To help potential clients understand what it’s like to work with us, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If there’s anything else you want to know, or for explanation in more detail, do get in touch.
- How much does it cost to work with you?
- What does the cost include?
- So and so charges less than you. Can you match them?
- Can you start right away?
- What’s involved in the design process?
- I’ve never worked with a design agency before. Can you tell me what to expect from one?
- What exactly do I receive during the course of the project?
- What artwork filetypes do you provide?
- Do you create style guides for your brand identities?
- How much of your project research is based upon client competition and their brand communications?
- You’re in a different country from us. Will this affect things?
- Can we talk on the telephone?
- Can you offer help with printing?
- How do you accept payment?
- Will you use current trends for my design?
- Will you feature my project in your portfolio?
How much does it cost to work with you?
The cost to hire Bate Brand varies depending on a number of factors:
• size of project e.g. a logo design for a small start up organisation or a new logo design to be used by a large international organisation
• number of deliverables e.g. stationary, signage, website, uniforms, vehicles etc.
• level of research requirements, if any
• the number of meetings, presentations, workshops required
• frequency of work
• speed of delivery
Generally speaking we prefer to supply a detailed estimate of the work we think is involved on a project by project basis and then we endeavour to stick to that estimate. We look at the different levels of skills required and add up the amount of time that we believe is required to complete the project successfully. So it's very difficult to give set costs when every project and customer requires a different level of impact.
For example: an individual or a small-size start-up company will have different needs and deliverables to a larger organisation with many more staff and offices. An individual might just want a logo designed and basic stationary (business cards, letterheads) whereas a larger project can also include business forms, advertising, brochures and an online presence too.
If you have design needs of your own, feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat.
What does the cost include?
Typically all meetings, design concepts, presentations and completion of final artwork suitable for printing or online presence, and more depending upon specific requirements. Clients also receive our personal assurance that their project will stand the test of time and be highly competitive. Additional costs may include the supply of printing, website hosting, copy writing, photography etc.
So and so charges less than you. Can you match them?
We are always open to discussing our charges; however we will not lower our costs purely to match another supplier who we believe provides an inferior service or is offering less value than ourselves. While we endeavour to be competitive and believe we offer great value we also know we will not always be the cheapest. In a nutshell – design is not a commodity*.
*WIKIPEDIA: “A commodity is anything for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market." In other words, gold is gold and sugar is sugar. BMW cars, on the other hand, have many levels of quality. And, the better the car is, the more it will cost.
Can you start right away?
Most likely, yes! However, if we are about to launch a new website or about to go to print on a scheduled magazine we may have to complete these projects before starting yours. Just get in touch and we'll tell you where we stand.
What’s involved in the design process?
Our aim is always to create a bespoke solution that works for all stakeholders of your organisation, and therefore we understand there needs to be flexibility in our approach and processes. However, to give prospective clients an overview on how Bate Brand work, here’s a brief lowdown of our design process.
a) The design brief:
Compiled from a Q&A session with the client, a design brief saves everyone time and money. It helps focus attention on the brand messages, marketing goals and the details that best attract the target audience. Here is an example of our Client Briefing Questionnaire.
b) Research and brainstorming:
We spend time reviewing client information and begin the research and brainstorming stage. Here we take into account client competition, trends in the market, what sets the client apart, the history of the business, the future, the current brand, and the one aspired toward.
c) Design concepts:
We often start this stage with sketches rather than a mouse and computer (computers can add an extra level of restriction that hinders the thought process). Sketching helps us to generate a strong set of possible directions. Most sketches will eventually be made redundant, but the point is to explore every possible direction before choosing the most effective idea.
d) Prototype designs:
We normally narrow the design concepts down to two or three strong options and focus on developing these for client presentation. The prototype stage involves taking the chosen concepts into our Apple Mac computers and transferring them into finished visual for presentation.
e) Presentation and feedback:
When working on brand identity programmes we prefer to deliver the presentation in person; however on smaller projects the design presentation is supplied as a PDF file, with each concept shown in context, using digital mock-ups. The client then has the opportunity to consider the designs and prepare feedback based upon how the ideas relate to their marketing strategy and the target audience.
f) Finishing touches:
Following client feedback, we’ll either finalise the project, or make any revisions agreed upon.
g) Artwork supply:
Artwork (print ready files) is supplied specifically for the job in hand, tailored to the exact reproduction specifications requested by third parties (printers) such as newspapers.
All artwork can be adapted to work across a wide variety of purposes — websites, corporate stationery, vehicle wraps, billboard advertising.
h) Customer care:
What we offer does not end once our client pays the final invoice. Should any brand related questions crop-up, we are on hand to answer your queries, to offer our opinion and support on how to further develop your organisation's brand communications. Many of our clients have been with us for years because they know they are in safe hands with Bate and we have seamlessly become part of their team.
If you have any questions about how we work, feel free to ask.
I’ve never worked with a design agency before. Can you tell me what to expect from one?
We understand choosing your design team can be a daunting decision for you. After all, the communications of your business depends on you making the right choice. Here are a few important attributes to expect from a professional graphic design agency.
An informative website
A client should expect to learn what their experience might be like to engage with the designer before commissioning the designer. The designer’s online presence should help to do this. Informative websites help in a number of ways:
• Trust is built through communication in blog comments
• Attention to detail can be seen in portfolios of project work and case studies
• Positive references will accompany portfolio entries
• Communication skills are evident through clever copy writing and proper grammar
Excellent communication skills
A designer's role is to communicate on a number of different levels to a wide ranging audience and this should be evident at every touchpoint. An empathy for you, your business, your staff and your customers should be apparent throughout project work. If not, you're in trouble; after all, your reputation and your organisations brand equity is in the hands of the designer!
Attention to detail
Changing the smallest detail can greatly alter the impact of a design project. A good designer is a perfectionist.
Great customer service
Unless prior notice has been given, email replies to client queries should be received within 24 hours during the working week. Telephone communication should be available throughout normal working hours. Even if your designers are extremely busy there should always be time to answer any questions.
Does your designer have a successful track record and is that evidenced on their website? Or are they the new kids on the block?
Good time management
A professional designer will understand meeting deadlines is a vital part of the design process. Alarm bells should ring when a designer pushes back an agreed time frame.
What do their customers say about them? Testimonials offer a great insight into previous customer satisfaction and the designer shouldn't be afraid to put you in touch with their clients for a reference.
No matter how detailed the initial design brief, there must always be room for flexibility. Things can change during each stage of the process, requiring a different outlook from that first anticipated. Both the client and the graphic designer should accommodate some movement.
A strong portfolio
Previous projects speak volumes about what to expect. When browsing portfolios, it’s good to see design diversity, both in client industry and project outcome.
Design excellence goes without saying, however your design team should have business sense if they are to understand your commercial needs.
Nice should not cost extra.
What exactly do I receive during the course of the project?
We will normally send clients a PDF presentation showing our design solutions. Where brand identity work is concerned, the designs may be displayed in a variety of formats and contexts to give clients a broad overview of how the identity works across all promotional material.
What artwork filetypes do you provide?
Adobe Illustrator (.ai) or Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) are the main filetypes provided for logotypes. Such files can be scaled to any size without loss of quality. All other artwork is supplied as a high resolution print ready pdf file. We also have software to create any other filetype necessary (.tiff, .jpg, .png, .gif, etc.).
Do you create style guides for your brand identities?
Providing a style guide is recommended and certainly an option. Each guide is individual and is dependent upon specific client needs. If only one person is responsible for using the design, a single page guide may do the job, however if the organisation is a 100 person strong organisation a more comprehensive solution is required. Guides are supplied as a PDF file, and contain usage instructions, such as colour codes, minimum reproduction size, correct page positioning and isolation areas. For an example take a look at our own identity guidelines here.
How much of your project research is based upon client competition and their brand communications?
A great deal. Evaluating the competition is a necessary part of the process, and should be expected from any design agency. Even though we research client competitors for every project, some clients choose not to have this stage documented and supplied, thus saving money.
You’re in a different country from us. Will this affect things?
Whilst we’d love to always meet face-to-face, sometimes this isn't possible and communicating only via telephone and email can often save time and money. The vast majority of our clients come from the UK, however when we have worked with clients far away this hasn’t adversely affected any of our design projects.
Can we talk on the telephone?
Absolutely. All clients receive landline and mobile phone numbers, and there's usually someone available between 9am and 6pm, from Monday to Friday (except during public holidays).
Can you offer help with printing?
Yes. We are not printers ourselves but we take great pride in ensuring our designs are reproduced faithfully to our original design specifications. We have extensive experience dealing with commercial printers, and we are more than happy to manage your print (quality control), and offer advice on printing options and how money can be saved.
How do you accept payment?
With research and workshop projects we request a 50% down payment prior to scheduling the work to cover our preparation cost. The remaining 50% is payable upon completion of the project. With most design projects we take payment on project completion or work that is completed at the end of the month - which ever is sooner. Payments can be made by a number of methods: via bank transfer, PayPal, or cheque. Details are included on our invoice. When buying print on our clients behalf we request payment in full up front or alternatively clients can make their own arrangements about paymment for print. Full details available upon request or see our T&Cs here.
Will you use current trends for my design?
It’s unlikely on brand identity projects. Our logotypes are intended to last the duration of clients’ businesses - not to look trendy. However, a design for a bespoke service or consumer product with a predicted short life span may indeed pick up on market trends to maximise it's immediate effectiveness.
Will you feature my project in your portfolio?
Although we reserve the right to showcase designs in our promotional work, it is not guaranteed every project will be included. As a matter of courtesy we will always check with you first that you have no objections to us showcasing your project.