BRANDING & DESIGN STUDIO

Getting Started Guide

 
 

Everything you need to know to work with us.

Welcome to The Department, an independent design and branding studio. I’m excited to hear from you! I’ve included an explanation below of the types of project I typically take on and how we work with clients. Also, I’ll address some of the questions we frequently receive and outline the steps of moving forward.

 


A Brief Note

With over 18 years experience working with creative agencies, restaurants, nonprofits, and others, I have the marketing and creative knowledge to help guide your business. During our time together, I will ask in-depth questions to familiarize myself with your company’s professional, fiscal, and aesthetic goals. With this information in mind, I will craft a bespoke and timeless solution that will distinguish your brand and help it flourish. Whether you’d like to expand your audience, increase sales, or simply revamp your look, I have the skills and resources to help you do so in a smart and efficient manner.

The Department is a small studio by choice, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

 


Our Expertise & Skills

We provide a comprehensive line of services including:

Brand Identity

Responsive Web & E-Commerce Design 

Signage and Environmental Graphics

Illustration

Photography

Packaging

 


Our Process

1. Onboarding

First, I ask that you fill out a brief Client Intake form. If you haven’t filled the form out already, please do so here. The questionnaire will give me a general overview of your project and help guide our conversation in the next phase.

After receiving your completed form, I will set up a time to talk. During the call, we’ll discuss your business goals and make sure we’re a good fit. In order to provide the highest level of service and to dedicate the time and resources to ensure exceptional work, I limit the amount of projects I take on. At the moment, I only accept about 20% of the projects that come my way.

You provide:
Honest answers and a clear vision for your business and how you serve your audience.

Outcome:
With the information gathered in our call, I will prepare a custom proposal that will outline your business needs and how I can help. In addition, a list of services and pricing options will be provided.

If the proposal terms are agreeable with you, a start date will be confirmed and a formal contract with a timeline of deliverables/payments will be prepared.

 

2. Strategy

Here we collaborate to further define the needs of the project. The input you provide will give me a deeper understanding of the brand and help to establish a clear path to focus my efforts. Before moving into the design stage, I will present my thoughts and a strategy to move forward to make sure we are in agreement. This process ensures that our goals are aligned and the final work meets your expectations.

You provide:
Availability to talk for 1-2 hours and any reference material (visual inspiration, moodboards etc.) that I should view.

Outcome:
A one-page document that outlines the direction and steps we use to proceed.

 

3. Design

Building from the material established in the previous phase, we will begin the design process. We typically provide 3-5 design concepts (to be defined in the proposal) for you or team to team to look over. After reviewing the options, one concept will be selected and refined in the next phase.

You provide:
Feedback and/or approvals in an efficient and timely manner.

Outcome:
A series of preliminary design concepts to be reviewed and later refined

 

4. Review & Refine

In this phase you will provide a list of suggested changes to be made to the design. To ensure a speedy process and that deadlines are met, we require the list of revisions within 24-48 hours. From here, we will refine the design and develop the final files.

You provide:
A list of revisions and/or approvals in an efficient and timely manner.

Outcome:
The final design work

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Project Deadlines?
A. We stand by our deadlines. In our years of experience, this has never happened. If it does, I’ll happily take 25% off the final price.

Q. What if assets are delivered late?
A. This process is most successful if we both adhere to the deadlines. Mutual collaboration is imperative to the project’s success. That said, do your best to stick to the schedule. Please give me prior notice if you think you are going to miss a deadline.

Q. Why do I have deadlines?
A. This ensures mutual focus, momentum and quick decisions so we can move on to the next step in the process.

Q. What is a round of revisions?
A. One round of revisions means that you give us a single list of all the changes you’d like to see in the current mockup. Because this work is done on a timeline, it’s important to sum up all your thoughts and changes in a single place (one call or one email), and hand those over to us.

Q. What do I need to provide before the project starts?
A. For web-based projects we will need access to the following:

Domain registrar login info, hosting login info, mailing list access, Google Analytics access. You also need to have polished content, edited photography and enough time set aside to take this project to the finish line.

 


Like What You’ve Read?

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. If you think we would work well together, please fill out our Client Intake form so we can begin to discuss your project:


Please keep in mind that I only schedule project start dates after I’ve received your signed contract and down payment. I am currently booking 1 month in advance, so if you’d like to start collaborating soon, please contact me ASAP. I look forward to speaking with you!

Want to keep it secret? We have an NDA agreement we can send you when you contact us.

If you have any questions, please send them to richard@thedepartment.us