and behaviour. By working closely with you, we’ll bring added value to it too, perhaps locking down key elements or evolving styles linked to your core brand.
3) Access to specialist skills – Unlike employing one designer within your business, a design retainer will ensure that your projects draw on the different specialisms within our team. The worlds of design and marketing are wide-ranging, a specialist and often collaborative response from our team will get your creative projects off to the very best start. What’s more, input from across our team will be coordinated by your Account Manager, who will keep an eye on timescales too, to ensure your projects are managed to perfection!
4) You’re already in our diary – Most of our work is allocated at the point projects are confirmed. Whilst we’ll be poised to receive the specifics of your brief, with a design retainer we’ll already have the expectation that we’ll be working on your design projects for several hours each month. It’s like you’re sitting at a table that has a big ‘reserved’ sign on it!
5) Easy to budget for – Investing in design to an agreed level each month is simple, there’s Finance or Senior Management Team sign-off at one point only. Some of our clients have even found that when they’ve had extra ‘hours in the bank’ they can turn their attention to creative projects that were important but not urgent, some of the nice-to-have type projects, which have perhaps allowed them to test new forms of creative content, such as animated logos.
Everything starts with a conversation. We are ready to apply our skills to your business in a way that maximises your return on investment.
Maybe the pandemic has shifted the type or scope of roles within your organisation and you have a skills gap? Perhaps your growth plans have got you to a point where you need more ready access to design skills? You could be considering recruitment, but lack the time, energy and budget to commit to it?
Whatever your situation, the chances are we’ve come across it in our work with leading UK businesses. Let’s talk through the options that will get your design collateral centre stage for your brand.