GOOD DESIGN is not totally a matter of opinion. There are basic fundamentals we try to stick to, and that’s one reason you need to hire and trust an experienced designer like me. What is a graphic designer? What do I need to know when working with one?
IN A NUTSHELL
My goal is to boost my clients’ success, not showcase my skills. I aim for practicality, simplicity, and efficiency.
EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE DOES NOT EQUAL HIGH COST!
Many of my clients are startup companies with tight budgets, so my rates are very competitive. My design process is built around fundamentals that are structured to keep things simple, quick and cost effective. If there is a better way of accomplishing your objectives that would include using another service provider, I will let you know up front. If a client can accomplish their goals more economically somewhere else, I don’t want to do the project and then have them learn later it could have been done better/less costly somewhere else. I have lost some business this way, but at least my conscience is clear. 🙂
#1: One thing I encounter frequently is client reluctance to throw something up temporarily when developing a website because they want it perfect. Something is better than nothing. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you have no site, or a terribly outdated one, I want to get something up quickly to keep your company moving forward. If you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. If you have a terribly outdated one, it looks like you are no longer in business. Let’s get something up and tweak it later. Often the things a client is trying to get perfect are things no one is going to notice or care about. Even as I sit here, I realize no one may even read this sentence. Same goes for your site—many visitors will just skim it. Something is better than nothing!
#2: When reviewing your website or brochure, get feedback from good sources and not your grammy who loves absolutely everything you do. Don’t steer people to the conclusion you want. I live in the South where people lie to be nice. It’s sad, but true. I catch my husband doing it all the time, and he doesn’t even know he’s doing it! HA I may be honest to a fault, but not giving someone your honest opinion or telling a white lie can be detrimental to everyone. I have had to deal with horrid logos and websites that probably hinder a business. I’ve gently mentioned areas “we” can improve and they have said they get a lot of compliments on these things and don’t want to change anything. Unless asked, I can’t really give my honest opinion of their current material without appearing to be hustling work.
My hourly rates are very competitive, and still used for certain projects, but for most new projects, I am now trying to give a lump sum estimate.
Time is Money!
For efficiency, please be aware of common time hogs that include:
- Stock photo searches. I enjoy looking for that perfect photo, but economically, it would be better for you to select your own. The best resource is fotolia.com.
- Phone calls can take twice as long, and I’m not a good note-taker. Often they are quite unproductive. Please email whenever possible.
- Logo reconstruction. Please email your logo in its original format like an .eps, .ai, or .tif. Not a low resolution .gif or .jpg unless that is all you have.
- There is a 15 minute minimum for any work, including website maintenance.
- New clients must pay 25% up front.
- Contract pricing available.