Cross-disciplinary design you say?
I've been in business for more than 25 years and throughout this time my creative interests, skills and offer have continually evolved and matured to reflect societal and technological change along with client need for fully integrated design services and programs. What does this all mean you ask? Well it means that I'm extremely adept at not only crafting great visual identities, but also in creating unified narratives brought to life through print and digital, bespoke fixtures and furnishings, interior design, art and sculpture, graphic signage and clever marketing collateral. Simply put, I can design a great identity and visual language for your business and then let it blossom and manifest in all manners of presentation and market direction, bringing it all to life.
What are your rate(s)?
A rather important question and I'm glad you've asked. My design fees usually fall in the $125-$150 p/h range and my specialty shop production fees fall within the $50-$85 p/h range. Not often, but at times I'm able to offer exclusive day rates based on a longer term contract and commitment. If this seems exorbitant to you, please read Dollars & Sense to understand how I arrive at my rates.
Do I have a price list for services?
No. I generally work at an hourly rate which is outlined with my project estimate so you know in advance how much time and energy is allocated to the various project stages. Obviously, projects vary greatly depending on the scope and remit—how many rounds of revisions we go through, changes in project scope, prototyping, project management etc.
If by chance it seems more equitable for all parties to outline a fixed budget, a mandatory 15% contingency is built in. With experience, I have found that fixed budgets can work both for and against all parties—with work completed earlier than anticipated, clients may feel taken advantage of, and where work drags on, the designer may feel that they are working at McDonalds (no offense intended). Neither are the kind of outcomes that anyone enjoys, and which will invariably leave a bad taste in someones mouth. Stick with an agreed upon hourly or daily rate and avoid the potential bitter taste altogether.
Can you give me a few ideas first?
Absolutely not. I neither support or engage in any form of free 'spec' work. It is fundamentally unethical. Unpaid competitions with the promise of potential selection and future work down the road are nothing more than fishing expeditions. If you want my design talent and insight working for you, be prepared to pay for it.
So how will I know how much it will cost?
Well, I can give you an estimate based on what you've told me about the project (obviously the more information the better) and that will help us determine whether we are in the same budget ballpark. Over the years I've gotten very good at estimating the cost of projects, but I'm certainly no psychic. This is where my straightforwardness and frankness comes into play—I will always keep you apprised of where we are with the budget and when the project scope changes potentially setting us over the original estimate. How close we come to the estimate depends on a myriad of things but the main factors include the state and timeliness of any supplied materials when I receive them, how many rounds of revisions and/or prototypes are required, any 3rd party supplier requirements, and how many surprises may pop up along the way.
Help. I've just got a small fix to do!
Generally, I don't do or attempt to fix other peoples work. The reasons for this are countless but over the years I've distilled it down to this. Simply put, I'm inheriting all the good and the bad with the project without the luxury of any context—as such it becomes virtually impossible to work efficiently or effectively without the knowledge and understanding of any previous thought investment (if there was any to begin with). Pretending to not be starting at the beginning, when in fact doing so, is disingenuous to all parties. Bite the bullet and start afresh.
That said . . . if you have a Logo/Wordmark or visual branding piece that's in need of a rethink and refresh from a different mindset and a fresh of set of eyes, then certainly, let's talk.
How much will my logo/visual identity cost?
Boom! Not easily answered. Aside from all the obvious cost considerations with revisions, custom typography, illustration, colour analysis etc., the bigger question is about the intrinsic value of the Logo or Mark itself. Perhaps you are a start-up business or an established regional or national enterprise, and perhaps you are an internationally recognized brand—the values of these respective logos and marks as you can well appreciate, will vary immensely, therefore so should the fee.
So, if you are a new business starting out, I'd suggest you budget a minimum of $2500 for me to design you a new logo and understand that this could increase quickly with multiple concepts, detailed illustration, media requirements, rounds of edits etc.
What does a site cost?
As with logos and business identities, the costs associated with websites can vary greatly—determined by the size and scope of the site, content, functionality (shop, blog etc.), security requirements, content management (editing and maintenance), hosting, SEO etc.. These factors can and will affect the costs pretty quickly. In my experience I usually suggest that one should be prepared to budget $2500-$5000 for a basic site and recognize that these fees can move quickly depending on changes in scope and functionality.
There are far too many variables that come together to create a great, compelling site—here are a few considerations that can help in removing any mystery and assist in creating a project estimate. 1) What kind of online presence are you after (site, blog, shop, app)? 2) Do you have an existing online presence and/or social media tie-in i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram etc.? 3) Who will be producing your content copy, imagery, video etc.? 4) What is your timeline to go live? As you can see by these questions alone, its never as simple as throwing up a few images with a caption or two.
If you're unable to commit to at least $2500 for your site I would recommend that you look at some of the very good template driven services such as Blogger, tumbler, Squarespace, Shopify and Ghost. They have many free templates along with well-designed paid templates where you merely pay a monthly fee for your hosted site. This may be the best way to see whether it all works for you or not.
How much is that doggy in the window?
Again, not easily answered. All of my bespoke design and commissioned artwork have unique attributes and requirements reflecting the implied intent and desired outcome. How we get there is through a lovely mix of skill, craft and whimsy, culminating in work that brings a sense of wonder and simple pleasures. From a beautiful side-table to a spectacular sculptural piece for a public concourse, garden or lobby to a custom coat-rack or painted mural, endless possibilities. Let's chat!
(lyrics made famous by Patti Page)
I already know what I want?
Of course you do. If you're an art director or fellow designer requiring a fresh and intelligent designer to collaborate with that's great–please get in touch with me.
Now, if you are the client that knows exactly what they want at the outset it probably won't work with us. Frankly put, I'm not a mind reader but most importantly I'm assuming that the reason you are hiring me is because I'm a qualified and talented designer and you are not. And being brutally honest here, perhaps what is in your head does not constitute good or great design or have any real market relevance. If you are really married to the idea that you come with, you are more likely to be somewhat resistant to change or unwilling to go in a different direction if that is what's called for. My greatest value is in making your project successful, and we get there with great communication, informed work, trust and talent (and good humour thrown in). In my experience, 'letting go' can often lead to the greatest rewards. Your choice.
I'm human too!
Most people thank me for my clarity and candor when it comes to my business communications. I certainly don't write to offend, I merely wish to have this stuff up front at the outset. These are some of the basic questions that need to be asked, with (hopefully) reasonably understood answers. All with the hope in offering you some insight into how and why I work, and for my love of all things design, and most importantly that I have learned to listen and trust my gut a lot. I love design and respect people and expect nothing but the same in return. Working together and forging relationships should be enjoyable, stimulating, rewarding and fun. As social creatures we should all be so lucky.