Hello + welcome!
Thank you for trusting Letterform Creative with your design needs! I promise that by the end of this process you will feel much more confident about your business. The first step in ensuring that this process goes smoothly is for you to read through this page. I know that hiring a designer is a big, and sometimes scary, investment. To make it easier, I’ve outlined what you should expect, what I need from you, and have answered some questions you may have. This will give you a clearer idea of what’s ahead and hopefully make you excited to dive in!
A few important things
- All communication and files will be sent via Honeybook. This does not require you to create an account. You can simply reply via email to anything I send you. I use Honeybook because it makes it much easier to locate information. Instead of wading through tons of email threads, everything will be conveniently stored in Honeybook for me to easily retrieve.
- I will send you a detailed timeline for each phase of the project. This will also include dates that your feedback is due. Since I carefully schedule my clients around one another, it’s important that we stick to the initial timeline as closely as possible. After one missed deadline, I will add a late fee of $5 a day onto your invoice. This will happen for every deadline that is missed. (Find out more about this in the FAQ section)
- Don’t worry if you don’t immediately love your first design options. That’s what the refinement rounds are for, but most of the time clients are really excited about their first options!
- I will send your invoice via Honeybook and you will be able to pay with a credit or debit card.
- You will pay a 50% non-refundable deposit by the start date of your project. If you are booking in advance, you’ll pay 25% as a non-refundable deposit to secure your spot in my schedule, and 25% by the start date.
- The remaining 50% is due upon completion of the project in order to receive your final files.
- Branding: 4-5 weeks
- Web Design: 4-5 weeks
- Branding + Web Design: 8-9 weeks
These timeframes are provided in ranges because each project moves at a slightly different pace due to how quickly I receive your feedback and how many rounds of refinements are necessary. If you’re project includes both branding and web design it takes 8-9 weeks, rather than 8-10, simply because the initial research phase is combined for the two.
The Step-By-Step Process
1) Research Phase
- You sign the contract and pay your 50% deposit.
- You read through this welcome page.
- I send you the questionnaire and timeline for your project.
- You send me any of the necessary items outlined in the section below.
- You complete the questionnaire online.
- You schedule a call to discuss the questionnaire.
- We both create a Pinterest board of inspiration.
- I send you a mood board + brand strategy with one round of refinements.
- You send me your feedback.
- I send you the initial design options.
- You send me your feedback.
- I do up to two rounds of refinements on the chosen option.
- I send you the additional brand elements with two rounds of refinements if needed.
- With your approval, I make your site live.
- You schedule a Skype SquareSpace tutorial (for web projects only).
- You pay the remainder of your invoice.
- I send you your brand guidelines and final files.
- You answer a wrap-up questionnaire.
- I send you a goodbye package.
- We both celebrate!
- You share your new brand and website with the world.
What I Need from You
All of the following items I need by the start date of your project if possible. If you need more time to complete these just let me know in advance.
- Your completed questionnaire.
- Add me to your branding Pinterest board.
Web Design Clients
- Your completed questionnaire.
- Squarespace login - Set up your Squarespace account here. Choose any template (it really doesn't matter which one). Click "Start with..." whichever template you've chosen. Create your account. Then send me your login info.
- Copy for your about page - If you haven't already written copy, now's the time. I recommend having including info about your business and about yourself. See mine for an example. Once you have this written please send it to me.
- Your headshot - This will go on your about page.
- Product or portfolio photos - This is necessary if you're a product-based business, a photographer, or another type of creative business.
- Other photos - If you have other photos you want on your site send them to me. Don’t worry if not. I have many resources where I can find beautiful, free stock photos.
- Blog posts - If you have some written send them over. Once again, if not, don’t worry. You can always add these yourself when you’re ready. I will show you how.
- Domain - Tell me your preferred domain, and a second, and third choice (if your first isn't available). If you're transferring a domain from somewhere else, please send me the login info for your host.
- New email - If you want an email associated with your domain, let me know what you would you like it to be. It will be an additional $5/month through Squarespace. The last part of the email will be determined by your domain. For example, some of my options were firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.
- Forms - If you have forms that you would like embedded on your site (i.e. Jotform), please send me the login for those. It's not possible to embed all forms (Yapsody for example), but I will provide other options if needed. We can also create basic forms directly in Squarespace.
- Tagline - This will go on your homepage. It should be something short and catchy that explains what you do, who you do it for, and most importantly the benefit they will receive. This article is helpful if you're stumped. I’m always happy to bounce some ideas around with you.
- Services, packages, + prices - If you’re a service-based business send me this info. For product-based business, send me product info and prices. This information will go on your services page or your shop.
Phew! I know that's a lot, which is why I like to have you start on this as soon as possible. I promise that providing this ahead of time will make the rest of the process go much more smoothly!
Let the real fun begin
After you receive your design options from me it's important to take some time to think it over before providing feedback. The following questions will guide you and enable you to provide the most useful feedback.
- Is your gut consistently drawn towards one direction? Ask yourself this same question over the next few days.
- Which option best represents your brand voice?
- Which option has an overall tone that is inline with your target market and what they’re attracted to?
You’re welcome to provide your feedback via email, phone call, or video chat. Choose whichever method you’re most comfortable with and will allow you to provide feedback the most clearly. If you choose to provide it by phone or Skype you can schedule a time here. If my availability doesn't line up with your feedback deadline, just shoot me an email and I will open up a time for you.
A few other things
- What if I don’t like the end result?
Honestly, I’ve never had a client who didn’t love their final branding and website. This is due to the research phase that puts me on the right track from the get-go, as well as the multiple rounds of refinements we will go through. It’s so important to me that everyone one of my clients is happy with the end product. Rest assured that I will do whatever it takes to get you to that point!
- What if I can’t meet a deadline?
Don’t worry. I know that life happens and there may be an instance when you can’t get me your feedback on time. For this reason I allow two freebie days for late feedback, meaning that I won’t charge you the normal late fee for the first two days of a missed deadline. If you know in advance that you won't make a deadline and give me at least a weeks notice, then I can adjust the timeline and no late fee will be incurred.
- When will I receive my final files?
You will receive all of your final files once you’ve paid the remainder of your invoice. This is not due until we’ve completed the design phase of your project. I will send you a reminder that the remainder of your invoice is due if you have not paid it already.
- Why do you retain the copyright?
This is a very common practice among graphic designers. This ensures that my work is not tampered with any in way and allows me to freely use it in my portfolio and on social media. For you as the client, it doesn’t make much of a difference because you are free to use the final design in any way and as much as you like, as long as you don’t change the design.
- Am I allowed to make changes to my website?
Yes! You'll obviously need to update things like your blog, portfolio, and/or shop regulary. As far as the rest of your website goes, you've paid me to design it professionally, so I don't recommend making changes to the design, but it's your website and you're free to do so if you want. Once you're project is wrapped up, I'm no longer responsible to fix any errors that occur as a result of changes you've made. I add custom CSS to all of the websites I design and I highly recommend that you don't touch that.
Professional copywriting and photography can really help to enhance your branding and website. Below are some copywriters and photographers that I highly recommend.
- Copy Refresh (blog content, website copy, and email newsletters for female entrepreneurs)
- Glitz & Grammar (copywriting & blogging for fashion, beauty, bridal, & luxury lifestyle businesses)
Thank you for taking the time to read through this! Let me know if you have any questions. I'm so excited to kick off your project!
Contact Info + Office Hours
Office hours – M-F, 9-5 PST
I will respond to all client emails within 48 hours. The only exception to this is when I’m out of town, in which case I’ll give you a heads up.