FAQs

To create the best product, it is as important for the client as it is for the vendor to determine if they are a good fit. Being aware of working philosophy, project parameters, and the design process will help foster a successful vendor-client relationship.
This series of FAQs addresses common questions and concerns.

Pricing Information

Can you design a logo for as little as $5, like I see on some other sites?

The short answer is no. It’s important to keep in mind the adage ‘You get what you pay for’. By investing so little in logo design, whether by hiring someone for a meager sum or engaging in a “contest” where the best design wins, it’s probably a safe bet that whomever you are hiring isn’t willing to invest much time in the creation of your logo. There’s even a very good possibility that someone paid so little will rip off an existing logo design, exposing your company to serious legal liability.

 

It’s also important to remember just how significant your logo is to your brand identity. While the majority of people aren’t educated in the principles of graphic design, they exist for a reason. These principles work at the subconscious level and are closely linked with behavioral psychology. The average consumer may not be able to articulate the exact reason why, but they will instinctively have a positive or negative reaction to the design.  A “cheap” logo design will look just that.

 

The focus, when investing in a logo, should not be on the dollar amount, but rather on the VALUE behind the design and the process. It’s not just paying for the many hours of time spent researching and developing ideas, choosing fonts and colors, and creating illustrations, but also the skill it takes to create something “simple” that is actually very complex, which, most importantly, brings significant benefits to your business over the long term.

 

There is one last thing to remember; images are processed 60,000 times faster than words, so you want that image of your company to immediately elicit a positive reaction.

Why should I pay to have a magazine ad designed when the publications offer it as a free service?

It’s always best to remember that you get what you pay for. While you may get a serviceable ad, will it be memorable and eye-catching? Will it communicate effectively with the reader? Will it appropriately represent your brand? If a service is being offered for free, there is not much incentive to spend a lot of energy designing something unique and creative. If you are investing hefty sums in print advertising to create brand awareness, it’s money well-spent to also invest in a design that will get you noticed.

If I can make a website for free, why should I pay to have it professionally designed?

There are certainly an endless supply of templates and open source platforms available for free everywhere on the internet and plenty of business owners take that route. But is that truly time well spent?

 

Sure, they will have a website, but without the skills and knowledge will they have a web PRESENCE? Many of the templates available, while useful for a novice, may not be that attractive. Bad colors, bad layouts, bad functionality. Again, this is about showing you care enough about your business to INVEST in it. A cheap website template will not reflect the quality, care, and dedication you devote to your clients.

 

Additionally, every frustrating hour spent trying to figure out how to modify a template and build a website is an hour taken away from your core mission. It’s a more efficient use of resources to invest in professionals whose sole goal is to make you and your business look good and who have the talent and expertise to assist you in your success.

Okay, I'm convinced. Do I pay before or after?

In general, a deposit is required prior to commencement of work and the cost is split into payments, depending on the total cost of the projects.

 

  • For projects under $1000, payment is required in full before work begins.
  • Projects from $1000 – $2000 will be split into two payments, a 50% deposit before work begins, and 50% due at the completion of the project, but prior to the project being published to the web or sent to print.
  • Unless otherwise agreed upon, projects over $2000 will be split into three payments, one-third deposit before work begins, one-third upon approval of the design, and the final third due at the completion of the project, but prior to the project being published to the web or sent to print.

Payments correspond to work flow and must be received before additional work can proceed. If payments are not received once a milestone has been reached, all work on the project will cease and only recommence when the payment has been received. This also applies to those occasions where it has been agreed upon to split the quote amount into more than three payments.

What if I want to cancel the project after work has begun?

Deposits are non-refundable and if a client decides to cancel a project in between milestones, there will be a cancellation fee equal to one payment deposit based on the amount of the quote and the payment schedule. In the event of cancellation, the designer retains ownership of all copyrights and original work created.

What if I agree to a quote amount, but the project gets delayed?

Estimates are valid for 90 days. If more than six (6) months have passed and the client has not provided any material or input, a new estimate may be required, especially in the case of web design, as there are often  developments in coding and programming that may apply to site creation.

What if the scope of the project changes?

If you decide you want additional items above what was originally quoted, you will be informed of the extra cost and the additional charges will be included in the final payment.

 

Alternately, if upon receipt of all project elements, the designer determines the scope of the project has been altered dramatically from the originally agreed upon concept, a new estimate will be provided.

Will last minute requests cost more?

We try to accommodate all requests. For most rush projects, additional fees will apply depending on the project.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept checks and we also take payments through PayPal. PayPal payments of over $1000 will have an additional 3% transaction fee.

Design Process

How long does each project take?

There is enormous variability between how much time is required for different projects. Below are some general guidelines.

 

MAGAZINE ADS

Since most print advertising is under a deadline, we try to be as efficient as possible in order to submit to the publication in a timely manner. Magazine ads are usually done in a day or two, but can take longer depending on work load and creative process. We ask for at least a week’s lead time for print ads. Last minute requests may incur additional rush charges.

 

BOOKLETS AND BROCHURES

Most booklets and brochures take about a week to design, depending on work load.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Publications can take anywhere from a week to a month or more to design depending on the number of pages and complexity of design.

 

FLYERS AND POSTCARDS, BUSINESS CARDS, STATIONARY SYSTEMS, INVOICES AND FORMS

Generally a time frame of 1 – 3 days is the average.

 

BANNERS AND POSTERS

Depending on complexity of design, one day to one week is the average.

 

LOGOS

The logo design process is an intensive one that requires a great deal of thought and exploration. The average time can be anywhere from one month to six months, depending on the type of logo desired and number of revisions requested.

 

WEBSITES

Web design is the most difficult area to estimate time frame since there are a number of factors involved. Clients should be prepared for a high level of participation when it comes to gathering material for the site. In addition, time frame is heavily dependent on the level of customization desired. A fully custom site with a custom-coded content management system is going take significantly more time to develop than a one-page WordPress site. An e-commerce site with hundreds of products and pages will take far longer than a brochure-type site with only a few pages. At the minimum it takes approximately a month to customize a basic WordPress site and it can take a year (or more) to develop a complex bespoke site with hundreds of pages.

What is the design process for a logo?

Once you have signed the contract and sent your deposit, you will be asked to fill out our Logo Design Questionnaire. This is intended to provide us with detailed information about your business, your audience, and your preferences so we have a solid place to start. We will spend time researching the competition and formulating some unique ideas. Then we begin fleshing out those concepts by creating rough illustrations and searching for fonts we feel match the images and desired style of the logo. Once that process is complete, we refine the concepts and present the three best ones (with variations) for your review. You tell us which one you prefer and let us know if there are any revisions.

How do you handle revisions?

The logo price includes up to three rounds of revisions to the concept you most prefer. You may incorporate elements of the other designs into your preferred concept if you wish. More than three revisions will incur additional charges, as well as requests to revise more than one concept. If none of the concepts are chosen and entirely new ideas need to be generated, there will also be additional charges.

Why don't you provide unlimited designs or unlimited revisions?

We do not offer unlimited designs because having too many choices is overwhelming. We’d rather present fewer strong options than countless weak ones. One of the reasons to hire a professional is to trust in their expertise in deciding which are the most suitable concepts.

 

We do not offer endless revisions in our logo design process because having a set number of revisions ensures that communication between designer and client is very specific and targeted. It also helps in keeping the process efficient and timely.

What is the design process for a custom website?

When the contract is signed and the first deposit received, you will be asked to fill out our Web Design Questionnaire. This is intended to provide us with detailed material about your business, your audience, and your preferences so we have a solid place to start. It also provides us with information that will help us determine navigation structure and page layout. You will also be asked to provide the necessary content for the site, including photographs and text. Having all these pieces prior to starting the design process eliminates the need for major revisions later, if it is found that the provided elements don’t work in the mockup.

 

Once all the necessary elements are provided, we develop several different ideas and then present the best concept to you. As with logo design, up to three rounds of revisions are included in the design price. Once the design has been finalized, we move into the coding phase of the project. At this time, there is usually another payment due, unless otherwise agreed upon.

 

When the HTML coding is done, if the site does not require a custom content management system (CMS), it’s time for the final review. The site will be uploaded to a password-protected folder on our server, where the client will be able to make any final corrections to the content. There will be no revisions to the layout or design at this time, as all revisions to the layout should have been completed in the first phase of the project. Once the client gives final approval and final payment is received, the site will then be made live on their server.

 

If a site requires a custom CMS, the HTML site will then be sent to the programmer, at which time they develop the administrative sections for the site. When that is completed, the client will be allowed to test a demo of the site in order to familiarize themselves with how it works. At that time, any requests for changes to the programming should be submitted. Once the client gives final approval and final payment is received, the site will then be uploaded to their server.

What is the design process for a WordPress site?

Once the contract is signed and the first deposit is received, you will be asked to fill out our Web Design Questionnaire. This is intended to provide us with detailed material about your business, your audience, and your preferences so we have a solid place to start. It also provides us with information that will help us determine what theme will work best for you. You will also be asked to provide the necessary content for the site, including photographs and text. Having all these pieces prior to starting the design process eliminates the need for major revisions later if it is found that the provided elements don’t fit the way the site has been designed.

 

Once all the necessary elements are provided, we find a theme that works best for your content and install it on your server. We then customize it for your needs, using your text and photos. You will then be asked to review the site and submit revision requests, if necessary. Once the site is approved and the final payment is received, you will be provided the login credentials for the site.

I'm confused by the terminology. Can you explain HTML, CMS, WordPress, Open Source, etc?

Content Management System – A web content management system (Web CMS) is a bundled or stand-alone application to create, deploy, manage and store content on Web pages. Web content includes text and embedded graphics, photos, video, audio, and code (e.g., for applications) that displays content or interacts with the user. Web CMS’s usually allow client control over HTML-based content, files, documents, and Web hosting plans based on the system depth and the niche it serves. CMS’s typically aim to avoid the need for hand coding

 

Hand Coding – Refers to directly writing HTML documents for the web

 

HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the standard markup language used to create web pages.

 

ShortCodes – A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut.

 

Plugin – In general terms, a plugin is a set of software components that adds specific ability to a larger software program. A feature of most plugins is that no technical ability is required – simply download, click “install” and begin using. Plugins are usually provided by both the publisher of the original software and by other designers and developers. Plugins are often free but can be also be sold.

 

Open Source – Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is typically a collaborative effort where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community so that other members can help improve it further.

 

Responsive Framework – Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors)

How do I decide which CMS platform is right for me?
Advantages to using WordPress:

  • Less expensive because the coding is already done.
  • Due to its ubiquitous use, there are countless plugins that do almost anything you might need. Many are free, but you can also be purchased for a relatively minimal fee.
  • Wide variety of themes to choose from, both free and for purchase.

 

Disadvantages to using WordPress:

  • Limitations to the design depending on the structure of the chosen template
  • For those unfamiliar with WordPress, there can be a steep learning curve, especially with the premium themes as they frequently use shortcodes
  • Some HTML coding knowledge is helpful
  • Since WordPress is an “open source” content management system, we are not responsible for any issues that may arise with the administrative area or coding problems on the site. The resolution of such issues is outside the scope of the quote.
  • Difficult to create pedigree charts for horses, requires more advanced knowledge of HTML coding
  • WordPress can have glitches and bugs and sites may load slower

 

 Advantages to a completely custom site:

  • Programmer available to fix glitches
  • Ease of use
  • No HTML coding knowledge required
  • More design freedom, though will still may have to work within the responsive framework
  • We will be able to tailor parts of the user experience to your specifications
  • Custom-coding ensures lower overhead.

 

Disdvantages to a completely custom site:

  • Requires a more sizeable investment
  • Takes longer to build

What if I don't have any photographs?

If you need photos specifically for your business and are located on the west coast PixelGraphix may be able to refer you to one of our talented local photographers. Otherwise, we may still be able to offer a referral as we have a network of professional associates across the country.

 

If you don’t require custom photography, stock photos can be used. PixelGraphix is happy to use photos from our library or search for and license images that will be appropriate for your project (additional fees may apply). It should be noted that any photos purchased by PixelGraphix are not transferable.

 

We are also happy to recommend several stock photography sites and you can choose and purchase photos to your liking.

Can't I just take photos from Google images and send them to you?

That is not a good idea. All images on the web are protected by intellectual property laws. Clients are responsible for securing the rights to all furnished materials, not limited to text and photos. When materials are supplied by the client for the project, it is understood by the designer that all legal formalities are being observed and the designer is not responsible for any infraction or legal issue that may arise if the client fails to secure the proper rights.

What if I want you to make changes to the design of my site after it's uploaded to my server?

Once a website is published to a client’s server, the project is considered complete and the obligations of the quote have been fulfilled. Any work on the website after uploading is beyond the scope of the quote and will be charged separately.

Do you sell domains or host websites?

We do not. We feel is is a better practice for those accounts to be in the client’s name, so the client has complete control and ownership over them. We offer referrals to domain and hosting companies if requested and will answer any questions a client might have about the sign-up process.

Do you provide printing services?

We do not have the physical capability to print collateral. We do not mind quoting prices and handling printing through our select vendors, but payment must be received prior to submitting artwork. We will also offer referrals and help clients through the process if they choose to handle printing on their end.

What if my I receive my printing project and I discover it has errors?

Providing typo-free text and proof-reading is the responsibility of the client. It is understood that the client has checked for errors and found none when final approval is given to send projects to print. We are not responsible for the cost of print re-runs if errors are found in the finished piece.

File Format Questions

In what file formats will my logo be provided?

You will receive three vector formats – an Illustrator file (AI), an EPS, and a PDF. You will also receive two high (print) resolution raster files – a TIF and a JPG – and two low (web) resolution formats – a PNG (which has a transparent background) and a JPG. Those should be adequate for just about any usage, but if a different format is needed, we are happy to oblige.

Who owns the rights to the final logo?

Once final payment is received and cleared, you have full rights to the logo, however PixelGraphix reserves the right to display the logo in our portfolio. If you have an issue with that, please let us know at the outset.

What file formats do I receive for print projects?

Print files are provided almost exclusively in PDF format.

Do I own all my website files?

Once the website has been uploaded to your server you will have access to all the HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP, and JS files.

Do I get the original source files?

Prices reflect delivery of a FINISHED PRODUCT. A fee would need to be negotiated for release of source files, as they are the intellectual property of their creator and are retained by the designer.

Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!
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Email: caspixel@yahoo.com

Phone: (530) 360-4663

Business Hours: 10AM to 6PM PST