Creative Retainer

for on-going production

This program is best served for clients who need on going intense marketing and content creation help over a period of time. A creative retainer is just like any other retainer. Its an up front payment at a reduced rate for a monthly on-going work.

What is a Creative retainer?

A creative retainer is an agreement between your business and House of Sticks that allows you access to our billable hours for a set period of time at a discounted rate. In simple terms, you pay us to act as your in-house creative department for a set period of time and for pre-determined hours. A creative retainer gives you first rights to a wide range of professional creative services we offer without the overhead associated with a permanent employee on your end. Our goal with a retainer is to have an agreement thats good for both parties and if its not good for both, its not good for either.

Is a creative retainer right for you?

Meeting the advertising and creative needs of your business can be tricky. Most companies have waves of needs, not a steady flow. So, If your design needs vary throughout the year, arise unexpectedly, or you have ongoing needs for design services but don't necessarily require having a full-time designer, a creative retainer might be the perfect solution.

What are the advantages of a creative retainer?

Typically our projects are bid on a per project or per line item basis. We calculate our expenses on hourly rates but bill a turn-key price because we want to deliver our services to you for exactly what we said we would. We really do think its all about relationships, and we know what its like to think you're getting a project for one price and then get billed for another.

By getting a creative retainer, you will know exactly how many hours of work you are getting. You will have first rights to our entire design staff, which means your jobs go to the front of the line. Plus, since you are agreeing to a set number of hours, we can offer the work at a discounted rate. The more hours you commit to, the lower your hourly rate will be. With a creative retainer, House of Sticks retains a pre determined number of hours exclusively for you. So even if you have rush work, or an unplanned need, our creative staff can respond to your needs immediately. Its really like having us in-house.

If you have multiple small projects, we eliminate the need to seek estimates, manage multiple contracts, and pay multiple invoices. Basically, you are pre-purchasing the time to accomplish the work you need.

What should you expect?

Since you are essentially pre-purchasing time, you will get a list of the number of hours we worked on your projects each month. Typically, the number of hours in the retainer agreement isn't perfect right off the bat, so to find the right balance for both of us we make the first 3 months somewhat variable and then base the remainder of the hours on our history.

What happens if I don't use the exact amount of hours?

You never will, but the hope is that once we find the right baseline for your needs we can get really close and over the course of a year be within 10%. If you go over the budgeted number of hours we will alert you and charge at the pre-determined rate or give you an estimate for the project at our retainer partner rate which is normally about 20% lower. If you don't use all of the hours unfortunately you lose them. However, we have been known to roll over hours from one month to the next but after the second month, we have to let them expire. You will know exactly how many hours got lost and hopefully that doesn't happen often.

What types of services to I get with a retainer?

Graphic design, UX design, website design, creative consulting, website maintenance, email template design, research, writing, editing, print management, story boarding, URL procurement brokering, video editing, VFX work, color correction, photo retouching and some others. Whats important to know is that video production time on set is not included. There are just too many variables for us to be able to include such a large task. You can roll unused hours into the following month.

What services are not included?

We don't offer services that have direct overhead and expenses associated with them, which is why video production hours on set aren't covered. A creative retainer does not cover the cost for printing, licensing, procurement, or subcontractor fees. Our Creative Director will consult with you before beginning work to identify any fees or costs that may be billed in addition to your creative retainer agreement.


If you have more questions feel free to ask. Chances are if we don't already have a relationship, you won't be calling to ask about a retainer immediately anyway. We can agree to any number of deals, a number of different ways. Just let us know what you have in mind.