How we work:
We know that starting a new project brings up lots of questions, so we put together some basic guidelines to help make the process as seamless and successful as possible. And of course if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, always feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We’d love to hear from you!
How much will it cost?
Let’s get right to the number one question…What’s it gonna cost? As is common in service organizations, LLB Designs bills based on the time spent on the project at a reasonable hourly rate. Special rates for non-profit organizations are also available. At the beginning of a new project we provide an estimate of time and expenses, and we are eager to work with you to stay within your budget. If you prefer we are also happy to negotiate fees on a per-project basis. As a rule we stay within 10% of our estimates, unless project specifications change at your request. We are also very good (if we do say so ourselves) at finding low-cost options and alternatives for printing and production.
Step 1: Questions (and answers)
We find that gathering adequate information up front saves everyone time and money in the long run. We will ask you a number of questions about your project, background, timeline and expectations to avoid mistakes and wasted time on the back end. We specialize in design and marketing, not mind-reading, so it is critical that we communicate effectively from the beginning!
Budget-friendly tip: Be sure that any text and images that you submit to us are well organized and error-free. Clean information from the start means fewer revisions later in the process, and fewer billable hours.
Step 2: Concept and design
While we like to pretend that we can just crank out brilliant designs at the drop of a hat, the unglamorous truth is that most of the time developing high-quality work takes a little time and is a collaborative process. Depending on the complexity of the project, we will develop one-three rough ideas (or “comps”, as we in the biz call them) and present them to you for feedback.
Step 3: Feedback
This is not the time to be shy or overly polite! This is the time to carefully consider the work and to be sure that it meets your needs…before much time is spent tweaking a look that you’re really just not in love with. We are professionals and design is very subjective; it is not going to hurt our feelings if you don’t like a color or font or layout or anything else. You are the client and we want YOU to be thrilled with the final product.
When a design direction has been selected you will provide us with any feedback and or edits, and we will send you a revised draft. Wash, rinse and repeat until you approve the final design. Of course it depends on the scope of the project, but most take two-four rounds of comps before the design is finalized.
Budget-friendly tip: If there are a couple of design directions that you are considering, try to choose one as early on in the process as possible. This saves having to do double the work and, you guessed it, extra billable time.
Step 4: That’s “the one”
Once you’ve chosen a design we will make any and all tweaks and adjustments needed until you are completely satisfied with the results. At this time we will ask for your final approval, before either sending it into printing and production or sending you the final files.
Step 5: Printing and production
With every project you have the choice of receiving the print-ready art files to handle the printing and production yourself, or LLB Designs can take care of it for you. We have excellent relationships with hand picked vendors, and are very good at working with different budgets to find the most appropriate printing option. Here are a few production guidelines to keep in mind:
PDFs- PDFs are amazing. They allow us to create projects in our fancy-schmancy design software (Adobe PhotoShop, Indesign, Illustrator, etc.) and then send a version to you to look at via e-mail as a PDF. Because our printers often print directly from a high-resolution PDF, the drafts you see are exactly what the final piece will look like in terms of layout, fonts and design. Because of file-size, we often use low-res PDFs for comp reviews (so as to not clog your e-mail with huge file sizes). Low-res PDFs compress the artwork into low-resolution images, so while they look great on your screen, they are not suitable for actual printing. If you are handling the production yourself it is important that you get a high-res PDF for printing.
Most of our print work is outsourced to professional printers with whom we have established relationships. We also use online printing when appropriate as a low-cost option. If you would like to coordinate your own printing, just let us know–we are happy to send you print-ready files and to answer any questions you or your printer may have.
A note on keeping it green:
The environment is high up there on our priority list. We use recycled papers, envelopes and eco-friendly design options whenever appropriate. We do most of our proofs electronically, which cuts down on paper use dramatically. We also reuse, recycle and, in general work hard to do our part where we can. Ask us about eco-friendly options for your project and we will provide options and estimates for you to choose from.