The evolution of Plus Design.

John White
June 28, 2021

As Plus Design has hit the ground running in 2020, we wanted to dive deeper into the history and model behind it. The idea for Plus was drawn from our past experiences working at both larger consultancies and as contractors. We realized there was an untapped niche in having scalability and flexibility with how design resources engage with client teams in scope, output, and cost.

During pitches and intro calls we would have conversations with management teams about the need to engage when needed (as opposed to owning phases and projects) and deliver based on project and team needs, versus a more rigid engagement structure (one size fits all process). This led to the idea of a hybrid consulting model-synthesizing the best aspects of contract resources and more sizable traditional consulting firms into an optimized team engagement that elevates and fortifies your design process rather than taking it over completely.

As you probably know, there are associated risks with using both contract resources (freelancers) and larger scale consulting groups. Plus synthesizes the best of both into a new type of relationship.


• Good freelance resources are difficult to find-taking time to find, vet, and interview to see if they are the right fit for your project and team.

• You have less confidence (because you have never worked with them)- Hoping/ guessing what to expect.

• Freelancers are harder to schedule- as they book up and/or have intermittent availability.

• Freelancers tend to be more cost effective and offer more flexibility with how they engage with your project/ team.

• If you need a range of skills, usually more than one resource is needed, multiplying the complexity in managing, scheduling, etc.

Consulting Firms:

• Consulting firms bring a team-based approach with a range of skills and perspectives, and offer strategic input, guidance and deliverables.

• Consultancies tend to move faster and can deliver significant workloads due to larger dedicated teams

• Consultancies have streamlined communication and project management

• Consultancies explore multiple perspectives through a larger diverse team

• Consultancies tend to be more reliable and liable, as they tend to be more fixed/stable entities.

• Consultancies tend to cost 2-3X contract resources, often making their use

The concept of hitting a hybrid midpoint between traditional consultancy and experienced freelancer has resonated well so far. We feel this model will allow us to engage with clients at the ‘right’ level, fortifying design and development teams while remaining agile, scalable, and cost effective. We believe this is the new way to engage design- all the scalability, flexibility, and agility of a contract resource while maintaining the management, communication, and reliability of a consulting firm.

We will gain more insight and understanding as we engage a broader range of projects and industries, and fine tune our model based on client feedback. Our goal is that this model will resonate with Design Leads, Managers, Directors, and C-level executives who have experienced these issues with design resources in the past and can see the value in the Plus Design model to provide a more fluid and productive engagement with external design resources.

Thank you for wanting to learn more about us. We are excited to potentially work together, and feel one of the best ways to explore whether Plus Design is right for your team is to start a dialogue around your design + development needs, available resources, and how we might best support your team/ what optimal collaboration looks like. We work in many different capacities across the design and development spectrum and would love to dive deeper to see if we fit your needs.

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