If you are looking for regular design support, then a monthly retainer package could be the perfect solution for your business.

Businesses that require regular graphics creation for their marketing activities have a few options. Hire an in-house designer, use freelancers on an ad hoc basis or enter into a retainer agreement with a local graphic designer.

Hiring an in-house designer is perfect for large businesses that have a never-ending requirement and can commit to hiring a full time team member. But that isn’t ideal for smaller businesses, or even larger ones that may not need that amount of design work in the future.

Freelancers and small design agencies are the next option, and these are the go-to solution for businesses with occasional graphic design projects, such as annual reports.

But if your business has a constant requirement, that isn’t enough to hire an in-house designer for, your best solution could perhaps be a monthly design retainer.

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What is a graphic design retainer?

A monthly retainer agreement is when the designer and the client enter into a contract that covers a certain period of time. This could be a few months, or even years or a certain number of hours per week.  This type of arrangement benefits both the client (you) and the designer (us) in a number of ways. Below, we have listed a number of the benefits of a monthly design retainer for both the client and designer:


VIP Service

As a retainer client, you get first dibs when it comes to scheduling. This is a massive advantage, as clients do not have to wait long for work on their project to begin. If you have ever been told by a designer that the lead time to commencing work on your project is a few weeks away, it’s probably because of their retainer clients have booked them in advance! 

Discounted Rates

As you are committing to a certain amount of work over the course of a few months at a time, your designer will happily offer you discounted rates. Usually, the longer or more extensive your commitment, the better the rates you will get. There is also a large cost-saving when compared to hiring an in-house designer.

Easy to Budget

Knowing how much you are going to be spending on graphic design for your business over the next three, six or twelve months makes it easier to budget for spends in other areas and also helps you plan for projects further down the line.

Build a relationship with your designer

Working with the same graphic designer regularly is a good thing in lots of ways. As with any working relationship, over time you will get to understand each other better, and most importantly the designer will develop a better understanding of what your business does.

What’s in it for the designer?

As a graphic designer, the advantages of working with businesses on a monthly design retainer agreement are many. The obvious benefit for your designer is that they have a guaranteed regular income over the course of your retainer agreement.

It also makes life easier for the designer as they are able to manage their time better (knowing exactly how many hours your business requires each month).

But, speaking as a designer, the last point in the above section is probably the most beneficial element of working with businesses on a retainer basis. You cannot under-estimate the benefits of understanding your clients’ business better- it enables you to create better work, add more value with your own ideas and also it is much more likely that at the end of a retainer agreement- the company will want to work with you again!


I think a design retainer sounds right for me, what next?

If you think your business could benefit from a monthly design retainer agreement, contact us today. We have worked with many businesses in and around Northampton on a retainer basis, such as Boost Trampoline Parks, Portman Asset Finance and Origin Finance. Head over to our portfolio to see what we have created over the years for these business and more!

If you are based in Northampton and your business could benefit from a design retainer, get in touch today