What is Fractional Art Direction?
You may have heard of: “Fractional CMO, Fractional CFO, or Fractional CEO”, but probably not “Fractional Art or Creative Director”. Just like the other “Fractionals”, this person is a professional who is both part-time and fully part of your team, and typically remote. In the case of art or creative direction, this person serves as the in-house art director and designer and is secured by a month retainer that may extend for months, years, or shorter term stints like events, special projects, or familial leaves.
Why Hire One?
Well, often times, especially with smaller businesses, it simply doesn’t make sense to hire a full time art director or graphic designer. There might just not be enough work to merit a full time person, or maybe it’s just not in the budget. In these cases, businesses may seek out someone like me, a fractional art director, and get what they need in an art director and a designer at a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, which according to Indeed.com is likely at least 70k a year plus benefits.
Essentially you get 15+ years of experience (the last 6+ focused primarily in the craft food and bev space) and a designer dedicated to your, your team, and your business, without the added cost of an annual salary, health insurance, or fringe benefits (well, free beer is always a nice benefit I’d happily accept). You get me, when you need me, and not all the time.
The alternative is often to seek out a freelancer or contract designer. This can be a great solution, but unless you are looking for a one-off a la carte type project (which I also offer), it can be tricky to secure the talent over a period of time and you are then beholden to the demands of their schedule. This can mean seeking out a variety of freelancers to hire depending the project, the timeline, and the schedule.
Fractional Art Direction May Be a Good Fit if:
- If you have a solid brand already and are looking for someone to oversee your implementation, create on-going packaging and other design materials, and be involved in the creation of new initiatives
- If you need someone to help you rebrand in a way that isn’t confusing to your existing customers, including building brand strategy and brand guidelines for longevity
- If you don’t have an art director or designer on staff — but you want someone who understands your company and is invested in helping build the business
- If you want someone to take you through a marketing department’s process — without the overhead
- If you need packaging or marketing materials on a monthly or quarterly basis
Still Interested? How to Hire Me.
I offer my fractional design services through standard and premium retainer packages. This means you can secure me — to be 100% devoted to your organization — for a few hours per week, a few days per month, or more. Based on the retainer package you select, I will block out my schedule with the appropriate amount of hours, and plan my workload accordingly. You will receive a pre-established amount of work/time each month, without having to worry about what other client projects are ahead of you!
The Big Benefits
- Discounted rates compared to my normal hourly shop rate and a la carte project rates
- You can expect and plan on a guaranteed amount of work each month
- No fluctuating design fees
- Access to a professional designer without the overhead of a full time employee
- Unused time can roll-over
Before I even learned the term, I was serving as a fractional art director for many of my clients. I was (am) their in-house (while remote) art director and graphic design partner, and paid by a monthly retainer for a set amount of hours typically per month. Much of my work is for the craft beverage space and even more so, breweries. As a fractional art director I oversee the brand, I create the packaging and labels for the beer based on the production schedule, I create the merch (shirts, hats, glassware, event banners, vehicle wraps, you name it), occasionally I even oversee parts of a building remodel alongside the architect to insure the brand is well presented. I’m in the ear of the management team ensuring that everything creative is running smoothly and on-time.
I am 100% committed to the businesses that I work for. I promise to learn as much as I can about who you are, what you do, and who you serve, as in this role, I very much want to become part of the team and contribute what I can to the success of the business.
Think you might need a fractional art director? Let’s explore a partnership.