- Meet and discuss project, goals and strategy (preferably in person)
- Overview of previous ad campaigns with achieved results
- Mission statement, branded tag line
- Business or organization's color palette in CMYK or Pantone colors
- Corporate fonts used in previous work
- Is this a stand alone piece or something apart of a greater scope
- Establish chain of command and ultimate decision maker
initial meeting brief
- Detail and discovery: materials, images and photography required to complete task
- Estimate of hours required to complete project
Contract, Retention + Billing
- Contract reviewed, agree upon and signed before work begins
- Retainer fee required up-front
- Billed hourly with detailed tasks on time spent
(Available at any time during the design and production process)
- Itemized invoice presented in full upon completion of project for payment
- Production schedule created with project completion date
- Intermediate proof out dates, edits, corrections
- Built for two proofs before press but more can be added if needed
- Editorial schedule*The more complete the editorial when submitted, the less time required for changes and corrections
- Schedule adjustments made as necessary but only upon project manager approval
- A graphic diagram of page layout with copy and image space allocation
- I create a “Dummy Book” and work on pages or sections as they are available
- Includes print and webpage layouts
- Word counts available if needed per space allocation
- Client owned images: resolution requirements for reproduction
- On site editorial photography is also available
- Stock photography is a viable option. There are many really great ones available usually through a limited subscription or as a single purchase.
- Client approves arrangement or image purchase
- Logo files with brand guidelines
IMAGE FILES, STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY
- 2 to 3 specs presented in rough prior to beginning each project
- Minimize loss time to establish creative strategy and concept
- I use Acrobat CC that allows written dialogue using Sticky Notes on PDF files. It is not necessary that you purchase or lease this software. The free version of Acrobat works for the receiver.
* This reduces the proof out time with more accuracy by marking the exact changes on page. Especially useful for copy edits.
- Client must proof and sign final piece BEFORE production
- Press ready PDF with consistent live area, margins and bleeds sent to printer
- PDF documents for online use or email will have active hyperlinks to websites or email addresses where noted in editorial content, if agreed in original contract.
- Hyperlinks available to client's website if desired and/or links to page display
Practicing mindfulness and essential to every successful project is a plan of action and timeline with production schedules for both sides—client and designer. There can of course be changes or variances but these can effect the deadline, so it becomes imperative to keep lines of communication open.
A FEW OTHER THINGS TO MENTION: The best way to stay within a budget is to provide ready to place copy or editorial reducing the need for last minutes edits or corrections. Logos provided at the correct resolution appropriate for their destination—print or web are helpful and time conscious. Required images or stock photography should be addressed up front.
There is actually something called "Scope Creep" that can happen on even small projects or commissions where the time created was minimal, but the changes, additions and rewrites becomes so large it outweighs the value of the piece. The end should justify the means.