Initial Consultations:

These are free, client focused, informative, non committal, thought provoking and often provide simple solutions to long standing design problems. They can be by phone, photo, skype, at our office, or preferably at a project location. No action is required, except for talking and, of course, thinking.

In Depth Discussion:

This is a focused coaching session. A potential project is discussed in terms of process, program code compliance, required drawings & documents, budget, schedule and potential locations. Often example projects are reviewed and verbal recommendations made about how best to proceed. Fees are low cost fixed amounts.


Feasibility studies, also referred to as client needs and options assessments are, often essential, tools for guiding client decision making, defining project direction, and clarifying a scope of services. Visibility, branding, landlord issues, critical code issues, space limitations, and construction cost estimates are some of the main considerations. Fees are usually low cost fixed amounts.

Design Booklet

This is a short form design guide providing written and graphic information suitable, along with site visits, for bidding and directly executing a project. This is best used on projects with limited scopes of work and requiring only trade permits. Fees are most often a fixed amount.

Full Proposals:

A comprehensive proposal establishing the scope of services including fees, schedule, estimated construction cost, as well as services related to producing full bid, fixture and permit documents is developed. Often an hourly rate is provided within a set limit or “not to exceed” amount. All proposals are open for discussion, negotiation and revision thereby helping both architect and client define their expectations.

General Rule:

Most proposals are divided into three sections: Visual Identity, Project Design, and Construction Documents. Not all of these apply to every project . Also allowing 10% to 15% of the construction budget for Architectural fees is a long time industry rule of thumb.

Equity Fee Structure:

As retail architects and designers we often entertain visions of compelling displays that transform window shoppers into immediate customers. If anything is to be made of these, assimilating, defining and quantifying a vision into a competitive proposal is required before any actual work is done. Such is the traditional “fee for service” world of design.

Few would dispute that successful retail design is part and parcel of equally successful retail marketing campaigns evolving from resources and collaborations requiring lots of man hours. The traditional fee for service business model is sometimes too limiting for this to work very well. It is why we look for equity projects with long term possibilities. The idea is not really new. Something similar has been done with commercial leases forever and recently it is being done with product and packaging design. If you are developing a product(s) for the retail market and are interested in this model we would love to hear from you.