Frequently asked questions
I have bunched together a list of questions that are usually asked about the design process and how it all works. If there is anything further that you wish to know please email me and I will help how I can.
What services do you provide?
I specialise in creative branding and visual communications. This includes print media such as brochures, posters, flyers leaflets, etc. My main stream of work is to assist businesses in creating a brand that will enhance their values, and help them to stand out from their market competitors by using intensive research and creativity leaving them with a distinctive personality.
By using my services clients acquire a brand identity that will benefit their business for the long term.
What is the difference between a logo and a brand?
A logo is a recogniseable symbol or ‘mark’ in it’s most simple form. It is the first connection the customer will have with an organisation, which usually consists of a graphic symbol, a colour palette, sometimes and most often than not, including a namestyle (company / organisation name).
A brand is the basis of a logo and an identity, a concept of a business, product, organisation or service that makes it different to others. Target market, communication, customer loyalty, trust, visual communications, the overall brand experience. Mainly what you don’t see but is actually right in front of you all along.
My blog post ‘The difference between a logo, identity and a brand’ goes into this in more detail.
How is the best way to make contact?
If you would like to hire me for my services or would like to speak to me about a possible future project contact can be made by emailing me or calling me on +44 (0)7876 502 394. Please leave a message on my voicemail and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
How much do you charge for your services?
Each project is different with a different budget. I am more than happy to provide a quote for a project. If it’s just an approximate idea of cost then I can supply that too. Obviously, the more detailed the requirements are then the more accurate I can be with a quote.
It is also worth noting that my design fees do not cover print and reproduction costs, although these are sourced and issued by me (unless instructed otherwise) during a project or at the time of the initial quotation.
I have had much cheaper quotes elsewhere. Can you better them?
Clients are in a position to choose their designers, and the same can be said of designers of their clients. Designers will always work with clients that value their abilities and experience. Freelance graphic design is not cheap and you will find lower priced alternatives but quality is usually sacrificed. This is a decision that the client has to make.
How long does a project take until completion?
The duration of a project depends on what is involved and requirements. Also, if a time-frame is issued by a client this will have a bearing on project completion. Most identity projects will by default require at least a week as a minimum requirement, and this really is on the tightest of budgets. There are other factors such as delay on requested information from the client which can inevitably lengthen the duration of a project. I also provide one round of amendments within a quotation on a project. If the amendments extend further they will be chargeable.
When could you start my project?
I will only work on two projects at any one time. It is possible that I can start straight away if it is the case that I am working on less than two projects, so please email me and I will help you as much as I possibly can. By working on two projects I am able to give all my time and attention to the clients that I am working for.
How does the process work?
What do I get during the project duration?
I will go through the details with you, research the nature of your business / competitors, etc, and then compile a design brief which we will then both agree on before commencing with the project. The client plays a huge role in the design process. No-one knows their market and business better. Client and designer liaison is imperative to achieve desired results. Once I have a basis to work from I will begin sketching, then shortlist the ideas before presenting them, showing them as mock ups in situ.
Tweaks and revisions are made if needed, and once we have collectively agreed we have achieved the goals then artwork is supplied digitally and in hard copy and full ownership is transferred.
Is there any information I could gather before contacting you to help us both with the process?
If the client is on a tight budget I would recommend that they provide as much detailed information as possible as the timescale of the job will be considerably shorter from start to finish allowing less time for research. I normally require a basic breakdown of the company and it’s competitors which gives me a starting point before creating a detailed brief with the client.
I want a brochure designed. What type files do I need to provide? Ie. RAW files, JPEG, RGB or print ready.
As a general rule avoid sending compressed photographic files. I work solely in print so I require images that are in hi-resolution, ie. 300 dpi.
Ideally, it is best to send me images in either tiff or psd format, although I can accept jpg files if they are hi-res and large in size. RAW photo format is also acceptable. The size of the image is dependant on the project they are to be used for. If, for example, I am designing an A0 poster for a client, an image that is 6 inches high will be inadequate. Colour can be adjusted when I get the images, so it can be sent as RGB or CMYK, although of course if you want a colour image then greyscale is not acceptable.
I have a logo already but would like to just update it. Can you do this?
If a logo rebrand is required then that is fine and I can help with that. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is not a shortcut to acquiring an identity or brand logo. A rebrand means there is already a reputation in place, and research is essential to maintain the image that has taken sometimes years to build.
I want my design to look like THIS. Can you do it?
No. My task is to make you better than your competitors, not put you on a level playing field. While I will be more than happy to use avenues that make others successful, by copying them I will be helping you to ‘fit in’. I don’t want you to fit in, I want you to stand out. It is also design ettiquette not to copy other designers work.
Do I need to find my own printer or can you recommend one?
Different projects require different print methods, so finding the right printer is vital. If you have a trusted printer that you have used in the past and would like to use on a project then that is fine. However, if you require me to source a printer then it is advise able for you to bring this to my attention at the beginning of the project as it could delay the completion date.
Please also note that most quotes unless specifically requested are made without reproduction costs. Printing is outsourced and quote separately and independently. While I will work closely with the print house on a clients project and deal with all aspects of the work on a clients behalf, the print house have their own terms and conditions that they adhere to, so any queries in terms of invoicing and payments need to go through them.
Do you need any information from my printer I wish to use to help you produce final artwork?
If you would like me to use a printer that you have used in the past or that you want for a specific project then I will require contact details of the printer to talk to them about their requirements and processes.
Before I commence with a project I require a 50 percent payment towards the fee stated at the time of the agreed brief. Once the artworking has been completed I then require the remainder of the agreed fee. When the payment has cleared then I release all artworks to the client with full ownership. When the client has paid the outstanding balance there are no further costs to be paid in regards to that project. If the client then requires further work using the original artwork then it becomes a new project and payment follows the same process. b design do have the right to use samples of work completed for clients stated in the terms and conditions.
Will you attend meetings in person to speed up the process if required?
I promote my graphic design in Essex, but this has no bearing on projects I take on. If the meeting place can be convenient to both parties then yes, I would meet a client in person. I have a physical portfolio as well as digital and online ones, so this is not a problem. Most of the time however it is cheaper for the client and myself to liaise online using email or to speak on the telephone. There is no way that meeting in person will speed up the process unless of course the client has no internet connection available.
I’m overseas. How will this affect things?
Most of my work is communicated via the phone and email. As enjoyable as it is meeting with clients it is not a barrier in this day an age to live on opposite sides of a pond. Projects can be sent in minutes and presented, saving money and time, while still achieving the same result.
What payment methods do you accept?
After establishing and agreeing a brief I require a 50 percent deposit before commencing with the project. This can be done by bank transfer, debit / credit card or cheque (although a cheque will need to clear before project commencement). The remaining 50 percent is required on project completion. Please note that the final artwork package will only be sent out once full payment has been received. I operate under 14 day payment terms unless otherwise stated. For more details please visit the payment options page.
If there is anything that you need answering that isn’t listed here please let me know. I will add your question to the list and help you how I can.