Are design subscriptions any good for small businesses?

Are design subscriptions any good for small businesses?

Small businesses’ design needs are as broad and varied as global brands, so could a design subscription be the answer to their requirements?

What is a design subscription?

Definitions vary, so we defined a design subscription as:

It’s a service where you pay a monthly fee and get all your design work completed with the minimum of hassle and fuss.

It can be seen as a simplified retainer for design work, where you buy a set amount of time in advance and then use that time during the following month.

The purchased time can be used for various design requirements, from simple branding projects and brochure design to creating content for or updating your WordPress website.

Why is consistent and reliable design important for small businesses?

Small businesses share some core marketing requirements that global brands face, from driving new sales and reassuring existing customers to maintaining brand recognition and growth.

The scale might differ, but the importance of delivering these projects well is identical.

Having a design partner that can offer you consistently high-quality design, brand guardianship and innovation at a reasonable price is essential; for this very reason, a design subscription may be the perfect solution and offer a host of benefits.


Benefits of design subscriptions for small businesses

The benefits of a design subscription for a small business can be numerous and offer significant business-critical advantages.

The most relevant include:

Cost savings

Some design subscriptions can offer immediate savings by accessing a lower rate for design time.

These savings can then be compounded by the fact that you only get charged for the time taken. When measured by the minute (as Toast offers), this instantly saves any rounding up to the nearest half or hour, which is how a usual design quote is created.

Access to professional designers

A design subscription is the best way to access highly experienced designers at the most cost-effective rate.

All too often, other cost-saving solutions can only be achieved by using less capable or ill-experienced designers through outsourcing or freelancers.

Accessing the same designers week in and week out can add value to your design projects.


Suppose a small business engages a larger full-service agency with a design subscription. In that case, they can access a range of services from design for traditional print to more niche or technical experiences such as branding and digital or technical offerings.

Accessing these services from various designers or agencies could be impossible because of the costs involved.

Here at Toast, subscription users can access all of the following services:

  • Artwork tweaks
  • Brochure covers and layouts
  • Business cards
  • Conceptual work
  • Copywriting
  • Design tasks
  • Email marketing
  • Ephemera
  • Fixing website problems
  • Graphic design
  • Help with strategy
  • HubSpot
  • Icon design
  • Infographic design
  • Landing page design
  • Leaflets
  • Logos
  • Movies & animation
  • Newsletter design
  • Optimisation (technical website SEO)
  • Poster design
  • Pop-up banner design
  • PowerPoint design and deck design
  • Quarterly design reviews
  • Research (keywords, markets etc.)
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Stationery design
  • Social media graphics
  • Technical diagrams
  • UX design
  • Vehicle wraps
  • SME Website work
  • WordPress websites
  • Word Templates
  • Zapier automation
  • Z-cards
Full Service Design Agency

In Conclusion

If you regularly need a whole range of smaller projects that could benefit from a quick turnaround with minimal fuss and trouble, then a design subscription could be the service for you.

Subscriptions can be built to your specific needs and reflect the amount of work you would expect; you would have the flexibility to focus on delivering the best marketing possible and spend less time on paperwork.

Simon Browne

Simon Browne

Simon works on strategy, planning, content and SEO at Toast. An experienced copywriter and website content planner, he helps our clients get the best out of their copy and websites.