The Graphic Design Process

WARNING: This page may contain humor.

Step 1: Let’s Talk!

You need a graphic designer. You have the smarts and the good taste to contact…me!
Okay, I’m kidding—but I really do hope you’ll contact me. That can be through email, a phone call, a text, semaphore, aldus lamp, telegraph, or smoke signals. Whatever works for you!

We’ll discuss your needs and wants for your design project, AND we’ll ask each other questions!
I’ll want to know:
• What exactly you want designed (logo, book cover, ad, or any other designable thing)
• What are you wanting to do with this design (promote myself, make my book look eye-catching, use on website or business card, embroider onto a shirt, tattoo it on my back, get back at my ex, try to take over the world, or any other viable need you have)
• How will you want it to look (i.e., colors, fonts, images, messages, & other visuals)
• When you will need it (a reasonable timeline for us to work within)
Then you may ask me any questions you have! I will do my very best to provide the answers.

Once we have established what your project is, we then go to

Step 2: The Estimate

I will put together an estimate of the project’s scope and price. I will email this estimate to you, the Client.
Once you’ve approved the estimate, we go to

Step 3: The Contract

This is a very important part! You must review the contract and make sure everything looks acceptable to you. If you agree to what you read, sign it and send it back to me.
Here’s an example of what my contracts look like.

At that point, you will also be asked to pay 50% of the estimated price as a deposit on the project.
Please understand that I will not start any work until I receive both a deposit and a signed contract.
This is a hard line that I will not budge from. It is a practice that protects both of us.

And, after all, good fences make for good neighbors.

Now we enter

Step 4: I Work!

I get to work as soon as possible! If I can’t start the very next day, I’ll let you know when I will start on your project. We have our established timelines; we know when things will happen.

Also remember that I can get underway on your project as soon as I receive the content from you. You’ll need to get me
• any images or illustrations you want used
• any copy or text that goes in the design
• any other materials that I’ve requested

After all, I can’t make a “rough draft” from thought alone. I’m not that magical.

The next exciting part happens at

Step 5: Your Comps!

Once I’ve got all the conceptual design work done, I’ll send you approximately three (3) comps. Comps are the initial schemas and ideas that I’ve come up with according to your direction. Heck, I may even send you more than three (3) ideas, if I come up with some that are just too darned cool to keep to myself. Either way, those comps will come to you in the form of a PDF.

You now may peruse these ideas at your leisure. By “at your leisure,” I mean, look at the comps within a reasonable time limit that fits the timeline of work that we’ve already set up. Show these comps to your marketing department, your top sales force, your accounts payable team, your wunderkind nephew who want to grow up to be the next Saul Bass, your in-laws who dropped by unannounced, your highly intelligent Airdale puppy—I don’t care! Just make sure you value the opinions of those you show them to.

Then, make your own decisions as to what direction you want to go with your project. Choose a comp you like best. Ask me any questions you have about the design. Give me your feedback. If you need anything changed, speak up! This is a part of the creative process–we give and take.

After we’ve discussed those comps, we move on to

Step 6: Finalizing The Project

I sit down with a nice cup of tea and put the final touches on the project. This part is mostly me doing all the tiny stuff: making sure the leaks are sealed with a good plumber’s putty, sanding down the dried joint compound before painting, and ensuring that all the wiring is connected to the proper breaker.

No worries. Trust me. I’m a professional.

After my work is all completed, I’ll send you “the deliverables.” This is the fancy-schmancy name given to the art files that you get to use for whatever nefarious purpose you have in mind. Bask in your glory. The world is your oyster.

Now that the bivalves are out of the way, we move on to

Step 7: The Final Bill

Ah, yes. You knew this day would arrive. I will email you (along with your deliverables) a finalized invoice that reflects any additional fees that may have accumulated (i.e., rush fees or extra rounds of changes) along with the other 50% of the original charge for the project.

I accept payment via a mailed company check or mail order, or via PayPal.

To see the pricing schedule for my work, go here.