An educated customer is both a pleasure to work with and a satisfied return customer.
Please take a few minutes to read through the information we have provided in these pages before working with any designer on your new project.
If you follow this set of instructions, you will:
- Save money
- Avoid costly and time-consuming re-designs
- Avoid frustration
- You will be satisfied with the result
Before you place an order – advice on getting started
A. Gathering Concepts:
Before anyone can design WELL for you, they will need to talk to you extensively about your professional needs and personal tastes.
Your future designer should ask you a lot of style questions for which you will need to be prepared. You should be asked to show a collection of materials (printed and online) which portray in some way the style, look, and feel of your future art.
Please spend the due time collecting such materials, URLs and other references where you see elements that you would like mimicked one way or another in your art.
The Reason for this collection:
Every person’s taste is unique and we have found through experience that descriptive words such as: pretty, classic, business-like, colorful etc DO NOT convey your ideas and needs accurately enough. We have found that when two people strive to convey an idea or a concept to each other only hard evidence truly demonstrates the meaning of their words.
When gathering examples, be on the lookout for:
- Things that catch your eye, that you like right away
- Colors you like
- Fonts you like
- Layouts you think are fitting for your project
- Elements such as buttons, boxes, decorative elements etc.
- Sizes and formats (if printed material)
- Photographs that convey the style that you want to see in your art
DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF to materials relating to your industry. You can be a Realtor and get ideas from a flower shop ad. As long as they have the elements that you would like to see in your materials, please show them to your designer.
B. Interviewing the artist:
We suggest that you meet with at least two artists before deciding where to spend your money.
Graphic design is a large investment of time and money because its quality directly affects your company’s success and that of your marketing campaigns. You need to find the person that is going to understand you and work well with you.
A skilled designer can create spectacular art for a client they really “get” and do poorly for someone else. Do not rely only on the portfolio’s quality. Instead, make sure that the style and versatility of the artist fits your needs.
By the same token, never hire someone to create for you only because they were recommended by a friend and certainly never because they gave you the cheapest quote. Make sure that you like their work and more importantly that it satisfies the needs of your business.
When choosing a designer, look for the following:
- You feel that you can communicate with them effectively
- You feel comfortable telling them you do not like something they have done. They take criticism well and try to build on it.
- They understand your ideas and are able to develop them with you
- You feel that they are honest with you
- You feel they have your best interest at heart
- They are passionate about the outcome and success of your materials
- They get you and your business, as well as its needs
- They are efficient and organized, professional and fast paced
C. Signing the contract:
Before signing a contract, make sure that the design process is clearly outlined. This is the time when the Project Plan is drawn up and put in place. Some projects are too small for a full blown plan, but it is still VERY IMPORTANT that one be written and included in the contract.
Make sure the contract clearly describes the final product desired and the time-frame for the project.
At Ivelina.com, upon finalizing and signing the contract, a retainer fee of 50% of the estimated final cost is paid before work can begin. You should expect a similar arrangement from any professional designer.
Reviewing the design progress – useful ideas on helping your designer perform well for you
A. Reviewing the work:
Your designer should send you periodic drafts for your approval and comments. The more drafts you see, the safer and more efficient the design process will be.
Once the artist understands what you like and receives your approval to finalize the work, they can go into further detail and embellishments until they complete the project.
When reviewing drafts, please keep in mind that the work has only been sketched out. You will need to imagine what the materials will look like should the artist continue in the same direction.
When reviewing artwork, please:
- Make sure the “main idea” behind the art is what you had in mind and what you like. Now is the time to guide the designer onto a good start.
- ONLY evaluate the element the designer has asked you to review. If they sent you something asking you if you like the font, please only comment on the font. Do not start criticizing things that may not even be finalized in the designer’s mind. Give them useful information about the element that they have a question about.
- Give very precise comments and requests. A great method we like to use is the Adobe Acrobat’s yellow notes which can be pointed to the exact element you are talking about.
B. Approving the final result:
Make 100% sure that you have received what you asked for. Once you have signed off on the product, you will not be able to ask for any changes without additional fees being incurred.
Also, please do not terminate a project in progress because you have ran out of money. Please plan the cost before you begin and make sure that the artist knows your budget and can work within it.
If anything unexpected should happen, and you cannot continue paying for an ongoing project, please let your designer know as soon as possible. A good established designer will try to work out a payment plan with you.
Terminating a project before it’s completed is the worst thing you can do because it means you have wasted your recourses thus far. It’s better to work out a payment plan than to abandon the job.
Please respect your designer’s accounting schedules and pay your bills on time. Thank you!
Delivery of the artwork – what you should expect to receive at the end of your project
A. Signing off on art
You will be asked to sign the progress report attached to the contract as proof of approval of the final result and fulfillment of the contract.
B. Package Contents
More often than not, clients walk away from a paid project with no materials at all. Whether it’s a print or web project, the end deliverable are your property in their entirety, and you should make sure you receive them as such.
The designer has no right to the artwork you have paid for, and is required to provide you with all working files, access to servers, passwords, and any other information that will allow you to use, modify, and distribute your product as you wish.
Your art package should contain the following files:
- Stock art used in your project
- Source files
- Jpegs in 300dpi for print (non-web projects)
- Jpegs in 72dpi for online viewing and e-mailing
- Production files in any format required by printer
- Info-sheet (web projects) with all your new accounts, registrar and hosting passwords, Google Analytics account, or anything else that was created for you during the course of the project
C. Delivery methods
You can request your art to be delivered in one of the following methods:
- A downloadable zip file either on your own web server or on the designer’s server. This option should not cost more than $20
- A CD or DVD-ROM ($25.00)
- Sent directly to the printer for production (Fees will vary, but should be less than $50)