Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question? You’ll find answers to some more commonly asked questions below. However, if you have any other questions, or would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.
What’s your background experience in Graphic Design?
I graduated from Southampton Solent University (UK) in 2001 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Graphic Design (Illustration specialism).
After graduating, I gathered experience in a number of in-house and agency design roles. In 2007, I began taking on design projects on a freelance basis and in 2012, I started working full-time as a freelance graphic designer.
Will I like your work?
Design is subjective, so it’s important you pick a graphic designer who matches your personal tastes. Have a look through my design portfolio to see examples of similar work I’ve completed.
Do I need an estimate?
It’s up to you! I’m happy to work to your requirements. Some clients request an estimate upfront, and others are happy for me to invoice at the end of the month for work carried out.
What do your estimates include?
Cost estimates depend on the project and what you’d like done. Estimates specify the work covered - design, web development, copywriting, stock photography, fonts, typing, scanning, SEO and marketing. Some of these services (outside of design work) are from my trusted partners or service providers.
Will the final cost vary from the estimate?
It might do. The final cost is based on the number of hours I’ve worked on your project. If I have spent more time on your project, the cost will be more than the initial estimate. Similarly, if the project has taken me less time that projected, I’ll reflect this in the final invoice and you’ll pay less than the initial estimate.
How many amendments does the estimate cover?
Unless otherwise specified, estimates cover one initial draft design and one set of amendments. If further amendments are required, we’ll discuss this at that time.
How long is the estimate valid for?
Rates & Charges
What is your current rate?
My estimate will show my current rate. My rate is non-negotiable and is reviewed each financial year to ensure it is fair.
Do your charge for consultations?
My first consultation is free (up to one hour). Additional meetings or consultations are charged at my hourly rate. Consultations can be face-to-face, via Skype or telephone, whichever is most convenient for you.
What happens if I change the brief?
Sometimes, plans change and your design needs to be altered; I’m happy to accommodate this. If the design process has already begun, I will charge for the extra time involved in changing the brief.
The text and imagery you provide must be current and correct, if you need to change this during the design process, this will also be reflected in the final invoice.
What happens if I cancel the project?
If the project is cancelled after the design process has begun, you’ll only be charged for time spent and expenses occurred to date. Please note that deposits are non-refundable.
Do you have a minimum charge?
The minimum charge time for amendments to existing projects is 15mins. Minimum charge time for new projects is 30mins.
Do you charge extra for urgent work?
I schedule my design work as it arrives, but I understand that sometimes, projects are time-sensitive. If available, I am happy to work on urgent projects outside of standard business hours for a surcharge of +100% of my hourly rate. However, I can’t always guarantee that I’ll be available, so it’s best to book ahead whenever possible.
Do you require a deposit?
This depends on the project and I’ll let you know if a deposit is required in the estimate. This is typically 50% of the full amount and must be paid in full before design work begins. Deposits are non-refundable.
How do you schedule your work?
Standard projects are allocated to my job sheet on a first come first served basis. Time for clients with a retainer agreement is allocated evenly over the course of the month to ensure work is a carried out promptly.
Can you meet my deadline?
I’ll always do my best to accommodate your deadlines, however, please make sure you allow adequate time for the design project. Perfection cannot be achieved overnight!
Are you liable for missed deadlines?
I am not liable for any costs resulting from missed deadlines, or for periods of time when I am unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or technical issues. For on-going projects, I will aim to let you know in advance of any time periods I’ll be unavailable.
Due to the creative nature of design work, sometimes the design process can take longer than anticipated. My timescales are estimates and not guarantees. That said, I usually provide a swift turnaround.
Do you keep a timesheet?
I keep an accurate record of how my time is spent. At any stage during the project, you are welcome to request a time or cost update.
Can I book you for an agreed day / time?
Due to the creative nature of my business, I can’t take bookings for specific days or times.
Can we retain you services?
Yes. Find out more here.
Will you do pitch work for free or reduced costs?
No, I’m a professional graphic designer and as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, this is my livelihood. I can’t do work for free or at reduced rates. If you’d like to know more about what I can do for your brand or would like to see my full portfolio, please get in touch.
Briefing & feedback
What do you need to get started?
Before starting design work, I’ll need you to accept the estimate, terms of service, and provide a full brief, the final copy and images in a suitable format. Don’t worry if you’re not used to working with a designer, I can guide you through the briefing process.
How quickly do you need feedback on a draft design?
I expect prompt feedback and approvals, after all, the faster the project is approved, the quicker you’ll receive your finished design project.
Can you copy a design I like?
No. I encourage you to provide examples of designs you like, that can steer me in the direction of your preferred design style, however I will not outright copy another designers work. I cannot knowingly help you commit copyright infringement. It goes against everything I stand for as a designer.
Will I receive a proof?
Yes, you’ll receive an artwork proof in digital pdf or jpg files and printed proofs can be provided at an extra cost. When you look at your proof, please remember that colours can vary across different monitors, depending on screen settings and colour profiles used. Printed proofs may also have small colour variances. Printed proofs will incur extra costs. Please note, no guarantee can be given to exactly match a print production with a colour proof because of variances in proof preparation methods.
Can you source imagery for my project?
I’m happy to help you select stock photography; note that this time is billed for (whether the images are used or not). The cost for stock images is specified in your estimate.
Can I supply images I have found on Google?
No. Images on google are most likely copyrighted and/or low-resolution. I cannot knowingly help you commit copyright infringement. It goes against everything I stand for as a designer. All images should be either bespoke (taken by you or a commissioned photographer), or purchased from a royalty free stock library such as www.shutterstock.com or www.istockphoto.com.
Do you check your artwork?
Yes, I always check my artwork, but it is up to you to take full responsibility for approving artwork (after all, you know your business and brand best). I am not to be held liable for any errors in print, branding, email, web or others.
How do you supply final artwork?
This will be outlined in the agreement between us. Depending on the project requirements, final artwork will be sent in the appropriate print-ready or web-ready format.
Preliminary designs remain my property, I don’t supply master artwork files or templates, unless this is part of our agreement.
Due to licensing restrictions, I cannot share fonts. However, I’m happy to share stock images purchased for the project once full payment has been received.
Do you supply a print service?
Yes, I can obtain quotes from my trusted print partner on request.
What happens if I’m not happy with the printing from your printer?
I am happy to contact the printer on your behalf to discuss the matter. You may be asked to return the printed material so that the printing company can send this to their head office for review.
If the head office agrees that the printing is of an inferior standard, you will usually be offered a reprint or credit note for future printing.
It’s important to note that though I can help you contact the printer in this instance, I have no control over their decision and am not liable for costs resulting from this service.
When do I pay for printing?
You’ll need to pay in full for both the artwork and printing before the artwork is sent to the printer.
How long does printing take?
This depends on what is being printed! An express service is sometimes available at extra cost.
Can I use my own printer or print service?
No problem. Please supply me with a print spec from your printer, before I start on the project.
I’m also happy to liaise with your printer service, this is invoiced at my hourly rate.
Can you arrange delivery of my printing?
Yes. Remember to provide an up-to-date delivery address. I accept no responsibility for post that’s late or lost.
Can I use a email list I purchased on the internet?
No. I cannot create an email campaign with purchased lists, or any list that could be deemed as spam. It is your responsibility to provide an accurate email list which users have ‘opted into’ and complies to your local privacy laws. I accept no liability for any legal action or costs incurred as a result of email lists.
Can you help me setup an email address that matches my domain name?
Yes, I can. I recommend Google apps email services. I’m happy to set this up for you (at my hourly rate). Payment for the email service itself is made directly to Google Apps. I do not offer technical or support services for email accounts beyond initial setup.
Websites, Domain Names & Hosting
Do you develop websites?
I work with a trusted partner who’s very experienced in web development. I am happy to obtain a quote and project manage this for you.
I’m also more than happy to work with your own web developer.
Will I be able to edit the site myself?
Yes. The website will be built in SilverStripe with a CMS (content management system). Once your website is approved and live, I will provide you with a pdf instruction manual on how to update the website using the CMS.
Do you offer technical support for websites?
Yes, I can provide technical support if the website was created by my recommended developer. I’ll send you an instruction manual, you then have seven days to contact me with any questions you have about your new website. This is included in the website cost.
After seven days, all technical support will be charged at my hourly rate.
Will you purchase the domain name for me?
Yes, if your chosen domain name is available.
Will you notify me when my domain name needs to be renewed?
You will receive an email before your domain name or hosting services expire. Non-payment will result in the cancellation of these services. It’s important that you ensure I have an up-to-date email address for you so that you receive the renewal message. Renewal dates are your responsibility and I accept no liability for any losses resulting from cancellation of these services.
Do you supply web hosting?
Yes, I can provide web hosting through my trusted supplier. Please note, I am not responsible for any website downtime, hosting performance or other issues associated with the hosting. This is a rare occurrence, but if issues do arise I will do my best to keep you informed.
Will my website feature on the first page of google?
I design websites with best practice and SEO in mind to help you get there. However, there are a number of factors which contribute to getting on the first page of Google or other search engines. Get in touch if you’d like further help with SEO, I can request a quote from my preferred SEO Consultant.
Do you work for other clients?
Yes. I’m free to offer and provide design services to others.
Portfolio & Credit Notes
Will you use my design project in your portfolio?
I select a range of design projects I have worked on to appear in my print and digital portfolio; your design may be included in this.
Do you include a credit on your work?
Yes. A credit line suitable to the size of the page (web or print) will be used on all design work.
Invoicing & Payment
Do you charge GST?
Yes I do.
Will you need a deposit?
I’ll let you know if I require a deposit in the project estimate. This is typically 50% and must be paid prior to work commencing.
When do you send out invoices?
I invoice for progress payments on the 30th of each calendar month, unless alternative project milestones have been agreed in writing before commencing work.
I don’t like the design or I didn’t use the design. Do I have to pay?
Yes. Once an estimate has been accepted, all project time must be paid for.
When do I need to pay by?
You have 14 days to pay, unless we have agreed otherwise. Payment terms are stated on the estimate and invoice. Payment in full is required before the final artwork is used, or the website launched.
What happens if I don’t pay on time?
Interest on overdue invoices will accrue daily from the date when payment becomes due, until the date of payment, at a rate 15% per annum. All work will be suspended for clients who have overdue accounts. Deactivation of a website or loss of domain name may occur as a result.
I’m an oversees client - how can I pay you?
Overseas clients have the option of paying by credit card via Stripe or PayPal, or bank transfer. All international transfers, where transfer fees apply, are payable by the client.
Who pays for legal costs?
In the rare instance that an overdue account needs to be recovered, you will be liable for all costs incurred (Solicitor/ Debt/ Collection Agency). This is stated in my Terms of Service.
Copyright / Ownership
Who owns the copyright to the work?
My fee covers supplying final design work, in it's print-ready or web-ready format. Preliminary designs remain my property, I don’t supply master artwork files or templates (e.g. editable photoshop, illustrator indesign templates), unless this is part of our agreement.
Use of design work or ideas before full payment has been received, will result in compensation being sought.
Copyright remains my property unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Do I have to agree to your terms of service?
Yes. I pride myself on the excellent working relationships I have with my valued clients but it’s a good idea for us to have an agreement on paper so we both know what to expect. I believe agreements like this should be transparent, clear and concise. If anything is unclear, please feel free to contact me.
Are your terms of service legally binding?
Yes. My Terms of Service were compiled for me by my lawyer. They are fair, transparent and legally binding.