What is a “fractional art director” and why would your business need one?

Before “Fractional CMO, Fractional CFO, or Fractional CEO” became terms, I was serving as a Fractional Art Director for my clients. I was (am) their in-house (while out-of-house) art director and graphic design partner, secured by retainers for months, years, or simply maternity leaves.

Why you’d want a fractional art director vs. a full-time employee

When it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time art director or graphic designer, clients come to me (for a fraction of the cost). Why? You get 30+ years of expertise, but you don’t have to pay me an annual salary, health insurance, or benefits. You get me when you need me — not all the time. (Even though I’m probably thinking about your projects all the time anyway.)

Interested in learning more about hiring a Fractional Creative? It lets you partner with a professional art director and designer who knows your company well enough to get into the nitty-gritty with you and come up with great ideas and solutions. Someone who saves you time. Someone who you can say, “Ahhh, yes, she gets it!” This type of relationship has resulted in really happy clients

A Fractional Art Director is a good fit:

  • If you have good brand strategy and need someone to implement and oversee your implementation and creation of new initiatives
  • If you need someone to help you rebrand (without confusing your customers), build out your brand strategy or brand guidelines, improve your position in the market, or bring your business back to life
  • If you don’t have an art director or designer on staff — but you want someone who understands your company and is invested in amazing results
  • If you want someone to take you through a marketing department’s process — without the overhead
  • If you need marketing materials on a monthly or quarterly basis

Industries that would benefit from a Fractional Art Director

How higher ed institutions have used fractional art directing services

Higher Ed clients include different marketing and development departments inside New York City’s NYU and the University of Oxford. You have to reach many donors, alumni, and students to keep everyone up-to-date across many platforms. As a fractional art director, this campaign for the Hillary Clinton Chair was a collaboration between their internal team and Nancy Ruzow.

How I work with non profits as a fractional art director

Non Profit clients include the Boys & Girls Village and the Epilepsy Foundation. You have a limited budget and need someone to think outside the box to get more bang for your buck.

Financial clients include Manulife Funds and Catametrics. You have to stay within industry standards where accuracy, consistency, and good design go hand-in-hand.

Technology clients include Red Hat and Adobe. You are a marketing department inside a big company and your work cannot afford to get lost.

Building Industry clients include the New York Building Congress and Group PMX. You have to look as sharp as your materials sound to reach a wide audience and get your materials noticed.

Real Estate clients include Martha Eidman and KMS. You rise to the top of a busy marketplace and need a partner to create materials in a timely manner that are on-brand for all of your content.

Architects include Christine Chan and Andrea Zaff. You might be a small fish but it is important that your branding and assets represent the work that you create.

Securing me as your Fractional Art or Creative Director

I offer Fractional Graphic 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!

What’s great about having me on a design retainer?

  1. You get a discounted rate compared to my normal hourly rate and a la carte rates
  2. You can rest easy with a guaranteed amount of work each month
  3. You don’t have to worry about fluctuating design fees
  4. You get access to a professional designer without the overhead costs of an employee
  5. You can rollover the unused time

Since I founded my business, my passion and focus remains good design with great customer service. Design is more than just creating something that looks cool; design is a solution to a puzzle. Relevant graphic design plays a critical role in helping inform your customers and partners by giving shape to ideas — ideas that empower, ideas that inform, ideas that educate and sell.

So, whatever we decide to call my role — Fractional Art Director or Ongoing Design Partner — I become an extension of your team, partnering with you to enhance your brand in a way that gives you new ideas, partnership, security, peace of mind, and results. Think you might need a Fractional Art Director? Let’s explore a partnership.

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