The Process - A Tandem Ride to Project Completion & Beyond!
Commissioning a designer or illustrator, to work with you on a creative project can be a little daunting for some. Especially if you haven’t commissioned creative before, it’s hard to know what to expect. In this post, I’ve tried to break the process down, to show the various stages we would undertake in working together - & hopefully it'd be a pleasant and fun experience!
As I see it, the client/designer process is a collaboration, a journey travelled together. If we take the tandem as our vehicle of choice there’s even more fuel for the analogy…
After some initial route-planning, we pedal off together towards an agreed destination. I’m at the front leading the way while you’re at the back giving input and feedback to keep things moving along, and taking time to sit back and freewheel a little while I work on the various creative stages. There are lovely views and things to look at, sometimes deviations in direction, uphills and downhills, but we’re always on the same track, and hopefully some camaraderie along the way...
Let’s take a ride together!
You get in touch with me via phone or email, with initial thoughts for your project. We may have been in touch previously, or perhaps you just found my work - online or by recommendation?
You might already have a good idea of what you’re after, or maybe you need some help/guidance with this. I have a couple of standard briefing documents - one for illustration & one for brand identities - which I will send to you. (or you can access them here). These help me gather useful information about your project and specific requirements, enabling me to put together an informed quote for the work.
I will provide a costing based on your specific requirements. Every project is different, and there are many factors to consider when pricing, so it is unlikely that I’ll be able to give you a figure off the top of my head. Regarding illustration fees, this is a popular blog post I have written on the subject: How Much Does Illustration Cost?
You will have received my quote by email and are either happy to proceed or there is some further discussion. Sometimes fees are negotiable or it’s possible to tailor the amount of work I produce to fit your budget. Once we’re in agreement on the work to be completed and the fee, I will send you an ‘Acceptance of Commission’ document which outlines what we have agreed and my terms, this serves as a contract for the work.
At this point I may ask for a financial deposit for the agreed work, usually 25% of the total fee.
INITIAL DESIGN / SKETCH STAGE
Depending on the project, this could include initial pencil sketches, mood boards or basic concept designs. These can be presented in person or via email/phone.
After each presentation stage there is space for you to give feedback and make comments. We will discuss and agree a way to proceed to the next stage.
Taking your comments on board, the initial designs or sketches will be progressed. In the case of illustration, this will usually be the working up of initial pencil sketches to completed artwork in the finished style and for identity work this will be refinement and further exploring the scope of your brand.
This work will again be presented to you for feedback.
I will address any further comments or requested amends and then present final artwork for approval.
After presentation of final designs/artwork, there can still be scope for some final tweaks if necessary, but I would expect these to be minor amendments only at this stage.
SIGN OFF & SUPPLY
Final approval from you. Once you’re happy with everything I will output and supply all the relevant artwork - Feel free to specify any particular file formats you require. My work is generally vector based and can be saved out in different file formats, depending on how the work will be used. For example, PNGs for web, EPS or PDF for print, RGB or CMYK...
I will request payment for my work. My standard terms are 14 days, anything other than this should be by prior arrangement.
Following every project I like to ask for feedback. This helps me understand how the process has been from the client side and gives me useful insights into how I could potentially improve the service I offer. I have also found this feedback invaluable in adding a client perspective to project case studies on my website.
KEEP IN TOUCH
This particular project may have come to an end, but hopefully we’ll be able to work together again. I like to keep in touch with past clients, so may drop you the occasional email to see how things are going… if that’s OK?
How has this process worked for previous clients?
As part of the Project Feedback stage, I'm always interested to find out what my clients think, so I asked them! These are some examples of what they had to say...
How did you find the process - from the initial briefing through to the completion of your project?
“Carys managed the process with a refreshing level of professionalism, efficiency and client care. We had a timeline and she was happy to work to that; she communicated really well so that we knew where we were and what to expect throughout the process. She was really patient with us, though I don’t think we were too demanding. More that we had particular ideas in response to the first concepts and she really listened and worked with us. She took all our feedback on board and then, and this is the best bit, completely delighted us with how she developed the selected design. Actually, it was one of the most pain-free and enjoyable moments in our startup journey.” - Owen McNeir | Remarkable Lives
“We hadn’t worked with an illustrator before so were really unsure what the process was. Carys helped us understand the steps, what to expect from her and throughout the process answered all our, many, questions clearly which helped us to feel comfortable and confident with what was happening. We got illustrations that worked really well with the book which showed us that Carys understood what we needed and had taken time to review the book and appreciate the context that the illustrations would be part of. We loved the illustrations as they were first presented and enjoyed the process of refining and tweaking them with Carys to get exactly what we needed.” - John Mclachlan | Monkey Puzzle Training & Consultancy
“Carys was very professional and provided a good sound-board for ideas, which made it feel like a collaborative project. This was important for me as a new business as I was still finding my feet. She would push back and challenge if I had an idea that she thought was off-brand and always suggest a good alternative.” - Lucy Newall | Ravenspoint Marketing
And to finish...
I hope this post has helped you to understand what you should expect from me as a designer, working with you on a creative project. Please do take a look at some of my previous posts and there are some resources you might find useful here
Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you sometime!