Design Intensives vs. Custom Design Projects

Breaking down the differences between Design Intensives vs. Custom Design projects to help you determine which is the best fit for your business

At Aspen Theory we offer two main project types to help our clients achieve their goals; Design Intensives and Custom Design projects. These two projects serve different types of business owners at different stages of their business with the same goal in mind — to elevate their brand spaces and nurture their creativity.

But what’s the difference between these two project types, and how do you know which is best for you? Keep reading to discover the difference, and maybe even find your perfect fit.

What is a design intensive?

Design Intensives, sometimes called VIP days, or Design in a Day services are a sprint format project built to get you what you need ASAP. These one-day projects are designed to get results fast, and walk away with deliverables you can use to grow your business in a hyper-condensed timeline. 

So what does that mean for you

  • Coming in with a clear vision and goals
  • Being prepared to collaborate and make decisions quickly
  • Getting nitty gritty with the prep-work

Because Design Intensives work on a condensed timeline, the most successful days are with clients who know what they want and need a pro to bring their vision to life.

Who Design Intensives Are For

  • A new entrepreneur who needs branding or a simple website to book your first clients.
  • An established business owner with a clear vision and a design to-do list you’re eager to outsource to a pro.
  • A go-getter ready to collaborate, make fast decisions, and get results.
  • A business owner who craves both interaction and a quick timeline from your designer.

What you walk away with?

    • including items like primary logo, color palette, fonts, and potential collateral
    • including roughly 4-5 pages of semi-custom website design
    • sales page template design and integration, done in a day
    • including brand collateral items like social media templates, pdfs, thank you cards, etc.

What is a Custom Design Project?

Custom Design projects are scoped by deliverable, rather than by a set timeframe. Depending on the scope of the project, the timeline could be several weeks or span over a few months. This gives us time to check in, refine, and strategize between each round to make sure we’re heading in the right direction. 

With a Custom Design project there’s more time to explore, strategize, and find creative solutions to solve your brands specific problems. It also takes the pressure off you as a business owner to have a clear direction from the jump. With a Custom Design project, the Designer takes the lead on strategy and creative direction, allowing you to focus on getting in your consumer or clients shoes when providing feedback.

Who Custom Design Projects Are For

  • An established business owner who is ready to take their business to the next level with strategic design and processes
  • A larger team with many stakeholders to consider
  • An entrepreneur who needs guidance and clearly defined strategy from their designer

What to expect from a custom design project

  • More opportunities to explore, strategize, and find creative solutions
  • Opportunities for refinement, feedback, and 1:1 conversations with the designer
  • More detailed mockups and exploration of concepts
  • Designer defined strategy for your creative solutions

Bringing it all together

Design Intensives are meant to take your ideas and bring them to life ASAP. Whereas Custom Design projects focus more on finding wholistic solutions to your branding pain-points and building off of the base you’ve already established as a business. You can read more about our Design Intensive format HERE. If you’re wondering whether now is even the right time to embark on a design project, check out Four Signs It’s Time For A Rebrand. And as always you can fill out our contact form to schedule a call to talk through all of your options.