All our most commonly asked questions, collated together for your reading pleasure. Don't see your question answered here? Drop us a message and we'll get back to you.
We understand you'd like to know how much something is going to cost before you get too committed.
The best way for us to scope and value your project is to discover the following things:
What’s your goal? What are you trying to achieve?
What’s your budget? How much do you have to spend?
Who are your audiences? Who are you trying to target?
What value do you want the results to bring? How will this improve your business?
Knowing this will put us in a much better position to propose a solution that will work for you, and also one that your company can afford and that will bring you the most value.
If you’d like to talk about the costs of your project, get in touch.
Every project is different, so we can't tell you the answer until we know more.
We’ll always work with you to develop a plan that will allow you to meet your deadlines.
If your deadline is tied to a wider timeline of things, we can work with you to coordinate our services better.
We run our projects using Agile and Waterfall project management methodologies, which allow us to scope into the future, but also to react quickly when things need to change.
If we can, we will. We love helping start-ups and small independent businesses, but we understand that you probably don't have a lot of cash in the bank.
Let us know how much you can afford, and we'll work something out. Whether that's a retainer of a few hours per week, a mini project to hit your goals, or simply a referal to a freelancer we trust, we will do our best to set you on the right path.
For an initial one hour consultation, we charge zero, zip, nada.
Thanks so much, we love you too! You can leave us a review on our Google Business page here.
To create an agency built on friendships and an unrelenting desire for us all to have influence and create things with meaning.
We aim to be a place that gives young people great opportunities, a place to follow some kind of dream and purpose. We would always love that to be within the agency, but it could be a place to bring together passionate young people who want to create friendships, find their creative or technical passion and then act as a springboard for their preferred destiny.
A culture that collaborates and heavily embraces everything new. We want to be a business where we can be our true selves and all have influence.
We are about 15 experts in creative and technical nerdery. We may grow to about 25. We don’t want to be any bigger than that. We want to remain small enough to be agile and responsive, and feel like a family.
When Russ and Matt first started the company they were developing their own game about a futuristic abandoned theme park previously run by rebellious monkey robots - now all broken and rusty. This is a game they would still like to make one day.
It stands for the ambition of two young guys trying to forge their way in the world, learning technology and doing something fun on their own.
We are resilient. Hard working. Some of us are getting a bit old and rusty. But we are all intelligent, sometimes rebellious and some kind of beautiful.
Mostly business owners and/or marketing managers. We work with a range of different organisations, from big multi-national companies down to independent chocolate makers.
Our best customers are people who have a budget, a goal and a purpose. People who need an agency to fill the gaps in their own business.
We focus on helping people that are trying to do something good*.
*Good means they have sustainable goals (ideally a B-Corp); they are non-exploitative (of their staff, the public, their supply chain, etc); and they are invested in improving the happiness and wellbeing of their team and their customers.
This might look like (but is not restricted to) organisations in the following sectors:
On paper, our service list is as follows:
Graphics & illustration
In reality, we like to listen to people's problems and think of ways we can help to resolve them. This might be with a simple off-the-shelf service, but it's often more likely to be a more complex solution that draws on all our talents and knowledge.
We don't like to be pigeon-holed into discrete services, because that's not really how we work. Our spheres of expertise overlap in so many complicated and wonderful ways. None of us has a job title or job description. We just have a collection of things we love to do.
If what you're looking for isn't listed on our website, we might still be able to help you. Book a free 1-hour chat to talk about your specific needs.
Branding is the process of creating an identity for an organisation that is instantly recognisable and memorable. It combines visual elements, such as logo, colours and typography, with product, messaging and values to create a coherent and consistent whole. More about branding.
A logo is just one tiny part of your brand. It’s a device, a mark, that symbolises your brand. Good logo design is important, but our branding projects cover way more than this. Branding is about communication, both visually and verbally. It’s about creating an idea in the mind of your audience that makes them think of you, makes them return to you, makes them trust you, and makes them loyal to you. Even the best logo in the world can’t achieve all that, but a great brand can.
Yes, of course. As part of your branding project, a new logo is one of the things we will develop in our creative phase. But a logo has no meaning on its own. The best way to build a strong brand is to study all the touchpoints along your customer’s journey, make them amazing, and make them consistent.
This depends on your budget. Fill in the form and we’ll arrange a chat to figure out the best option for you. Our brand strategies are modular and flexible, so we can design a bespoke programme to suit your needs.
We believe that branding is one of the most important things your organisation will ever invest in, so we encourage you to think carefully about your marketing budgets and how best to allocate them to get the best value.
A stylescape is a communication tool that helps us have a conversation about your brand identity and determine the right creative direction for your brand. It’s an advanced moodboard that tells the story of your brand, incorporating curated elements that capture a feeling, message or visual style.
As part of our maxi brand project, we will present three stylescapes based on a design brief. One of these will be chosen as the direction in which we will develop your brand.
Brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that will help you to create consistent, coherent touchpoints and assets across your organisation. They provide rules on things like typography, image style, colours, logo usage, graphic devices, layouts for print and digital, and tone of voice.
The aim is to create a document that can be handed to anyone in your organisation - or any third party - with all the information they need to create on-brand assets for your organisation.
Brand guidelines are living, breathing documents that naturally evolve over time as your brand develops.
In order to implement your new brand, we recommend appointing an internal brand guru who is responsible for ensuring all assets produced by or for your organisation are on brand (based on the brand guidelines).
You may need support when it comes to creating on-brand assets. For example, you may need an expert in graphic design, photography, web design or online marketing to make your assets look amazing and get them in front of your audience. If you don’t have capacity in-house for this, we recommend hiring someone to help. This could be an agency like us, or a freelancer.
Our retainers are a great and cost-effective way to get ongoing support with all these things and more.
We may need to purchase third party assets on your behalf, such as stock photography and fonts. We will let you know in advance if this is the case. The price of such assets is usually very low.
A normal workshop is about 6 hours including lunch in the middle.
It depends on the workshop, but we record everything and normally deliver the outcomes along with some actions after the workshop.
This could be a giant Trello board of use cases or a design brief for your branding project - or anything else.
Yes. 100%. We are confident that you’ll be happy, but if, after the first workshop, you don’t feel like you're getting value, then we would happy to give you a full refund.
Just fill out the form and let us know which workshop you're interested in. If you're interested in more than one workshop, or have any specific requirements or questions, just add a note. Also if you have any dates you can or can't do, let us know.
Most small start-ups, with limited budget might suit some of the free website builder platforms, more established companies will sometimes prefer popular platforms like WordPress and other organisations might be better suited to a headless CMS or might even need something more heavyweight for ecommerce.
But where to start? There are so many options from ‘free’ to hiring a team of expensive internal developers. Organisations often draw out a site map, perhaps based on a competitor and declare what they want the website to say. Or they will jump to a platform that they are familiar with.
But there is a better way.
Start by valuing the website. It will last a few years and will hopefully achieve something for you. A simple way to value your website is to think of the cost to your organisation if you switch off your site and have nothing.
Then look at the website in 2 ways. How can it help people in your business and how can you make it amazing for your customers.
At Rusty Monkey we want to help organisations make great decisions and build websites that make a difference to them, to their customers and maybe even - the world. To help you out why not download our free web design brief, including a handy guide and inspirational videos.
We can even get involved in the scoping project for you and help you really understand the website need by running some workshops and creating as detailed a scope as you need. It can sometimes even save you budget, help plan phased rollouts and uncover opportunities that you haven’t seen.
We have some favourites that we have a lot of expertise in. But, when it comes to web design, we believe that understanding your needs and helping you find the right solution is the right thing to do.
Some agencies specialise in WordPress (for example) and they will fit you into that mould despite your needs.
That’s not us!
It depends on the size of the build and needs of the organisation. You can get a brochure site rolled out pretty quickly (as fast as one to two weeks). But it’s much better to determine a launch date based on your goals.
Scope, brief and deadline are your three (sometimes conflicting) pillars to a successful launch. Understanding these three things and which are the least flexible is key.
Most websites will allow to manage your own content via a CMS (content management system). Determining what you need to be able to edit should happen in the scoping phase.
Sometimes it’s important to allow full control. Sometimes it’s better to protect certain elements to keep your design and SEO intact. Sometimes you need different levels of access for different people.
Knowing this all at the start will help get the right platform together!
Yes. Not only that… we (weirdly) love integrating with other systems. Automation and integration has bought such immense value to our customers it’s something that drives our passion for good systems.
Whether you want to tie in with HubSpot (or other CRMs), MailChimp (or another email marketing service), recruitment portals, event management systems, ERPS or a whole host of other nerdy things, then we could be a great partner for you.
Bzzzzz. Wrong question! You should define your goals and budget and then find a good partner to deliver them.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It's the practice of honing a website so that it performs better in organic Google search. This involves identifying key words and phrases that your customers are searching for, or the questions they're asking, and then creating content that satisfies those search intents.
Whether or not SEO is important to you depends on how much you intend to rely on organic search to drive traffic to your website, and how easy it will be to win that traffic. If you have a very niche offering, getting organic traffic might be quite easy.
However, if you operate in a field with some big players, you'll likely never win the organic search war. If this is the case, there are other ways to drive traffic to your site (such as social media advertising and YouTube) that will have more value. In this instance, it may not be worth spending loads of time on SEO, although it's always good to get the fundamentals right.
An online marketing strategy can help you determine the best places to put your time and budget.
Well there are a lot of options and it all depends on your budget, scope and growth. As a Big Commerce partner we can offer a range of excellent solutions to fit most budgets and goals with them.
But we also have experience with Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento (although we loved Magento 1, Magento 2 is, in our opinion, awful); and have even built bespoke solutions.
We will always give the best advice to suit your business and what you’re trying to do and will never try and ‘sell’ you something that is unfit for your goals.
You can start with a features list. But, in our experience, a much better approach is to do some audience and user workshops, along with surveying everyone inside your business.
Bzzzzzzz. Wrong question.
You can get selling online for free. eBay. It’s been about for a while. Or you could build a huge sprawling bespoke multilanguage catalogue site for £100k.
The best way to approach ecommerce is to determine the value of it as a touchpoint. The simple way is to start is with your projected annual turnover. Determine the life of the website (maybe 3 to 5 years before it will need re-investment). Then work out what is that worth to you and your business.
That’s the simple version. It will at least get you some turnover goals and a rough budget. We can help you put together a more detailed scope through a discovery project.
So the right question is “What is the best solution for me to help grow my business from £300k to £3m within 5 years? We have a budget of £80k.”
Yes. Chances are we can help rebuild for you.
But even if we don't, let’s have a chat and work out what could work for you or perhaps just have a therapy session. You may even be better off where you are.
We are always happy to give an hour or two of our time for free to help you find the right direction. In return, we learn about the pains businesses face and expand our knowledge even further, so it's a win-win.
The SaaS providers - especially Big Commerce and Shopify - are a really great place to start as you can get selling relatively quickly and grow inside that platform. They are well supported and can reduce initial development fees.
Getting decent reporting and analytics and the ease of setting up multi-channel marketing is made simpler and is often better supported than the more off-the-shelf self hosted solutions.
Partnering with a good agency will help you get the best out of these platforms.
Sometimes small businesses have small budgets. So understanding how the business will grow and building a strategy can be the most impactful thing to do. Maybe you need to start a great Kickstarter campaign, build a small WooCommerce store in year 2 and then head for Big Commerce in year 4.
Most B2B businesses succeed online when they have a clear focus on the service they need to provide their customers. So investing in a good SaaS platform such as Big Commerce or Shopify will help guarantee continuity of service alongside well built and well maintained B2B services.
They generally come with higher monthly fees than something like WooCommerce, but, in our opinion, you gain better support, scalability and security, which is essential for your brand reputation.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a marketing discipline that helps your website perform better in search results. The old-school way was to try and get to Google’s Position #1 (the top result), but things have moved on.
Position #1 is such a competitive piece of digital real estate these days that it’s practically impossible for most businesses to get there and stay there. Also, it now appears far below other high-value content. So it’s actually not all it’s cracked up to be.
We can help build an SEO strategy for your website that will actually work, using high quality content that your audience will find valuable.
Online marketing retainers for most SMEs can vary from £500 per month to £20k per month. There are some great ways to help set appropriate budgets, but the best way is to set budgets for certain goals. It is also common to separate out your own fees, your agency fees and the fees that you would pay the online advertisers (such as Google Adwords or Social Media Advertising).
An online marketing campaign can cost anywhere from £3k to £100,000s. It all depends on the timescale, budgets and goals. Funnel modelling software and an OKR workshop can help evaluate budgets. Still stuck? Another great tip is to value your campaign and set a budget of 5% to 10% of that value. Want to sell £1m of widgets? Then £100k seems like a good investment. Want to sell £4000 worth of event tickets? Then maybe £400 makes sense.
Should you be using TikTok? Is PR right for you? Maybe you should be paying for influencer engagement? There is no one-fits-all model. But the best advice is to understand your audience. What are their “social graphics”? Then do some analysis around competition and focus on a particular activity. If you spread your budget over everything you’ll probably get nowhere fast. We can help you develop the best strategy based on audience analysis.
Well, the short answer is why and what for? Good online marketing will concentrate less on this very specific (and sometimes pointless) metric and focus more on things like improving quality organic traffic. #1 in Google can be a great win. But it can also be an expensive failure.
Probably. And if you're asking this question then it may have been suggested as a good means of improving your online marketing. But this sort of content isn’t for everyone and requires a good strategy, focus, and regularity.
Communicating stories that your audience cares about is a great form of engagement. But, neglected blogs date your website and bad content can do more damage than good.
A good agency or a great marketing manager could help to get this form of content marketing working really well. Here's a free guide to get you started.
You can see results straight away. Especially if you have been active with your online marketing.
A fast result can be changing your paid advertising strategy and you can see results within 5 to 7 days. Other online marketing activities can take longer to measure, especially improvements to SEO.
In general, if you are looking at the bigger picture, 3 to 6 months is a good window of time to understand what strategies look good. After 12 months you should start getting much more meaningful data as you can start looking at year-on-year comparisons.
You can measure ROI and ROAS through a variety of different means. For eCommerce this is reasonably straightforward as the data can be drawn from your platform. If you’re B2B and selling contracts outside of an online payment gateway then hooking up a CRM is a great way to measure online marketing activity. You can set up some tools online or work with an agency to help connect the dots for you.
It can vary depending on where your audience lives online. Understanding these “social graphics” is a good way to determine which platform may bring you the best results. A lot of B2B businesses get good engagement through LinkedIn specifically. But everything is dependent on what you want to say to whom and why. Starting from the perspective of your audience will always bring better results.
An online marketing strategy should help a business achieve a set of goals mostly through activity around the PESO model. A digital strategy can look similar but has broader goals in using technology to solve other business needs. For example - taking your accounting system online and integrating it with your eCommerce system could be part of the more holistic view of a digital strategy.
At Rusty Monkey we understand the interconnectivity of digital systems, and the scope of what we can achieve with a partnership can always extend to these more systemic solutions. We love automation and helping organisations roll out their digital strategy alongside their marketing goals.
So, if you need that CRM to grab data from your ERP and stick it into some other acronym so that your customers get a better experience then we could just be the partner for you.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a catch-all phrase to describe any activity done to improve your organic rank for search. SEM (search engine marketing) is the use of paid search platforms to drive targeted traffic to your website.
Both have their place (alongside everything in the PESO model), and a good agency can help determine which suits your goals better.
It all depends on the type of animation and the length of the piece you are hoping to get. A hand drawn, frame-by-frame 2D animation is going to cost considerably more than a short motion graphics animation.
A good rule of thumb is that explainer, how-to and social media animation will likely be cheaper than character, 3D and 2D animation.
The number of assets the animation needs creating from scratch, such as character designs, 3D models and backgrounds will also be reflected in the price.
The best thing to do is to give us a call and tell us your specific needs and we will give you an estimate.
Explainer videos are online marketing videos used to explain your company’s product or service. They are the perfect way to communicate complex subject matters in a fun visual way. Explainer videos are often placed on a landing page, your website’s home page or a prominent product page.
Check out this explainer video we did for Gravita.
With such a large number of videos trying to get viewers’ attention, it’s getting harder and harder to cut through the noise. A static image or a simple text-based post just won’t do the trick.
Nowadays people are used to intrusive marketing ads. Animation, however, is less common and more engaging. So people are more likely to pay attention to animated videos than to traditional ads. Plus, it’s fun.
Somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds is the general guidance for brand and corporate videos.
However, while generally shorter is better, shorter is not always the best. Relevance is what matters the most. If your video is compelling, or inspiring, or thought provoking, the time duration doesn’t matter. People will watch it, regardless. (Short and relevant is a pretty powerful combo though.)
We have an article explaining the main three animation types. We've also included a brief overview here.
Motion graphics animation consists of turning static graphic design into animation. This type of animation focuses on making dynamic and interesting presentations using basic illustrations, shapes and text. They can be used anywhere, from explainer videos and news, to commercials and TV productions.
Choose motion graphics animation if:
your deadline and/or budget is tight.
you have minimal narrative or storytelling.
you need to explain complex services or products.
3D animation, also known as CGI (computer generated imagery), is the most popular animation type for character-driven animation. It is used in both feature films and games. But it is also used commercially, often to visualize products that have not been manufactured or photographed yet.
Choose 3D animation if:
you need more complex animation.
you know you will be using the assets for a long time.
you need to see more angles of the subject matter.
you are dealing with narration or a story.
2D animation, also known as traditional hand-drawn animation, is the oldest type out of the three. While it is very time consuming, it has a specific charm to it. It stands out from all the other styles of animation that are out there.
Choose 2D animation if:
you are looking for something unique.
you have a narrative, a story to tell.
you are looking for short, engaging social posts.
emotion and character are your top priority.
There are many steps to consider when talking about animation production. Script, asset creation, storyboard, voiceover, soundtrack, 6 second sample, first and final cut. Each is dependent on the style, length and complexity of your animation.
On average though, 1 minute of animation can take anywhere from one week to one month to create. With 3D animation, it could take up to one or two months of character development and world building before you start seeing a final result.
We'll ensure your animation is consistent with your brand identity. If you've had animations made in the past, we'll try and match the style if possible. If this is your first animation, we can help develop your animation style in conjuction with your brand guidelines.
Taking the time to develop different styles and testing them in situ, before committing to one, is important. It’s best to get bespoke animations done as opposed to using stock assets, as it's difficult to find stock assets that fit your brand identity.
There are many different styles of video and we’ll help you choose the best one for your project.
Pieces to camera (talking heads)
Sometimes the simplest video is the most effective. If you’ve got someone who can tell your story in front of camera, it can be really powerful. We can do this on site or we have our own studio at Rusty Monkey HQ complete with a prompting setup.
The easiest way to get your message across using your own people. In the preproduction we’ll work on some questions we can ask the contributors to help make the biggest impact.
Sometimes longer form content works best and can tell your story really well. Shooting over a number of days shooting interviews, being a ‘fly on the wall’, shooting B-roll and editing it all together is the best way to tell your company’s unique story.
A unique perspective always grabs attention as potential customers scroll through social media. Chris Goor is a fully qualified drone pilot but also brings over two decades of camera operating expertise to produce cinematic results which stand out.
Our studio is small but perfectly formed. We can make moving product shots with great lighting or produce great talking head videos with ease.
If you don’t fancy appearing in your own video, we have the ability to use professional presenters who you will have seen on TV. It can really elevate your messaging.
It really depends on your budget and what is cost effective for you. We’ve worked on projects from £150k down to £2k.
It depends on how many crew we need to bring in, the amount of pre-production, editing, graphics, etc.
We can work with your budget to make sure we create something which makes a difference.
Our team has over 20 years of experience and we can also pull in as many TV trained professionals as you require.
Yes. Chris is a qualified and fully insured drone pilot. There are certain limitations on where you can actually fly but we can have a chat about your project.
We have some of the latest Sony 4k cinema cameras but can also source any specialist equipment you may need or prefer.
Yes. We have an in-house team who can use Adobe After Effects to add effects, static graphics, moving graphics and text to your video. We also have a team who can create subtitles for you to add to your video on social platforms and so on.
There’s no correct answer to that. We always start from the problem that you’re trying to solve and work back from that. Some videos online can start at 6 seconds for moving product shots and coverage of a live conference can go all day.
Yes, of course. We can also offer you expert training in the kind of gear to buy and how to use it to help you produce something yourself.
This depends on the scope of the project. On top of our own time, we may factor in camera hire, studio hire and lighting hire, where applicable. We may also quote for additional experts, such as a lighting technical and art director, depending on the complexity of the shoot.
The quote will depend on your budget, goals and what you are trying to achieve with the images, so we will always chat with you first to determine the scope of the project.
On the shoot day, we want to ensure that you receive professional images just as you pictured in your head. If we have a key decision maker with us during the day, we can ensure you're happy with the images as we go along.
It will also help us to get the right shots if we have someone on-hand who is familiar with your products, subjects and locations.
If something unexpected happens, your rep can also help us strategise the best solution.
From the raw files we capture on the shoot day, we can optimise your images to suit any application.
For example, if you want to use the images in large format printing (e.g. on a billboard) they will need to be processed at a much higher resolution than if you need them for a digital campaign.
We have three photography experts, and one of them will be assigned to your project. They will work with you closely and will be your point of contact throughout the process.
It totally depends on the shoot. If you are supplying your own props, pay attention to the little details. They should be in good condition, clean and aesthetically pleasing. They should also be on-brand.
We can help you source props if you don't have what you need. If we purchase props on your behalf, we will include these costs in the final invoice.
This depends on the scope of the project. Typically, we will schedule a single shoot day that will take all day. For large and complex projects, more days may be required.
If we cannot access all the required subjects on the shoot day (for example, if members of your team are unavailable, or certain products are unavailable), we will need to arrange a secondary session.
Before we can state how long it will take, we work with you to understand what the outcomes you are expecting and the type of photography required for your project.
No, we will never use Microsoft Word to design anything because it's not a design tool - it's a word processing tool. We use the Adobe Creative Suite to do most of our design work.
If you need to be able to edit the design work we create, we recommend using a cloud-based platform like Figma, which is free to use. Or you can purchase a single Adobe license for your in-house graphic designer to use.
That depends on the scope of the project. A simple document layout will probably be cheaper than hand-drawn illustrations, but even that isn't a certainty as it depends on the size of the document and whether or not you need us to create any content for it. The best bet is to contact us with your goals and budget, and we'll recommend the right solution for you.
We may need to purchase third party assets on your behalf, such as stock photography and fonts. We will let you know in advance if this is the case. The price of such assets is usually very low.
We use Adobe Creative Suite! But if you find an alternative free design software (which isn't Word!) we can probably adapt to it!
If you have your own copy of Adobe, we can provided editable files for you to make future amends in. We advise that in order to keep your brand looking professional to only allow someone with design experience make design alterations, and to always follow brand guidelines before making changes.
Once complete payment has been made, you own the copyright of the designs and can use them how you wish - however we reserve the right to use them for our own promotional purposes.
It depends on the job scope and our current workload, but please contact us in case we do have the time, as we do like a challenge! If you're simply looking for a quick turnaround, ask us about our one day workshops.
We can do all sorts! Whatever you need, we can probably provide it - from packaging design, books and brochures to t-shirts... to hand-drawn illustrations to digital - tell us your vision and we will make it happen!
Before starting your project we will talk with you and provide example styles which we think might fit what you want to achieve, as well as ask you to research some design styles you like. If you would like to see more examples of work by our talented designers, please ask!
We will provide packaged files to you via Google Drive - as well as any suitable file formats depending on how you will use the design - if that is vector or raster, for digital or print.
We can create design for both digital and print, we will ask beforehand where your design will be used - and this will allow us to decide which is the best software, resolution and colourspaces to use.
Unfortunately, we do not provide printing services in-house, but we will package up your files ready for print. You can then send these direct to any printers of your choice to get printed. Alternatively, we can source printers for you and liaise with them on your behalf for an additional fee.
We will involve you from the beginning to ensure the design project is going in the right direction, and will check in with you to review at regular intervals. We design everything based on our understanding of your brand, audience and goals, and we ask that you trust us to make design decisions within these parameters. We will provide structures to help you deliver objective feedback and we ask that a key decision maker is available to sign off our work.
Yes we can indeed! Our very talented illustrator, Iulia, just so happens to also be a very talented animator! Check out our animation page!
Subscribe to our newsletter for unique content, marketing insights and good times.