Every freelancer has their own way of conducting business and depending on the client and type of work involved, processes can vary. Before even talking to me first, I want to let you know what working with me looks like.
Of course, every project is unique but this is generally what you can expect.
First off, let's touch base by heading over to the Connect page! We’ll discuss briefs and specs.
This part is pure discovery. Send me an email via the site (Connect page) or directly or enlist the help of Eggbert Mk 2 (our resident Decepticon [still on his way from the moon]) via the bubble at the bottom right of the page.
Tell me about your project; it doesn't have to be a whole brief, but if you'd like to provide one, you're more than welcome to. You should outline the job and put all the information you're willing to share forward.
This information will give me a point of reference to measure the project's success or failure and will allow me to determine an accurate estimate of all things considered.
After going over project in more detail and determining the scope, I'll better understand my function in the job.
If all goes well (why wouldn't it?) I'll send over an Estimate, reiterating all the details of the job and the deliverable requirements. The Estimation does not include third-party artwork, licensing, vendor or material costs.
The Estimate will include a Total Estimated Cost. It is essential to understand that this is NOT a quote and is based on the information provided and may be subject to revision if additional information is forthcoming or scope specifications change.
Once the Total Estimated Cost and the job details are agreed upon, only then will it be deemed a "quote".
After we settle on a price, the ball gets rolling Indiana Jones style.
To ensure your commitment to the project, I require a 50% down payment, which means that the first invoice you receive from me will be 50% of the agreed Total Estimated Cost and is non-refundable.
Without a deposit, the project will be a non-starter.
In the event where during the project, changes in scope occur (it happens), the Balance (remaining 50%) shall be amended and the additional work itemised.
I’ll use your direction and goals to get the ideas flowing like a collapsed beaver dam.
With the brief as a springboard, I will need to conduct research to familiarise myself with your business and market. The extent of the study is proportional to the size, history and complexity of your operations. The larger you are, the more down the figurative rabbit hole I go.
Even a small job will require a certain amount of research to ensure an effective design process.
It's important to note that while this stage in the process might seem arbitrary, it is an important step that will save time on amends down the line.
I’ll generate some mood boards, style tiles, sketches or drafts as a launchpad.
As part of the discovery process, I might have asked you to provide some of your inspiration and examples. Due to the fragility between originality and plagiarism, it's vital to remain aware of the inspiration's origins. Via interpretation of the brief, I may submit a mood board that encapsulates my understanding of your requirements and the directions I'm looking in.
I employ brainstorming, sketching, doodling, among other things, as part of my conceptualising and ideation techniques. Obviously, this all depends on the job, and there are always many ways to approach different ideas and concepts from the compiled research. It's safe to say that many designers encourage pen and paper when going through this process and swear by it. However, I tend to lean towards working straight off the computer or tablet. It's just a preference.
After further developing the sketches and ideas and touching them up for send over to you, I will usually include all of the concepts I had worked on up until that point to make my recommendations. You will have time to go over the document, formulate your response, pick out the things you liked, what you didn't like, and the direction you want me to take.
Where the grunt work takes place. We’ll be working closely to hit the mark perfectly.
If only it were as simple as presenting some concepts and asking you to pick which one you want as if it were an hors d'oeuvre. There will always be at least a small amount of further development stemming from your feedback, and we may even decide to dial it back a bit and head back to the drawing board. Backtracking could happen for many reasons, such as a change of heart or an adjustment to the project specifications.
Having something tangible to work with and realising an idea or concept in the flesh can help spring up more helpful insights and suggestions. Fresh perspectives and new angles can reveal themselves and be incorporated into the design.
This process is most likely to be the bulk of the project where the design is nurtured and developed. Here is where perfection is achieved.
Once you love the design and are satisfied with the outcome, all that’s left is to settle the tab.
This is where you say, "YES, I WILL M-" oops, wrong guide...
Hopefully, we are both satisfied with how far we've come by this point, and the design is finalised. Once you've given the go-ahead, we can process the final stages of the project. Here we settle the tab, including settlement of any additional work completed throughout the job.
As stipulated in the initial agreement, the final deliverables will only be sent once the Balance has been paid in full. There is no exception to this rule. The final deliverables remain the property of the designer until the client has fully paid for services rendered.
Once everything is wrapped up, we’ll hand over the goods straight away!
Here's where the journey ends. All obligations are completed. Expectations have been met (and hopefully exceeded). It's time for the files to move to their new home.
Time to say goodbye. It's been real. Smell you later, alligator.
Until, of course, the next time you need your friendly neighbourhood Spi- designer.