From business cards to website services to catalogs, the design follows the function of the project. Thinking about that progression is the key to user-focused designs, and user-friendly products. I believe that there is nothing more important than getting your message out clearly and concisely. My goal is to ensure your message is never lost in the medium.
Unlike some providers, I am where you are – in the neighborhood, in the community. That gives me an insight into the customer base you are looking to attract, and the messages they want to hear. Based in the Chicago area, I have lived in cities and suburbs, in the Midwest and deep South. I speak the language of these cultures, and know what is needed to bring your message to your customer. Because I live here too.
In the course of working with your business, I am likely to have access to sensitive information. Your security is paramount, and I will never ask you to provide more information that is absolutely needed to do the job. When it comes to private information, I have you covered as well. From using secure providers, to protecting your information on my own machines, I take your privacy seriously.
Services & Pricing
These are the basic services I provide, along with sample pricing. All projects are quoted based on their specifics, and I am providing these only as a baseline for what you can expect. As an individual contractor, I can, will, and do negotiate a fair price for your needs and my services. I even take barter!
Print DesignWhen The Message is the Medium
- Any Print Project
- Full Layout To Your Specs
- Includes Logo Creation or Editing & Photo Editing
- Finished Product In Your Preferred Format
- Writing Service Available
Web DesignWith More Than Just The Basics
- Custom Site Creation
- Basic SEO
- Custom Logo & Image Editing
- Hosting Package Available
- Domain Name
- Maintenance Packages Available
Video EditingVideo & Stills Make An Impact
- Any Length Needed
- Stills Or Video
- Output to DVD or Web
- AudioBlocks Backing Music Included
- Conversion To Your Preferred Format
- Private Online Previews Available
In addition to the above, I also offer consulting services. Consulting services cover marketing, design, social media, and general marketing. I offer a user-focused perspective, with a focus on best practices, without losing sight of the reality that a small business has a lot on their plate. With that in mind, suggestions offered are tiered, from going all in on the subject at hand, to how to do the base level, and get results you can use to improve your business.
I also offer photography services, specifically real estate photography and product photography. Photography services are offered without editing, and include full transfer of licenses, based on the standard design contract. Editing services are also available, from color adjustment to full editing.
As with all my other offerings, I believe in being up front with my clients, and if your scope of work exceeds my ability, I will let you know. Hiring and paying a designer whose reach exceeds their grasp shouldn’t be a concern, and I will always be transparent and upfront about my ability as relates to your project.
What My Customers Are Saying
Don’t just take it from me, let my clients do the talking!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my project take?
That really depends on a few factors. Obviously, the first is how complex it is. eCommerce, for example, takes longer than a non-ecommerce site. Flyers take longer than business cards. That kind of thing. The second factor is how many inline changes happen. This would be when there is a significant change in the project part-way through the process. Of course, the later that happens, the bigger the change. Lastly, how busy my day job keeps me. This is a sideline, and while I am dedicated to making sure your project is done, and exceeds your expectations, the day job pays the bills. I will be in constant communication, and should there be a delay (which has never happened), I will be sure to keep you appraised.
Some basic estimates on time would be:
- Generally, for a website, a two to three month design window is realistic. A large or complex e commerce site can take longer, depending on the work needed to bring all the elements in line.
- For print work, a business card is usually about an hour, as is a postcard or simple flyer. Tri Fold flyers can be several hours, and catalogs will need to be quoted.
- The standard for video production is one hour of editing time for one minute of final product. This is a good estimation tool, but it is also important to note that the complexity of the project has a huge impact. Moving stills (think a Ken Burns documentary) is far faster than moving video. Video projects are very much an investment, but one that pays off!
How does the process work?
I believe this should be simple, but also completely professional.
For the initial meeting, I prefer to meet in person, at the location of your choice. I love driving, so anywhere in the greater Chicago area is fine with me! Once we meet, and discuss the project, I will provide an on-the-spot estimate, which will be followed up with an email to confirm the details and make sure we are all on the same page.
If that is acceptable, I will take those details, and prepare a formal quote and contract. This will lay out the scope of the project, what is covered and what will be extra depending on need, and all the usual contract stuff. I use a slightly modified AIGA standard contract, which you can preview in PDF form here.
From there, it is on to the design! As soon as there is something to show, I will provide a private preview – either a PDF or testing site – and we can begin making sure everything is exactly how you want it to look.
Once we are all finished, and final approvals are given, the public site is unlocked, or the final deliverables are delivered, and we are good to go!
How does payment work?
I take payment via PayPal, and will send itemized invoices. Payments terms will be laid out clearly in the contact, and are the AIGA standard terms.
As a rule, for large projects, half of the design cost is due up front as a retainer, with the balance due at completion. In some cases, there may be charges along the way, but only for very large items, and only when agreed on in advance. One example would be adding credit card processing to a WooCommerce build, as that can run $250 and more just to install. But again, these things will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and will be clearly laid out in the contract.
For commodity items (SSL certificates, domain registration) prices are passed through directly. For components and other paid one-off items, there will be a standard upcharge, which will be laid out in the contract.
What if I decide to switch designers?
That depends on the timing.
If you switch after the project is finished, then I wish you and them the best, and will gladly welcome you back should you choose to switch again! Deliverables include all the design files – from raw sources to discarded versions – a new designer shouldn’t need to recreate the wheel.
However, if you decide to switch mid-project, then we will need to proceed with the terms in the contract. In most cases, and outstanding purchases for the site and a prorated invoice total will be due, with all files handed over after that is paid.
Of course, I hope this never happens, but also recognize that it does, and that it is part of the business.
Do you offer any warranty?
I do make sure that all work is done to your satisfaction, and that everything is working correctly. If a service and maintenance contract is in place, I commit to keeping your project working and up to date as well.
Once a project is completed, and/or I am no longer involved, due to the ever-changing nature of the internet, and inevitable changes in business models, pricing, or personnel, there is no way to extend a warranty on future performance or functionality.