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Graphic Design questions and answers

Graphic Design faqs – Working with a graphic designer

“Designers are creative partners who utilize aesthetic tools to communicate your message more effectively”

Never worked with a graphic designer or a creative professional before? Wonder how things unfold and or your responsibility to a project? Then this information is for you. It’s been created to provide an overview and answer some frequently asked graphic design questions.

Having these studio policies in place provides clarity and helps to avoid any “grey areas”. As all businesses have policies in some form – graphic design is no different.

The Design Process and How Projects Unfold

The design process,is one which unfolds between a creative and the client. Through an initial gathering of information, designers essentially interpret and transform your ideas through our creative concepts so that they may be translated into a unique finished product which communicates your message to your audience.

When you are working with a designer you are in a business relationship. As a trusted advisor/consultant, a mutually beneficial outcome is extremely important. Projects should be win-win for both sides as we are creating value for each other.

Supplemental info may be found via the following blog posts:
• I’d Love to Help You, But I Need Some info First…
• How to Request Services from a Graphic Designer
• Understanding a Graphic Designer’s Availability

faqs — frequently asked questions and design studio policies

  1. Who is the right graphic designer or visual professional for your needs?

Whether or not a designer is  good for your project can have several different factors including styles, your budget vis a vis  a designer’s fees as well as a designer’s availability for your time-frame. Taking time to review a creative portfolio can aid in determining if their style is right for your project.

  1. How do you begin on a project?

There is an initial inquiry, followed by the Project Qualifying Questionnaire which are a few short questions to gather pertinent information, get a sense of your objectives, gauge your level of commitment to a project and to see if we are  good for moving forward. Upon assessment of the informations provided, we can now determine whether to move forward with a consultation or not.

Initial consultations are complimentary,  and it can last for about 30 minutes  and it is mostly completed by phone. Should your requirements exceed that, then a “Discovery Session” which is billable may need to be scheduled to better diagnose the circumstances.

It is important to note that all client  works are done on a per project basis and it is usually through a contract. They are not done hourly.

If we determine that we are on  a good fit, then an estimate of the services to be provided for the project will be put forth. Upon agreement of the estimate, a contract is drawn up outlining the scope of work and project details. With your signature alongside  a 50% deposit which needs to be presented at that time , the project will then commence. The  time frame can vary – but generally it is between 7-10 days. (*note: the 50% deposit is non-refundable)

Requesting a deposit to begin work on a project makes sense for both parties. It helps set appropriate boundaries and expectations. It also protects the designer, while establishing accountability with the client.

  1. what is the actual design process?

The design process can vary depending on the type of project. Generally speaking, once all the pertinent information has been gathered, contract signed and deposit received, approximately 2  initial rough designs are created based on the style and parameters of the project estimate. One design concept is chosen by the client and further developed by the designer. As the chosen design is refined, project proofs are presented to review and or submit changes. All project proofs are provided via email in a .pdf or .jpeg format.

1 round of design changes are included into the initial project estimate. If more changes are requested beyond the inclusive 1 round, then surcharges will apply. The additional fees will vary depending on the extent of changes requested. The fees will be on top of the original project estimate, need to be approved by the client and billed accordingly.

The design is then finalized and delivered in the necessary file formats depending if this is a print project (high resolution files) or formats for the web. Final payment and or balance due is required at this time in order for the project to be delivered.

  1. what is the time frame for a project?

Time frames can vary depending onthe type of project we are working on as well as the scope and or complexity of a new project. Once a deposit hasbeen made, the design drafts begin. Since the initial conception process is the most labor intensive, the turn around time can vary and can take up to two weeks to show the first design concepts.

We keep an open line of communication with the client at all times so as to know if there are any changes to be made on the design. It is very important and obligatory that the client provides all of the necessary information including text, photos & images, logos in a timely manner to ensure the project flow.

Failure to provide this vital info can halt the project and delay the completion date at no fault of the designer. After the initial design phase, a project moves faster — provided that all essential and necessary elements have been sumitted by the client.

  1. What is the pricing, Fees and Payment Process?

Project pricing can vary greatly and is determined at the time of estimate. All projects are executed on a contract basis. A contract helps to align the work relationship right from the start and helps define the scope and payment terms.

There is a 50% non-refundable deposit to begin a project. It MUST be obtained at the time of the signing of the contract and before any work will commence. This secures the client a very good  space as well as reflecting a client’s commitment to the project. Depending on the size of the project, there may be a mid-project payment necessary of 25% with the final 25% due IN FULL at the completion/deliverable of a project.

Print design projects such as brochures, business cards etc DO NOT include actual printing costs.
If you require bids for your print design projects, they may be obtained upon request.

Payment options are either via Bank Transfer or  Mobile Money

Cancellation or Kill fees may apply if a job gets cancelled midway through production and it is appropriate to compensate the designer for the work they have completed thus far. This is generally referred to as a “kill fee”, and commonly is paid in a percentage of either 50% if pre production work has been done, or 100% if the project is in production or completed.

  1. Do you provide Website Design?

Yes! Sagicam provides website design. We build and develop new websites. We also create graphical content and imagery for websites .

  1. Do you provide Website maintenance/updates services?

Yes!

  1. Do you offer SEO (search engine optimization) services?

Yes we do. SEO services are among the main services offered by Sagicam. We also offer training classes on SEO.

  1. What are the Client’s Responsibilities and Necessary Communication?

As stated above it is obligatory that clients provide ALL of the necessary content in a timely manner and it is their responsibility to review & understand the terms of a project contract. During project development, the lines of communication are kept open and accessible with consistent updates during normal business hours M-F 8:00am to 5:00pm – which is done  via email.

Please Note: It’s the client’s responsibility to respond to questions/provide feedback on proofs promptly. Clients’ communication delays WILL affect a project’s completion date at no fault of the designer. Client delays can also potentially “halt” a project thus forfeiting the deposit and necessitating the project be re-estimeted along with a resume fee before work may again commence.

  1. What are your Policies on Project Usage?

Project designs are single-use (one time usage rights apply) unless otherwise specified within the terms of the project contract. Any other usage of said materials/designs must be negotiated and authorized by Sagicam at an additional fee to be determined.

Sagicam retains personal rights to use the completed project and any preliminary designs for the purpose of marketing this studio’s business and addition toour portfolio, for educational purposes and/or future publications on design.

  1. Why are your Design Prices not Listed?

The investment necessary to bring a project to its fruition varies based on a client’s requirements, the project scope, appropriate design styles/trends and the technologies utilized for its execution. The design landscape is vast, varied and changes rapidly. The way we market and promote our businesses has changed thus projects are assessed individually and estimated accordingly upon completion of an initial new project consultation.

  1. Do you offer Retainers? How do they Work?

Yes. A retainer fee works like a monthly fee but since it’s purpose is to retain me as your designer, it is paid up front before any work is ordered. You are, in a sense, pre-ordering the designer’s time. The designer anticipates work from the client and blocks out the appropriate amount of time in their schedule to accommodate the client work.

  1. Do you Provide Pro-Bono Work or Discounted rates?

To maintain universal professionalism,Sagicam does not offer “discounted rates”. However, depending on the current project load, one (maybe two) pro-bono projects may be accepted per year. There are certain criteria that needs to be met in order to determine whether or not a project or organization qualifies for pro-bono work.

Being part of these special projects can be very rewarding. However, honoring all requests is not possible.
Please contact Sagicam for more information on pro-bono projects.

  1. What kind of Clients do you typically work with?

We work with all categories of clients be it Businesses, Schools, Churches who  want to make the world a better place with their products or services.

Mutually beneficial creative partnerships are forged by working with those who recognize the value and expertise of a design and search professional as an investment in marketing and growing their business.

  1. Do you have Client Testimonials?

Yes. You may review feedback from successfully completed projects.

GRAPHIC DESIGN FAQS

Need to know how the Graphic Design process works? Read through our  FAQ section here. And if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Q: How do I get a quote?

A: Every job is different and individual. We like to give an accurate quote, so the best and easiest way to do this is to have quick chat with you. Either call us on 243 567 189 or drop us an email through our contact page with your phone number and briefly outline your requirements.

Q: What is the design process?

A:Once you are happy with your quote, we spend some time talking to you to get a feel for your business and learn how best to communicate your required material. We then design some rough drafts for you to look over. You choose the look you are happiest with and we take it from there – tweaking and refining the design as needed. Once you are completely happy with the graphic design and have approved it, we finalise the design. We prepare your print-ready artwork and that’s it. You are then ready to go to print or use your graphics for online use.

Q: How long will the job take?

A: Every job is different and every deadline is different. Really you should allow sufficient time for the designing and proofing of your work. If your deadline is very tight, we will do our  best to complete your work within this time. We will, of course, advise at the time of the work. We haven’t missed a deadline yet and don’t intend to in the future!

Q: What format will I get my work in?

A: All artwork for print is supplied in high resolution vector format (.PDF or .EPS)  – so no quality is lost when the work is enlarged or reduced. If you want to use your images for web & social media purposes, then we will gladly supply your files in JPEG for uploading online

Any more questions?

If you have any more questions you would like answered, please contact us through our email  or call us on 243 567 189 and we will include your question and answer here.