That’s a joke. The $99.99 thing. But in all seriousness, we’ve had a few conversations at R&R&R about standardizing our responses to new work inquiries, especially with startups. We’ve worked with many startups and we love their passion, intensity, and new ideas. We’re following our dreams of do-gooder design and we love working with people who are following theirs.
As startups need to make a certain amount of money to exist, designers need to get paid what they’re worth to continue to design. So the nickel and diming that can come with startup design conversations does get tiresome. If startup money is tight, it’s equally true that designer time is tight. So we’re up for meeting inquiries halfway.
In the startup world, one of its driving existential forces is to try to streamline processes. To make things that save time and cut out unnecessary steps. All of this we love. To build on this idea, in order to save our time and provide startups with cost-effective options, we’re thinking of putting together standardized startup responses to design work requests. Especially with branding and websites.
When we do proposals, they take time. They are thorough, nuanced, and really try to get to the heart of specific client problems. They aren’t just pulled off the shelf. At least, not yet. We think they might be able to be. While we do love projects heavy on strategy and prefer to be involved at all points along the way, whether with a brand or the web, we also know this isn’t always needed or can be afforded. How about just a down and dirty logo? Or a basic, single-page website? We think we know what these look like enough to be able to say we can do them at a lower cost which is great for startups, and in many cases, it’s all they need at a particular point in their journey.
The flip side of this: the process is a template. The startup only gets what the template has to offer. Say that’s 3 options with 3 rounds of feedback and the deliverables are x, y, and z. Always and without negotiation. The website has this number of blocks and these calls-to-action, always and without negotiation. Done and done.
The cost may be more in line with what’s doable on the startup side. And on the designer side, we cut out a lot of strategy, planning, and revision (read: TIME) to just do the making. For some designers, this may sound blasphemous. Others it may be obvious. But we think in some cases this may be a perfect solution. It could allow us to be more affordable to some startups strapped for cash. They could get some expert, professional branding and we get to do more work with the dreamers and the doers out there. Perhaps a win-win.
Or perhaps a colossal waste of time. (And the startup does have to have some money, so we’re clear.) Just a little thing we’ve been mulling over which doesn’t include thoughts around equity or the benefits of being the design partner for a startup, which does seem to be a rarer type of inquiry. Anyway, back to work.