Some rules at my studio

Ayush Soni / HEX
3 min readMar 26, 2024


I’ve been running my design studio HEX for a little over a year, and then freelancing for quite some time before that. We’ve been incredibly lucky to work on some really fulfilling and exciting projects that have pushed our creative boundaries and allowed us to grow as a studio. I’ve also worked on some projects that have been demoralizing and challenging for all the wrong reasons: project management.

At this point, I know the things that will fuck up a good project and things that will positively contribute to a creative output. I’ve made a shit load of mistakes early on to realize some of the core flaws in the creative process. Here are some things I have on my notes document that I share with every creative who asks for advice.

  1. Unlimited revisions needs to be done with care or else you’re going to be a design pig.
  2. Don’t give clients the ability to make specific creative decisions. Let them decide what they like and what they don’t like.
  3. Give clients a deadline to give you feedback.
  4. Your cash flow suffers when you drag the project. Make sure you and your clients are on top of your timelines.
  5. Don’t jump from one phase to another without a formal approval. If things are liquid, don’t be shocked to see requests to change the core brand when you’re developing the website.
  6. Over communicate every little thing. Where you are, what’s next, what’s needed from them.
  7. Get a 50% minimum deposit.
  8. Don’t let clients tell you to change a line height, increase a padding, or swap out a font weight. you’ll do a disservice to the work and your client.
  9. Define your process in detail and follow it carefully. don’t lose sight of the process.
  10. Offer retainers to manage the work, but enable your clients to use your work without you via systems
  11. Big directional changes -> client’s call
    Specific detail changes -> creative’s call
  12. Don’t just hop on “check-in” calls without an agenda.
  13. Invest in the quality of the work.
  14. If you are really strict about something (payments, timelines, revisions), write it in the contract. Don’t complain if you didn’t make the effort to get it in writing.
  15. Share your work. Even the WIP / rejected stuff. Your work is your only leverage.
  16. Make sure your clients know exactly what they will get out of your relationship.
  17. Try your best to overdeliver.
    Don’t overpromise.
    Set modest expectations.
  18. Do a daily 5-minute checkin for each project and ask yourself if you’re on pace to deliver a high-quality service. If not, define your blockers. Don’t let things sit in the back of your mind. Take immediate action
  19. Don’t be afraid to refer back to the SOW or Contract.
  20. Put genuine care and attention to detail into the work.
  21. Working slow isn’t good for anyone. Not the client, not you. Working with velocity (not haste) is a win-win.
  22. Stand your ground when push comes to shove. Protect your employees and contractors.

Medium lets you edit your blogs after posting, so I’ll be updating this list as I find new ideas I find appropriate. If you want to keep up with our work and my thoughts on running a creative studio, feel free to give my Twitter a follow.



Ayush Soni / HEX

Creative director and founder of a full-cycle brand and creative studio (