- What graphic design services do you provide?
I specialize in brand identity design for small entrepreneurs and startups to established businesses and organizations. Specific services include:
- Custom logo design and corporate identity.
- WordPress based website design (mobile friendly) and seo.
- Print design (business cards and stationery, brochures, album artwork, flyers and posters, banners, signage, mailers, etc).
- Image editing, photo touch-up and restoration, select photography.
- Custom graphics and scalable digital vector artwork.
To learn more about my services, please view the services pages in the drop down menu at the top of this website.
- What's involved in a logo design project?
Design brief: To save us both valuable time you will be asked to fill out the appropriate project questionnaire for your design needs. The info you provide there will allow me to better understand your needs and expectations. After reviewing your completed form, I’ll prepare you a proposal including pricing options and an overview of what you can expect from your investment.
If you like what you see and would like to move forward with the project, I’ll prepare a simple project agreement for digital signing, and a down payment invoice. Down payment is usually 50% of total project, while web design projects may be split into 1/3’s.
Research: After a project is underway, I’ll then discuss things with you further to narrow the focus. Some time is spent researching your brand, but also your industry and your competition. This allows me to better understand what design styles and messaging would be most appropriate, and which styles to avoid if they’re over used in your field of practice.
Conceptualization: This is where all of the information I’ve gathered about your company / brand comes to fruition. The process includes sketching and brainstorming of ideas, developing of concepts through keyword mapping, etc. This portion of the project is the most time consuming and crucial, as it’s where all initial ideas are constructed.
Refinement: The rough ideas conceived through the above process are now refined into more presentable concepts. This may include re-drawing of initial sketches or going straight to the computer; depending on the design. The goal here is to create presentable designs to show you. If a particular logo will require a lot of effort to refine, I’ll reveal it to the client prior to spending too much time if I think the concept can be conveyed as intended.
Presentation: Aside from any rough drafts that I may have shown you to get your opinion on, the presentation stage of the project is where the best logos I’ve developed are presented to you. These logos are usually shown in mockup form (on a business card, t-shirt, etc) so you can see what they’d look like in real world applications. To save project time, limited effort is typically spent on refining font and color schemes at this point. That will be addressed after designs have been narrowed down in the next step below.
Revisions: After being presented with logos, it will be your decision to select which design you feel best fits your needs. I will of course offer my opinion and insight, but obviously it’s your decision to make. Most clients choose a logo and require no additional changes other than a request to see additional font and color options. Some clients however, insist on more drastic modifications. Outside of completely new design requests and/or repeated revision requests; I’m usually quite accommodating and do not require any additional payment. As long as we’re not drastically exceeding intended project work hours, I’m flexible and understanding with my clients.
Finalizing: When a design is chosen, revised and finalized, the second half of payment will be expected. After payment is received, you’ll be provided appropriate logo files for editing / print / web use, a text document including font / color information / instructions on how to use your logo files, and a receipt of purchase. If you opted for stationery design with your logo purchase, you’ll receive those print read files as well, along with assistance with choosing a print shop and/or printing if requested.
- What communication methods are available to me during a project?
Both phone and email are acceptable forms of communication. Email is often preferred because it’s non disruptive, allows for well thought out dialog, sending of images, and is a convenient method of recounting a discussion. Yet sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to have a phone chat, especially at the beginning of a project. For overseas clients, I’m open to video chatting if requested; though I personally find email to be sufficient.
Because of solicitors, I choose not to display my phone number on my website; though I provide it freely after initial email contact.
- I don't live near you... Is that a problem?
Not at all! Most of the people I do work for, I’ve never actually met. Between phone, email and file sharing, projects run smoothly and efficiently.
- Why should I work with you over another designer?
This is for only you to decide, but I can offer the following conveniences of working with me:
– I’ve been in business for over 12 years, have a degree in computer design and have worked with hundreds of clients from varying sizes and industries.
– I approach projects with a mindset of quality over quantity. Cutting corners or rushing jobs isn’t my thing.
– Your project won’t be juggled around between various designers. And you’ll be working with me directly rather than have to communicate with multiple points of contact.
– Your designs won’t be outsourced, crowdsourced or subjected to any unscrupulous practices.
– I strive to offer prompt, concise and detailed communication with clients.
– Your designs will be custom-made to suite your needs.
– My pricing is fair considering my level of experience and ability, and below AIGA recommendations. Comparable to larger agencies, my rates are much less.
- Do I receive 100% ownership of completed design work?
Unless mentioned otherwise in a project agreement, you will receive 100% ownership of completed design work after final payments have been made. I only ask for the right to display created works in my portfolios for self promotion.
- What if I don't like the design work that I'm provided?
My policy is pretty standard. I require a non refundable down payment on all projects. If in the unlikely chance you are not happy with the design work that is presented to you in the allotted amount of work hours, you have the opportunity to purchase additional project time, or of course walk away. With that said, I often provide additional work hours at no additional charge, as long as my time is being respected and not being taken advantage of. In rare instances when certain clients can not be pleased despite my best attempts, I will require additional payment to continue offering my services. While I wish I didn’t have to, in the end I have a business to run.
I believe this method is most fair because it splits the risk between designer and client. Since design is such a subjective thing, it’s impossible for any designer to guarantee satisfaction. Certain steps are taken to help improve the likelihood of a satisfied customer. These include: a proper design brief, research, and thorough communication. I think it’s also a client’s responsibility to vet their designer prior to hiring; making sure they’re reputable, have testimonials, and a strong portfolio of work that aligns with your tastes and needs.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
Paypal, check and credit card are acceptable forms of payment. If you require payment by credit card, that can be done through Paypal’s secure system and doesn’t require you to have a Paypal account. Since Paypal charges me a 3% fee for payments received, payment by check is preferred; however it’s recommended to choose the payment method that’s most convenient for you. If you’re in a hurry to receive your design files, Paypal or credit card payment will be the quickest way.
- How long do projects take to complete?
The time frame for project completion will depend on project complexity, my scheduling and project work load. To give you a rough idea on timeframes, I typically request 3-5 weeks for logo project completion, 4-6 weeks for website designs, 2-3 weeks for brochures and smaller print projects.
With that said, I can sometimes accommodate tighter timeframes if I’m not booked a long ways out or if your project is not overly time intensive. If you require quicker turnaround time than I request, the cost of the project will most likely increase due to the longer days / stress involved in accommodating the rushed timeframe.
Please understand that good design takes time, so it’s not recommended to rush the creative process whenever possible. If you’re on a very tight time crunch, you may be better off hiring a design agency, since they have more designers on staff. However, the cost will typically be much higher due to their extra overhead costs. I find most experienced freelancers / independent designers like myself will usually be booked a couple of weeks out and unable to offer very quick turnaround for time intensive projects.
- How do I receive my files once a project is complete?
Your final design files will be emailed to you after complete payment has been received. If for some reason the files can’t be sent via email (i.e. file size), I’ll provide a download link via my Dropbox account.
The file types/formats received depend on the type of project. Logo files for example, will be emailed in eps and/or pdf format; both of which are scalable and printable documents that can be edited by any graphic designer or print shop using industry standard software. If you require web versions of your logo, they can be provided as well. To learn more about file formats and other design terminology, check out my “graphic design glossary” blog post.
- Will you price match other designers?
Price matching only works for items that are identical. Since no two designers or projects are the same, it’s not really fair to demand “So and so only charges $200 for a logo design, why cant you?”.
There are various reasons why one designer may charge $200 for a logo, and another charges $1,800 (ex: time spent on projects, level of experience and expertise, quality of product/service, $ invested into business, etc). I personally have invested tens of thousands into education, computers, fonts, software, office equipment, etc. Not to mention the steep business taxes, income fees, higher costs of health insurance, and the thousands of unpaid work hours spent on learning, developing my business, accounting, maintenance of software / computers / documents / website / various accounts / etc.
Lower priced designers are only able to offer low pricing because they: are taking shortcuts, creating generic designs, haven’t invested properly into their tools and craft, or are copying other’s work (this happens often on cheap design sites). I say this not to degrade those who offer or purchase cheaper design, but just to explain the difference and reasoning as to how these lower cost designers are able to work for so much less. With that said, you may be able to find a designer who’s just starting out and is willing to offer lower pricing to build their portfolio, or maybe an overseas designer who can afford to work for less. Though I find most quality designers are able to charge their worth.
When you see a steep price tag, please understand that this is not all profit for a reputable designer. As with any business, much of the income must be invested back into the company. Ultimately it is up to the customer to determine the value of their investment based on a designer’s past work, capabilities, experience, level of communication, testimonials, reviews, etc. Like with most things, you usually get what you pay for. Sometimes saving money up front will cost you more in the long run.