Frequently Asked Questions & Tips to Stay on Schedule and on Budget
Whether you are working on a new logo or branding project, a website design, or print collateral, here are some pointers that can help guide you through the design process.
Written Content for Projects
- Can Flourish help me with the writing of my materials? Flourish Design Studio focuses on the visual and graphic design of your project. Should you need help to write your message, we can recommend writing and marketing professionals to help.
- Why do I need to provide final content before the digital design phase begins? Design does not occur in a vacuum, its function is to help your content sparkle. Our design work is specifically tailored to your needs and we use your final content for exact placement within the design.* Your project estimate includes the formatting of content one time. When content changes, spacing and size must also be changed, requiring further design time. The fastest and most cost effective way for us to work is using your final and proofread written content. The content must be provided in an editable format, such as Microsoft Word, email body, etc. Any time spent typing, reformatting content, or adjusting layout for content changes will be billed in addition to the time estimate provided.*You will have the opportunity to work on your content during the project planning phase, which comes before the digital design phase.
- When do you need final content for my website, brochure, rack card, etc? Your project schedule will outline each phase of your project. Please provide content before the digital design phase, which begins approximately 4 weeks after the deposit has been made. If placeholder or draft content is used during the digital design phase, additional design time is required resulting in additional fees.
Graphics and Photos for Design Projects
- What if my company already has a logo or company assets? If your company or organization has existing design assets such as logos, photos, style guides, color formulas, etc., please provide them before the project begins.
- At what resolution should graphics be provided? If you are supplying graphics, please include high resolution files. Original files are best. Logos should be in vector format (EPS, AI) and photos should be 300 dpi at full size. Web design resolution is more flexible, as the computer screen resolution in under 100 dpi.
- What if I need photos for my project? Most designs of websites or printed publications require the use of stock images. Stock photography costs are not included in the estimate. The images used will be included on your final project invoice. Stock photos are priced by size and resolution. Web files (72 dpi) are less expensive and High-Res files (300 dpi +) are more expensive. For GENERAL reference, web images cost under $10 per image. Print-quality photos cost $20 – $30. Illustrations cost approximately $20, depending on the source of stock images. GettyImages.com and veer.com are often used for affordable stock images.
Scheduling & Timeline
Flourish Design is renowned for their flawless adherence to timelines. This means that you can positively count on having your project delivered on the date promised. By providing detailed feedback to ensure that the final deliverable is exactly what you want, you are an active participant in the design process, which means that you also have a big influence on the timeline of your project.
This is why it is extremely important that you only schedule a project when you can make yourself available to interact with us, share drafts with your friends, family and colleagues and get their ideas, sit on a rock and ponder whether blue is a better choice than teal…you get the idea. YOU, the client, are an integral part of our process and we, quite literally, cannot do it without you. If you cannot be available to provide comments at different stages of the process, we are not able to guarantee our ability to stay on schedule. Please understand that changes on the original agreed upon timeline will incur in additional costs. Thank you for helping us offer reliability and timeliness to all of our clients!
- What if my content is not ready in time for the digital design phase? If your final design has been approved but your final content is not ready, placeholder content can be used to allow the design to proceed. Using placeholder content will result in additional time being spent on the project to replace it with the final content, affecting the price and completion date.
- What happens if I need to reschedule my project or a phase of my project? If the timeline of your project changes after schedule approval, please contact Flourish as soon as possible so that a revised timeline can be arranged. Projects requiring rescheduling within one week of the agreed start date will be assessed a rescheduling fee, equaling up to the value of the time scheduled for the project. (To avoid this fee, please provide ample advanced notice if rescheduling is required.) Rescheduling fees are added to your project cost.
- How long does it take to reschedule my project? When Flourish reserves time for your project, we do not offer that time to any other client or double-book that time. If your project needs to be rescheduled, we try hard to exchange time with existing projects in hopes that the delay can be minimized. In order to do this, we insist that as a courtesy you provide us with 7 full days of notice. This time is essential so that we can find another project to fill in the design time which was reserved for you (which would otherwise result in a financial loss for our business). Depending on Flourish’s schedule at the time, rescheduling a project could result in a 4 – 6 week delay for your project completion.
- Do I need to be available during the design process? You are an important part of the design process! Flourish is designing materials on your behalf, and your thoughtful feedback is essential for project success. Please schedule design projects during a time when you are available for feedback, or request that your project is scheduled around your availability. Projected timelines and completion dates are dependent upon feedback being provided in a timely manner.
- What if another designer can begin the design phase of the project before Flourish? Successful design is a process which requires gathering information, researching the marketplace, and idea conceptualization before exploring digital designs. When evaluating what designer to work with, please consider the project completion date rather than the start date. Most importantly, make sure you choose a designer whose style and work you love. After all, you will be using their materials long after the completion date of the project.
Deposits and Payments
- Are deposits refundable? Project deposits are non-refundable, as they are payments for time that has been reserved solely for your project.
- How long will the estimate provided be valid? Flourish Design will honor project estimates for 45 days. Projects are added to the designer’s schedule upon written and/or digital acceptance of estimate and receipt of the deposit.
- What if I need to put my project on hold during the process? If the project becomes inactive because of client constraints, Flourish Design Studio reserves the right to bill for the time already spent on the project and will gladly return to the project when the client is ready. Please give ample notice to FDS should you need to place a project on hold to avoid additional rescheduling costs. (See above.)
- How do I pay for design services? The preferred method of payment is by check, made payable to Flourish Design Studio and sent to: Flourish Design Studio, 6 Sunny Slope Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. Payments can also be made online.
- Do I need to sign a contract to initiate the design process? The project schedule that will be sent to you outlines timeline benchmarks and expectations for the project. Your approval of the schedule (via email or signed copy) serves as your contract. Flourish Design follows the ethical guidelines and full contract for graphic designers as presented by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA. View the standard contract for more information.
- How much is an initial client consultation? A complementary one-time, one-hour new client meeting is extended to each new client. Make the most of this time by supplying the New Client Questionnaire before our meeting so that I can review it prior to that time.
- Are meetings included in project estimates? Each project estimate includes at least one client meeting. Make the most of this time by having questions prepared, examples of styles at hand, and content ready or drafted.
- What if additional meetings are required? Additional meetings beyond what is specified in an estimate will be billed at the Flourish Design’s hourly rate.
- Where do meetings take place? Meetings will take place at Flourish Design Studio (see map) unless otherwise stated.
- What if I am not a local client? Flourish Design Studio works with clients from around the world. Phone meetings or video chats are typical methods used to meet with out-of-area clients.
- What if I need to meet at my place of business? Sometimes, Flourish may request that a new client meeting take place at your business location to better understand the business. In those cases, Flourish provides that as a one-time courtesy. However, if further meetings are conducted at your place of business, travel time may be billed for meetings scheduled out of the Flourish Design Studio office.
Drafts vs. Press Ready Files
- Can I send any file to print? How do know when a file is ready for press? During the design process, you will receive many drafts of your project. Please note that these files are drafts and are not press-ready files. Upon completion of the project, you will receive a final draft/proof. Please proofread it and review it carefully, and alert us immediately if any corrections must be made. Your press-ready file will not be prepared until final approval from you is sent, either in writing or electronically. The file is then prepped for professional printing and the file will include the word “Press” in the name.
- Why is it so important for me to proofread the final draft of my project? Upon receipt of proof/final draft approval, the designer is no longer responsible for incorrect information, copy problems (grammar, spelling, etc.), or artwork changes. Approval of a proof implies that the client is accepting the finished file ‘as is.’