Zero to One Design for Startups
Work With Me
Selected Projects
Who I am
I’m David McGillivray, and Studio DMCG Inc is my design practice. I’m a Creative Director and Designer based in New York, and have spent the last fourteen years helping to bring brands to life through strategic design.
Where I'm From
I have a traditional design education, with a B.A. in Design from Brighton University, England. After spending several years designing at small design firms in England, I moved to New York, and led design in-house at a variety of startups.
What I Do
I do all the heavy lifting when it comes to designing for startups; If you need a brand or website design to bring your idea to life, that's what I specialize in. Most clients hire me for both, as they're all too familiar with the pains of digital design that feels disconnected from brand. When you work with me that's not something you need to worry about. Carrying across the spirit of your brand design into a digital context is an aspect of design I'm well versed in; I make sure no matter where your brand needs to live, it feels like it should.

My real value comes from years of hands-on experience at a Creative Director level, both leading design in-house, and working independently with startups; uniquely positioning me with the perspective and experience to provide the kind of holistic design solutions that are typically expected to require a larger design firm.

I work directly with my clients, who normally hire me for:

→ Brand Identity Design
→ Digital Product / Web Design
→ eCommerce Design
→ Photography Direction

I work hands-on with a limited number of projects each year, so that means I tend to look for larger, well-defined scopes that run over multiple weeks. I’m a seasoned generalist by design with deep experience in taking a founding team’s vision and helping turn that into a living breathing entity, from identity through to digital experience.
Who Hires Me
My clients are people who need an experienced, holistic thinking, director-level designer capable of executing across all aspects of design on a project. 

They have the business model and strategy nailed down, and know who their audience is, but need someone to craft the visual language around it in a thoughtful, strategic manner, and turn it into a polished brand experience. It’s also normally people that are willing to invest their budget in good design, but perhaps not the overheads and baggage that often comes with a traditional agency format.
My Approach
I charge a flat fee, nail down a detailed scope, and agree on an accurate timeframe. So my clients know what they’re getting, when they’re getting it, and how much they're paying, before I move a pixel.

At every stage I aim to be as direct and straightforward as possible. My approach is pretty fast paced, practical, and relatively organic – I try not to get caught up in unnecessary process. I prioritize getting designs to a place that feels 'real', fast. So you have the context you need to see what's working and make decisions as quickly as possible.

After our initial kick-off meeting where we'll dive deep into the project brief, and all your hopes and dreams, the first step in the design process begins with me sharing a selection of different design directions. These are snapshot vignette's designed to give a window into that design direction; it's just enough design to show you what that world would look like, and let us have some meaningful conversations around various paths forward. Sometimes I'll share just one or two initial design directions, sometimes it's five or even six; I don't promise a number, it's a creative process after all. But whatever I do show you in that first meeting, I'll promise you you're getting my best work.

Once we've discussed the various designs, which parts are worth exploring, things we want to keep, and things we want to drop, I’ll move thoughtfully and efficiently in the most appropriate direction, dialing things in until we both agree it looks and feels right, and will perform as intended.
My Track Record
While the aesthetic of design is important, it’s just as vital that my designs deliver real results. While I can’t claim sole credit for the numerous positive outcomes my clients have seen, smart and successful founders continue to tap me for a full range of design needs, and I’m humbled to be able to contribute towards their journey.

I worked on the core digital experience and app design for Care/Of; acquired by Bayer for $220 million, designed a brand and web overhaul for Reaction Commerce; acquired by Mail Chimp, the full web experience and digital visual language for Backdrop; acquired by F. Schumacher & Co, and a full brand, packaging, photo, and web experience for Knix; acquired by Essity for $320 million. I also designed Petal's brand identity, which has seen massive growth and is now valued at $800 million. My work with The Nue Co contributed to 500% growth in the last couple of years, as well as increased conversion rate and an AOV increase of 20%. I also designed the brand and web experience for new Architectural Digest vertical, Clever, which helped contribute to record-high traffic; an 80% year-over-year increase for the parent brand.
What I Charge
I work on a flat fee basis for projects, so I’ll quote you a single project price instead of an hourly rate. We'll agree on a project scope, and I'll assign it a timeline and a budget upfront so there's no hidden fees or weekly costs that mount up.

Most of the works showcased on this site took somewhere between 4—8 weeks to complete, and vary in cost. The scope of work, complexity of the problem, and a host of other influences are factored into my pricing, meaning every project is different. But as a general rule of thumb, most of my projects tend to range from $25k–$80k, again depending on the specifics.

Know that I'm flexible, and if a project's a good fit, and we're both excited to work together, I'm always willing to be flexible around pricing in order to make it happen.
Getting Started
If you're interested in working together, or learning more about any of the above, the best thing to do is send me an email to and tell me a little bit about you and your project (including rough timelines) upfront. If you have something in mind that you think I’d be a good fit for, let’s talk!