Vox Pop

Following news last week of Jam Design’s decision to swap its £40 000-£50 000 fee from hi-fi speaker manufacturer Beyond the Box for a 30 per cent stake in the company and Coleman Design’s negotiations to form a partnership with client Odeiga House, shoul

‘Design entrepreneurs are always good at seizing new opportunities. The dotcom hiatus encouraged many to take shares not fees, and this increased awareness of other ways of being remunerated. Given that intellectual property is the new hot issue, whatever else they do, I’m hoping that design consultancies will increasingly hang on to their rights and negotiate licences rather than assignments.’

Ian Rowland-Hill, Chief executive, Design Business Association

‘I’m not averse to the odd “contra” or two. We once did all the design for a restaurant which turned out to have no money, so we compromised with a £10 000 bar tab. More recently we consulted on the design of a guitar magazine and got paid in the form of a very nice semi-acoustic six-string, not money. It was fine with me, but my accountant isn’t happy about it.’

Michael Johnson, Creative director, Johnson Banks

‘I remember one client saying “we will pay you in barrels of port”. Nice idea, but not reality as I know it. Call me old fashioned, but cash is still king. We all survive on it, our staff expect it, so do our suppliers. We should avoid payment in equity, but royalty deals are a different matter.’

Rod Petrie, Director, Design Bridge

‘I certainly believe that design consultancies should be adopting alternative methods of remuneration, especially with the current state of the global economy. I’m an advocate of payment by a combination of a royalty and fee and it’s something we have employed for many years.

Michael Peters, Chairman and Creative director, Identica

‘Typically, we hold an equity stake in our spin-offs for three reasons: first, it is part payment for our investment; second, we can remain involved with the companies and thereby contribute to their success and hopefully help reduce the risks; and third, it adds value to us in terms of our image, network and connections with entrepreneurial business. The success shows that retaining equity makes sound business sense.’

Brian Moon, Chief executive, Cambridge Consultants

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