I've come to believe that being smart is less about having all the answers, and more about knowing which questions to ask. Below are the ones I hear from clients most often. Please get in touch if you don't find the answer you're looking for.
Q: WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU PREFER TO WORK WITH?
A: I prefer to work with clients who are starting a new business or have decided it's time to update their brand's visual identity. The kind of business itself doesn't matter too much (a creative challenge is a creative challenge), but I have a soft spot for restaurants and bars, retail shops, outdoor lifestyle brands, and government organizations or non-profits.
Q: CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS?
A: What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow, so my process tends to be malleable and depends on the scope of the project. We'll schedule a free consultation so I can learn more about the project details and develop a custom roadmap for the work ahead.
Q: DO YOU CHARGE BY THE HOUR OR A FLAT RATE?
A: A general rule of thumb in the creative industry is that your hourly rate equates to .001% of your would-be gross annual salary. So let's say for example you aim make $70k per year. Your hourly rate would then be $70 per hour. The thing about hourly rates, however, is that some creatives work really fast while others notoriously pad their time. In order to avoid this, I charge flat rates and make it clear what you can expect for the price.
Q: WHAT SOFTWARE OR APPLICATIONS DO YOU USE?
A: I'm loyal to Adobe's Creative Cloud and suite of apps. I use InDesign for layouts and print pieces, Illustrator for logo and graphic design, Photoshop for retouching and mockups, XD for website design, Lightroom for image editing, Audition for audio editing, and Premiere for video editing. I'm fluent in SquareSpace and Wix website design platforms, and can design for the WordPress platform, but would need to partner with a freelance developer.
Q: HOW DO PAYMENTS WORK?
A: After our initial complimentary phone call I'll send you a quote. You'll then sign a contract and fill out a brief questionnaire. You'll receive an invoice shortly after for 50% of the total project cost. No work will begin until this payment is received. The other 50% is due upon project completion. After which, files will be released and/or websites will go live. I accept payments via Venmo, PayPal, or good old fashioned checks.
Q: CAN I GET COPYWRITING HELP?
A: I can help with naming, taglines, mission statements, and can help you hone your general brand messaging, but in the interest of time and making sure things don't get held up, I prefer deferring to the client or experts involved to provide any copy. If you need professional copywriting help, I recommend my studio partner Alison Coates.
Q: DO YOU OFFER ANY DISCOUNTS?
A: I do in fact. If your business is women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned, you're eligible to receive a 10% discount. The same goes for government and non-profit organizations. I cannot offer discount refunds after the project has been completed and the final payment has been received.
Q: DO YOU WORK REMOTELY WITH LONG-DISTANCE CLIENTS?
A: I sure do. Most of my clients are from right here in Milwaukee, but the wonders of the Internet have made it possible to work collaboratively with clients from anywhere. I find email works for most communications, but phone calls and online meetings through Zoom or Google Meet might be necessary for certain conversations.
Q: HOW LONG DO PROJECTS TAKE?
A: Each client and project are different, so there's no real standard for timing. Most branding and logo projects last at least a month, but I've created entire websites in a weekend. Keep in mind though that expedited timelines will result in a higher cost estimate.
Q: WHO PRODUCES OR PRINTS MY PROJECTS?
A: Many clients already have print vendor contacts, and I'm always happy to work directly with them to make things a little more seamless and free up your time. But if you need me to make some recommendations for vendors I'm happy to look into options for you. A nominal print management fee may apply in such instances.