What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a process that combines graphics and text, including contact details and calls to action in a way that is intended to communicate a distinct message. Graphic design is used to create  logos, brochures, posters, signs, greeting cards, postcards, business cards, presentations, websites and online documents such as e-books – pretty much anything that is used to market a business or communicate with stakeholders.

Graphic designers work with photographers and content creators or copywriters and digital marketers to give you a complete solution for your visual communications.

Why use a Graphic Designer?

A great graphic designer does more than just push pictures around a page. They will use design principles to create a purposeful design that conveys not just your message but also evoke feelings in the viewer that align with how you want your business perceived. A graphic designer will utilise design concepts and elements such as colour, typography, balance, hierarchy, space and form to create a visual message.

Graphic Designers use professional design software such as Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop to create your work. This gives them a suite of powerful tools to create works of magic for you to market your business. A graphic designer will also use their technical skills to ensure
your job is setup correctly for printing or publishing online.

What should I look for in a Graphic Designer?

First up, take a look at their portfolio and check you like their work and style and they are doing the type of work you are looking for. 

If you are likely to need work printed – eg a brochure or catalogue, check that they have print setup experience and knowledge as mistakes there can be costly.

Check they can work with your budget. Prices vary greatly depending on experience, knowledge, positioning and services offered.

Are they going to be able to support you with any future graphic design and web design needs or do they just specialise in one thing - eg logo design.

And make sure you like them – you are likely to have an on-going long-term relationship with your graphic designer and they will need to know about your business plans, so you also need to trust them. We offer a free 30-minute Zoom call so we can get to know each other and assess whether we can work together.

What is your design process?

This depends a bit on the job. For most jobs we start with your initial contact, acceptance of the quote and payment of your deposit.

Then you fill out my design questionnaire to create a brief. There are different questionnaires tailored for different design jobs.

We have a chat over the phone or a Zoom call to clarify anything that is not clear and discuss direction. If you are a new client this is when we best get to find out about you and your business, what you like and don’t like, what your plans are and who your ideal client is.

We do some research about what others in your industry are doing, what appeals to your target market, what’s appropriate and then what we can do to differentiate you to others in your field.

Then we get to work designing.

If we’re doing a logo most packages come with three logo options to choose from. We don’t just send you the first three we come up with. Instead we spend a considerable amount of time experimenting with ideas both on paper and on-screen. We consider how each option works in a variety of spaces and mediums and whether it fits the brief. We send you the three options we think work the best for your feedback.

At this stage it is important for you to remember that we are designing for your brand to appeal to your ideal client. Quite often you are not in your target market and some clients can get bogged down in what appeals to themselves rather than their ideal client.

From the three options, you choose the one you think works the best and let us know any refinements you’d like to see. Together we’ll create a logo you will love, that is functional and will attract your target audience.

How much will it cost?

Every job and every client is different and so every job is priced differently. We like to talk to you first about your job, your business, your budget and your requirements and then will price accordingly. The final cost of your job depends largely on how long it takes including research and planning, how many changes to the initial design brief are made once the job has been started, how many alterations are made to each proof and whether it's a rush job that requires us to work late nights and/or weekends.

New clients are required to pay a 50% deposit.

How long will it take?

Again every job, every client, every brief and every deadline is different. You should allow sufficient time for the designing, proofing, and alterations of your work. If the job is to be printed you also need to allow time for printing. If you have a deadline, you need to let us know at the time of booking the job in. We will do our best to complete your work within this time. We will, of course, advise if we can't at the time of the work.

If you have a big job coming up, it is strongly recommended that you book it in with us ahead of time. This helps with our planning, but also means we can provide some deadlines of when we need the job into us.

We haven’t missed a deadline yet and don’t intend to. We have, however, turned work down because the time-frames are too tight or our workload is too high at the time.

We may also charge a rush fee for urgent work that hasn't been booked in or has missed our pre-arranged deadlines, which you will be advised of first.

What files will I receive?

Okay, most people don't ask this question, but you really should.

The files you get depend on what the job is and what has been quoted.

For a logo you will get both vector and bitmap files in colour, black, and white. It is so important to get vector files for your logo. These are used by other marketing specialists such as other designers, printers, sign writers, screen printers, banner makers etc to produce their work. Vector files can be resized without loss of quality and remain editable.

You will also receive a style guide with colours (CMYK, RGB and PMS) and fonts specified and the different lock ups or versions of your logo.

For other types of work, the file you get depends on what you need it for. If taking it to your own printer, you will get a pdf print file fully setup to your printer’s specifications. If it is a downloadable e-book you will get a web-optimised pdf. Social media graphics will be in a jpg format.

If you need a different format eg Microsoft Word, you need to let us know before we start the job as this makes a difference to how it is setup in the beginning.

Who owns my logo?

Once you have fully paid for your logo design, our contract states that your logo is owned exclusively by you and all copyrights transfer to you. A logo is created to be used in all sorts of different ways, such as websites, business cards, apparel, signage, advertising…pretty much anything you want to put it on.

You can reproduce your logo any way you want, sell merchandise with it on, trademark it (highly recommended), get it tattooed — it is completely yours to do with as you like.

We would love to help you with most of the above types of work to ensure your logo remains looking great and is used correctly with integrity.

I’ve had work done elsewhere; can I use you instead?

While we encourage you to have a long-term relationship with your graphic designer because the more they know and understand you and your business the more they can help you, sometimes things out of your control happen and we are more than happy to discuss your needs and how we can help. We often take over where a graphic designer is no longer available, or if the relationship hasn’t worked out. 

If possible, try and get your native design files from the designer before moving away.

Do you provide photos?

We can refer you to a photographer for you own unique brand photos. This is the best option for keeping your brand original, personable and relatable to you. It is however, the most expensive option. We can also source photos from several high-quality stock libraries that we subscribe to. There is an additional cost to cover the time and the cost of the photo/s. We can also supply you with links to discover your own images.

Can I just copy photos off the internet?

No! Photos found on google and other people's websites are likely to be copyrighted and/or low-resolution. We will not knowingly help you commit copyright infringement. If we suspect that a photo has been copied off another website - and it's usually easy to detect - we will refuse to use the photo. All photos should be taken by you or a photographer, or purchased from a royalty free stock library.

What about free stock libraries?

Yes, you can use images from sites such as Unsplash. Be aware that some sites require you to attribute the photographer. Also there are some really popular images that are seen everywhere which doesn't help to give a unique impression for your business.

Can you create barcodes?

Yes we can create your barcode. They can either be embedded into the artwork we are creating for you or supplied as a vector file for you to use yourself.

You will need to provide us with your barcode number and the type of barcode. We recommend www.gs1nz.org in New Zealand for getting and registering your unique barcode number.

 

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