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Blog > Why we don't do free design concepts

Occasionally we're asked to provide a free design concept as part of our proposal for web development. There are a few reasons why we say no.

They cost us money

Of course one of the factors is the cost to us. We expect to spend money on marketing and spend time on sales meetings and proposals, and we wouldn't expect anyone to choose us without this effort. However, free design concepts cost us disproportionate time that we don't believe helps you to judge our ability, and we'd prefer to spend this time working with existing clients.

They cost you money

Ultimately the cost of free design concepts is passed to you, the client. If an agency provides free concepts for every potential project and wins say one out of every five sales, then that one client will effectively pay the cost of all five concepts. This kind of approach to sales tends to favour large and expensive agencies who can afford to spend time on free concepts because they charge more. We'd rather charge for the work you want, not the work that's turned down.

They don't give you what you need

Most importantly, we don't think free design concepts before the project is agreed will give you what you need. Once you decide to use us, we take time to learn about your company, your customers and your goals. That's why we produce better designs, and why almost all clients accept our first design concept. And once we've developed the design, we'll tweak and improve it at every stage of the project.

If we give you a free design concept before the project has started, it's not going to be as good. Nothing we produce instantly and without consultation will be as good as the design we produce during our normal project process. Our value comes from how we respond to your needs and produce the best ideas and work for you; you're not paying us for the ideas we've already had. We like to do the best job possible, and free design concepts don't allow us to do that. Nor do they help you to make a genuine judgement on our work.

So how do I judge your design quality?

The best and most accurate examples of our design are the websites that we've already completed. Browse our portfolio, talk to our clients and judge us by our results. 75% of our work comes from existing clients - ask for a reference to find out why.