The Whole Money Thing…

money_dudeThis always comes up. And it should.

Our rates are not the cheapest, and they’re not the most expensive. We’re affordable, flexible and fair when it comes to billing – but there are a few things that we need to lay out for your perusal:

First – when you pay for Independent Studios to do design/web/marketing/whatever work, you’re paying not only for the actual work, but for idea time. You’re paying to have us take your idea to far out places – and then bringing it all back to the here and now and most importantly – back to the solution. These daydreaming sessions are always figured in to any quote we give.

Second – when you hire us, you’re not paying for a giant office and a bunch of fancy gear. We work out of notebooks and backpacks sketchbooks and coffee shops and a tiny office in West Asheville. We don’t charge you for insanely long meetings with 5 admin types. You don’t pay for phone calls and hand shakes and water cooler talk. We’re creative. We build things. That’s why you’re hiring us – and that’s what you pay for.

Third – We don’t like hourly. That’s usually a recipe for danger. Not fun danger. We will quote you a per-project price, based upon our years of experience and our knowledge of how long these things take. If we run into a situation where we need to adjust, we’ll let you know in plenty of time and even plentyer details. No surprises in billing.

Now – we DO have some terms. Some exclusions can be worked out, but this is our general thing:


  • Signed contract with all projects.
  • Non-disclosure agreements where appropriate or requested.
  • Fully detailed timeline required for all projects.
  • Full description of expectations from both client and contractor.
  • Deposit of 1/3 due at project onset, 1/3 at defined point in the process and the remainder due net 15 upon completion.
  • We accept cash, check, credit card, PayPal and “creative commerce.” We’re open to barter, within reason.
  • We are always open to discussion, and we want to provide excellent design to everyone. We’re flexible.
  • You own the final product. We own the preliminary rounds and all roughs. We can sign documents releasing ownership.
  • Oh – and NO SPEC WORK, NO FREE WORK. We just can’t. Thanks for your understanding. Sticking to this just makes the work better and everyone happier.