When your design needs are ongoing and varied, a retainer arrangement can be a perfect answer. Design retainers offer a level of consistency, availability and rapport with an experienced designer, without the permanent commitment to payroll, equipment, and other HR costs.

We base our retainer agreements on days, rather than hours. The purpose of a retainer is availability, and we find the most reliable way to add value for our clients is by working with them consistently on the same day each week. By having a set day each week, you know exactly when I’ll be working on your projects, so there is no confusion about when we’ll need any necessary materials, and we always have specific, dedicated time allocated for your projects, which means we don’t accidentally work too much or too little on them.
We’ll schedule a standing 15-30 minute planning call the day before your reserved day where we will discuss your task priorities for that week. These calls are the key to making the most of your retainer. When you’re reserved day arrives, we methodically work through the tasks discussed, in your desired order. At the end of the day we’ll follow up with a progress report of what we accomplished, along with proofs and sometimes even videos to walk you through the work. You’ll have a few days to review before our next planning call, where we can discuss whether we need to iterate the pieces, or if we’re ready to focus on new goals that week.
Retainer arrangements work especially well for:
  • Startups working through product interface design, as it creates the perfect environment for iteration
  • Established businesses who have varied, ongoing design needs and want solid work and guidance from an experienced designer
  • Small creative agencies who need reliable support from an experienced designer
Why we do it like this:
  • By having a set day each week, you know when I’ll be working on your projects, so there is no confusion about when I’ll need the materials necessary for me to work on the projects.
  • Dedicating a day per week to your projects means we always have specific, dedicated time allocated for your projects—which means we don’t accidentally work too much or too little on them.
Our retainers are contracted on a month-to-month basis in order to offer you the greatest degree of flexibility, as you’re only committing to one month at a time. Simply give us 30 days notice when you’re ready to pause or halt the contract. Month-to-month contracts are billed at a per-day rate of $600 per day. A $100-per-day discount may be available if you contract 2 or more days per week.
Note: Retainer Agreements are for design only; development services are not included.

 


The Process

We have crafted our process carefully over time, and it is the foundation of our work and the reason our clients feel confident placing their trust in us. Here’s a quick overview of how our retainer agreements work:

Step 1

Pick a day

We base our retainer agreements on days, rather than hours. Since the true purpose of a retainer is availability, not hours, we find the most reliable way to connect with and add value for our clients is by working with them consistently each week. Please contact us to see if we have available days.

Step 2

Arrange Our Planning Call

In order to prepare to work on your projects, we find we can best prepare by arranging a standing weekly planning call one or two days before your reserved retainer day. Planning calls typically last for 15-30 minutes, and are designed to be a time where we can discuss which items you want help with this week, and which ones take priority. We take these calls seriously and expect all parties to show up promptly and prepared!

Step 3

We Get to Work

When your day is up, we take that day to focus on the tasks we discussed, in the desired order. We’ll follow up at the end of the day with a progress report of what we accomplished, along with proofs and sometimes even videos to walk you through the work. You’ll have a few days to review before our next planning call, where we can discuss whether we need to iterate the pieces, or if we’re ready to focus on new goals that week.