The Project Flow
Here is the typical order of events when I take on a project.
We’ll Discuss Your Project.
Your project is unique, so the first thing we’ll need to do is to have a conversation about what you’re needing. We can converse via email, phone, chat, or whatever you’re comfortable with. Things we’ll discuss here will relate to how you plan to use the art (like printing on t-shirts vs. a printed magazine ad). We might need to work out how many colors and physical size of the printed piece, as well as a time frame for when you’ll need everything done.
I work in a couple different styles of illustration due to different niche markets and different printing processes, so if you’ve seen some of my previous work, and you’re looking for something along the same lines, please let me know.
It’s very likely that you will need to provide some “visual” information for me. This might be some reference images if I’m to be illustrating something that I can’t easily source images for on my own. Or it might be some things your competitors have done, and you want to make sure the art I do is in no way similar to theirs. If you’re in an industry I’m not familiar with, you might need to point me towards some information about your work so I can make sure the art is appropriate for your business.
I’ll Prepare a Quote and a Contract.
Once we’ve nailed down the parameters of your project, I can put together a quote for you. This will include my fees as well as an expectation of the time involved in each step of the process.
My fees will be based on standard published industry rates, which vary from one project to another.
The contract is usually fairly simple, and basically reiterates our expectations for one another. It will also state the transfer of rights to the final art. This varies from one type of project to another, but at a minimum I will retain rights to be able to use the art as a portfolio piece, providing an example of my abilities for future clients (within the scope of any non-disclosure agreements we may have).
Before I begin working on your project, I’ll need to get a deposit from you. The amount of the deposit might vary in some cases, but it’s generally about 50% of the quoted price.
This is one of the most important steps in the process. Research might be as simple as me looking for some photos for visual reference. Or I might be getting a crash course on your business or industry so I can get a better idea of what would best fit your brand or message.
I’ll Prepare Ideas.
In the early stages of the project, I’ll start putting together some rough ideas for your initial feedback. These are typically emailed as low-resolution watermarked JPEG images. From these, we’ll narrow our focus and probably decide on color scheme, lettering styles, positioning of text, etc.
The Final Art Gets Underway.
Once you’ve approved a basic concept, I’ll move into creating the final art that will be used for reproduction. It’s not unusual for me to email a client some in-progress images just to make sure things are moving along as expected. There also might be some minor questions that come up, requiring a little more feedback from you.
The Invoice and Delivery of Final Art.
Once the art is finished, I’ll email you a low resolution image for your final approval. I’ll then send you an invoice for the balance of the fees, and once I’ve received the payment, I’ll send you the final production-ready art. This is the file you can send to your printer or publisher.
Many times my clients find that they want to do something else with the art I create for them — something that wasn’t in the original contract. I might need to rearrange some elements to fit a different spec, or I might get asked to set up the art for a new layout format. At this point, I typically just work for a standard hourly rate.