It is very important that you know my process up front when considering working with me on your project. That way, there can be a clear understanding of the objectives of the project, and straight-forward expectations of the designer (me) and the client (you). This is the approach that has produced the best results for my clients. Thoroughly reading through these steps benefits the client as much as it benefits me.
ARE WE THE RIGHT FIT?
I am very selective with the amount of clients and the type of work I take on. I want to be thoroughly committed to a project, therefore I never take on more than I can handle. Because I believe the best work is produced when both collaborators are passionate about the project, in order to consider a potential client’s request, I will be taking into consideration how excited they are about it, their clarity on project goals, and their interest in choosing me specifically for my expertise demonstrated by my work, my work's popularity, and my blog. These factors are important because they set the tone for the professional relationship moving forward.
If you need someone to put lines and dots in the places you would like, I am not the right person for the job. If you need something done as quickly as possible for as cheap as possible, I am not the right person for the job. If you want a professional who puts 100% into all his projects and puts every ounce of energy into solving the problem that you need solved, we might just be the right fit.
The questionnaire is one of the most important tools of the process. In order to find the solutions, we must first know what we are trying to solve. Even if the project is a whimsical quote poster, and the goal is simply to bring joy to people, there is still a problem to solve. I designed a thorough and detailed list of clarifying questions to benefit the client and lead to the best results. The content provided will steer the course of the project. The more thorough the client is when filling out the questionnaire, the more the project can run smoothly and efficiently.
It is essential that the client and I establish mutual trust by defining our roles in the process. The client should feel confident in my ability to create an objective solution to the problem that was stated in the questionnaire.
The client’s role is to provide these details as well as the goals of the project. My role is to deliver a design solution that achieves those goals. This means I will make ALL decisions concerning design direction.
Along the same vein, it is important that goals are agreed upon. The goal is always to reach the client’s target audience. Because of this, both designer and client need to push their personal aesthetic preferences aside. I provide one design concept that provides the best solution and is fully tailored to appeal to the client’s target market. I don’t make clients go through design decisions, that’s what I’m hired for!
Before discussing price, I must first understand all the factors that will be going into a project. I don’t charge hourly, and I need a clear understanding of the project before being able to determine an accurate quote. A deposit of half the total project cost is required to start work. The final deliverables are sent upon the final payment. This is further explained in the contract if we move forward.
When the client and I are done with thorough discussion on the project, I submit an estimate and contract which goes over everything we’ve talked about. The agreement includes what the client can expect from me, the deliverables, when the deliverables will be sent, and more. Once the contract has been reviewed and signed, I begin the designing process.
I make it my job to understand the project by immersing myself into research. I get to know the target market, the client's industry and competition, and the goals of my client. All of this information helps to inform the solution and to, ultimately, drive the design.
SKETCHING ROUND 1: BRAINSTORMING
At this point, the sketching begins. I put down all ideas that come to me with an open mind. No idea is a bad idea (yet). I make sure to spend a great deal of time on the sketching phase, filling many pages with different concepts.
SKETCHING ROUND 2: NARROWING THE CONCEPTS
Out of the many possible directions, I take 2-3 of the best ideas for further tuning and exploration. These ideas are built upon further with a pencil and paper. The best conceptualizing is done without the limitation of the computer. At some points throughout sketching I make sure to walk away from the project to be able to come back with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
SKETCHING ROUND 3: FINAL SKETCH REFINEMENTS
I pick a clear direction at this point. I refine the sketch further, tweaking and fixing the subtle nuances. This sketch will be a very close rendition of the final product.
I digitize the sketch and spend hours and hours refining the details until it looks perfect. I check for scalability, spacing, legibility on different mediums, color correction, and more. I make sure to spend plenty of time at this stage to insure the most well-thought design.
FINAL ARTWORK PRESENTATION
When the design is done, I provide the client with a detailed brief, documenting the creative process along with a full case study. I explain every decision behind the direction of the final design to match the goals that were set in the beginning. The workable files will be delivered upon receipt of the final payment, which will be detailed in the invoice sent with the final presentation.