Solving problems through design.™ Tel: 0114 254 1244


Below are some common questions which clients ask us. Get in touch if you don't see an answer to your question here.

Q. How much will it cost?

The costs of a design project vary greatly and depend entirely on both your needs and requirements and those of your customers and suppliers. In order to ascertain these requirements and to ensure that the design process is built on firm foundations Fripp Design and Research are unable to provide a quotation over the phone as there is a process which we have developed to make sure that the results of the project answer your needs and provides the best possible solution. We do this by identifying specific needs and tailoring a proposal specifically for the project which will include an agreed project brief, timescales and accurate costings. This is important as we charge a fixed price per project i.e. we don't charge by the hour, by the day etc as this is open to abuse. What we quote is what you pay...unless you change the brief during the design project of course!

Innovation Voucher projects are fully funded to £5K and MAS projects are subsidised to 50%. 

Q. Do you take a modular approach to pricing or do I have to pay for the entire project from the start?

You definitely do not have to pay for your entire project from the start. We understand that any new product development is subject to factors that are beyond your control when you commence your new product development journey. We understand this and our pricing policy reflects the need to minimise the costs and risks to you.

Our pricing structure is modular i.e. we charge for a project a stage at a time and at any time you can choose to stop your project and you only pay for the stages you have already commissioned us to work on.

Q. How long will it take?

The timescales of any design project are dependent upon the amount of work required, the complexity of the work required and the quality of the communication between the parties involved. Until we have established exactly what is required from the project it is difficult to ascertain timescales. Upon receipt of accurate project details and requirements Fripp Design and Research will produce a proposal specifically for the project which will include an agreed project brief and accurate costings. The project proposal will also contain estimated timescales; these are estimated only as the progress of the project is very reliant upon feedback from the client, something which changes from project to project. The important thing for you, however, is that our pricing is fixed irrespective of the time scales involved. The only time costs may vary is if you, the client, change the brief during the product design development.

An innovation Voucher project typically takes a month to complete once you have been awarded a voucher. MAS is dependant on the terms of the project. 

Q. What types of things do you design?

Fripp Design and Research's team are highly trained in almost every area of product and industrial design and can turn these skills to any form of physical design. To date Fripp Design has completed design in areas including highly conceptual packaging and wearable technology through to heavily engineered mass produced components in plastics and metals as well as making the most of cutting edge rapid manufacturing techniques. We specialise in the design of concepts where ergonomics and anatomy are key; as well as consumer and safety products.

Q. Will I be involved in the design process?

Absolutely yes! Once we are given the go ahead to develop your design we do not simply close the door and get back to you at the end of the project with a single concept. The design process is all about communication between us and you; it is important that your knowledge and experience is used throughout the course of the project as you may have many ideas for the solution which will have come from experience and knowledge not found within Fripp Design and Research. This also allows you to focus the direction of your project.

For these reasons throughout the course of the project Fripp Design and Research will assemble professional presentations showing the progress of the project and will request feedback from you. It is important that you do not hold back on your criticisms or indeed interest in any concept as this will fuel the rapid development of a resolved, appropriate design solution. Through this process Fripp Design and Research will continue to develop the concept until you are comfortable that the solution satisfies your requirements and you are ready to move on to the next stage of your product development.

Q. What will I get?

What you receive will depend upon the individual requirements of the project and will be detailed in a project proposal which Fripp Design and Research will prepare prior to the commencement of the project. Concept development will result in visuals consisting of hand sketching, research boards and possibly some basic CAD. CAD Realisation will result in the production of CAD files made available in the most appropriate form for any follow-on processes. Animation may also be used where appropriate alongside photorealistic renders for design approval. Physical prototypes will be produced as dictated by the project requirements.

Q. Where do I start?

If you think you have a unique idea with the potential to be protected from being copied. If you haven't spoken to a patent lawyer and produced a patent application for the concept, then do not worry; in the first instance you should insist on getting a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place with anyone you divulge information to. Once you have a NDA in place or a patent application you can discuss your idea feely with a third party such as Fripp Design and Research.

It is very important that you inform a design company about every aspect of the product you wish to develop. This should include information about product specifications, target market, project and product budget, customers and suppliers as well as routes to market. This information will ensure a thorough process, that a solution which is fit for purpose is developed and that you get the most from the design process. We actually prefer you to talk to us prior to making a patent application. It is very common for us to work out a better solution for you. After all you have the skills in identifying the opportunity, we have the Product Design skills to exploit the opportunity for you.

Q. Do you supply services on behalf of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS)?

Yes we do. We have a site dedicated to MAS at

Q. Are you Growth Voucher Suppliers?

Yes we are. You can use your Growth Voucher with Fripp Design and Research. You can find out more about Growth Vouchers here.

Q. Do you supply Innovation Vouchers?

Yes we do. In fact, under the old Innovation Voucher scheme run by Business Link, Fripp Design and Research we're the number one private sector provider of Innovation Vouchers.

Q. Why might I need to prototype?

Modern CAD software is very sophisticated. Not only can you do the design, it can tell you what the stresses and strains will be on the design, what the thermal affects will be and calculate fluid flows (liquid and gas); but what it does not do is tell you what the design will do in real life. Prototyping is an essentil stage in any design project. It will show how the design will react when used in a real world environment, it will show weaknesses in the manufacturability of the design, it will give feed back from customers and suppliers alike about the acceptability of the design.

James Dyson went through 2000 prototypes before he got his vacuum cleaner design fit for market; this is exceptional, however prototyping is an iterative process, it is unlikely the first prototype will be 'fit for purpose'.

Major car and Aerospace manufacturers use CAD software a magnitude (or two) more expensive than software used by Fripp Design and Research, but they always the end of the day, would you get into a plane that went straight from CAD to manufacture? 

Q. What is a NDA?

A NDA is a non-disclosure agreement. This is a document signed by both parties which ties organisations and individual parties into an agreement of mutual silence without consent. It means that if one party wishes to discuss the concept with anyone else they must seek your approval first. From a patent application perspective, a NDA is a way of demonstrating that your idea is not in the public domain so is capable of being protected from copying (i.e. there is no 'prior art' in the public domain).

Q. Are you insured?

Yes, we have both public and professional indemnity insurance. Thankfully we have never had to make a claim!