Here are some of the questions small business owners frequently ask us!
What is a graphic designer?
A graphic designer is a visual artist that works to combine text and graphics to communicate an effective message and solve problems. This includes the design of logos, websites, graphics, brochures, illustrations, newsletters, posters, signage, billboards, packaging and any other type of visual communication.
Why do I need to hire a graphic designer? Why can’t my [brother, niece, neighbor] do this, he/she is pretty creative?
A graphic designer has in-depth knowledge of design and the experience to create a piece that not only looks good but is effective in selling your product or service. A graphic designer will have the professional software and skills required to create a stunning graphic, and they’re also able to effectively prepare your files for use by printers or Web hosting providers, ensuring trouble-free output of your finished marketing materials.
Importantly, a graphic designer can make sure your marketing is consistent. If you use different logos, different fonts and different messages everywhere, it’s going to be hard to look professional – never mind standing out in a potential customer’s mind. Designers know how to watch those little details and ensure that every piece of marketing communications fits with everything else. Sure, your customers may not notice if you used “Times New Roman” in one ad and “Calibri” in another, but the subconscious mind picks up details and uses them to form an overall opinion of your business. You look and seem more put together if everything does, in fact, fit together. We can help you accomplish that.
And of course there’s the issue of time. Small business owners have a lot on their plate and paying a professional to handle your project will save you time, money and a lot of headaches along the way.
What is the difference between a graphic designer and an illustrator?
While illustration is sometimes considered to be more like a fine art, graphic design work is more commercial. The goal of graphic design is generally to convey a message or persuade an audience. Graphic designers solve problems. A graphic design professional is typically involved in page layout, typography, branding, and image development.
Illustration work requires a more creative visualization, such as using pictures or drawings to visually represent or decorate the text on a page. The two roles often overlap and oftentimes a graphic designer will hire an illustrator to work on a specific portion of a design. In most professional settings, the graphic designer determines the call for illustration. The designer requires an image, and this work is assigned to an illustrator. An illustrator creates a picture, and a graphic designer decides how the picture will be used in the layout.
What can you design for me?
At One Tiny Elephant we offer a full range of design projects including: logos, wordmarks, icons, business cards, letterhead, presentations, brochures, fliers, posters, newsletters, advertising, postcards, mailers, web advertising, banners, social media banners & graphics, even designs for tshirts, glassware or other promotional goods.
What other services do you provide?
We have a trusted network of partners that allow us to work on websites, specialized illustration, take professional photos of your space or products and even help you create social media marketing plans. Just let us know what you’re thinking of and we can help you make it a reality!
Where are you located? Do we need to meet in person?
All our work together can be done via email and/or the phone, so location doesn’t matter at all. However, if you are local to central Connecticut, we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee and talk about your project!
Do you do printing?
We have printers we trust and have worked closely with that can take care of all of your printing needs. If you like, we can work directly with them or any printer of your choosing to ensure the project is fulfilled the best way possible. Alternatively, you can take the files and engage a local printer yourself. Either way, you will be supplied with copies of all the files and will be able to bring them to a printer of your choice in the future for reprints or changes.
How much do you charge?
All our projects begin with a consultation, free of charge. We’ll spend time with you on the phone or in person to find out about your business, your project, your needs and goals. Whether or not you decide to work with One Tiny Elephant, this meeting won’t cost you anything.
Our standard rate for creative work is $65 an hour, however for technical work (editing photos, small changes to existing designs) we often charge less. Tell us about your needs and we can find a way to make your project fit your budget. We can also put together a package that will include a set amount of work for a fixed price. If things change throughout the process and that price needs to change, we will ALWAYS discuss it with you first. We never surprise our clients with their invoices.
How should I pay you?
We love Paypal, as it allows us to accept any major credit cards. We will also accept personal or business checks, however this sometimes will slow down the process as we wait for the mail.
Can a small company like mine afford professional graphic designer?
As a small business owner, your time is money and we can work quickly and efficiently to meet your goals in a way that you may not be able to on your own. That said, we can work with you on the breadth of any project, sometimes offering a plan to spread your projects out over time, for example a logo and business cards first and then later we can help you with signage and promotional materials. Let’s talk it through and see what solutions we can come up with to fit your budget.
Do you design websites?
While we don’t currently have in-house web developers, we have trusted partners that work with us when our clients need web design services. One Tiny Elephant will manage the process and develop the look/feel of your site to ensure it fits with your branding and other marketing – while our web design partners will ensure your site is built with purpose, attention to detail and with up to date methods that will ensure your site stays relevant. Our web services include consulting and strategizing, web design and development, social media, hosting and domain name services.
Who owns my design or logo?
Once a final design is agreed upon and paid for, you are the sole owner of your design. One Tiny Elephant reserves only the right to proudly show it off in our portfolio and website.
How long will it take?
It depends on the scope of the project and what other projects we are currently engaged in. Contact us with your project and we can give you a more accurate time table.
I’m in a bind. Can I have it done yesterday?
Yes, sometimes. We will do what we can to accommodate those last minute “gotta get this done now” projects on a case-by-case basis. Give us a call and we’ll see what can be done.
What is the process like?
We always start with a free consultation. Depending on your project this might be a series of emails, a 15 minute phone call or a face to face meetup for coffee. This allows us to get a feel for your project, ask a bunch of important questions to help us make sure we’re ready to help you in the most effective and efficient way possible. It also allows you to ask us any questions you like, share with us your goals, your ideas or anything else you can think of.
Once we decide to work together on a project, the amount of your involvement is up to you. If we’re designing a logo for your business for instance, as much information as you can give us is helpful. Don’t worry about presenting anything or being prepared, we know the questions to ask. Frequently our clients tell us that the consultation and research part of the process even helps them work through their own marketing plans.
Then we will take the reigns and start researching your project. We’ll look into your competition, your industry, and anything that might help us to create a better design for you.
Our first round of deliverables will be three separate and varied designs, still in their earliest draft forms. We’ll engage you for feedback at this point. You may see one you love and we just need to refine it a bit. You may like portions of two and want us to take both a bit further in the process before you decide. Usually between our consultations and research we have a pretty good track record of hitting the mark in the first round, but if you are not satisfied with the direction of the designs we’re happy to go back to the drawing board.
Once you pick a design you love, we move into the refinement stage. This is where we make sure every inch, every color, everything is exactly how you’d like it. This often requires some back and forth via email or phone. Our hours are flexible and we can work around your schedule.
When we have it exactly right, we’ll invoice you and you’ll be supplied with the appropriate files, printed materials, website launching, etc. From that point on you own the designs. And of course we’re always happy to go back and make changes as your business changes, like updating brochures with new offerings or creating signs for your new space. Our clients love to come back to us again and again as their projects grow and expand.
Will you mock something up for me before I decide to hire you?
We believe that between our portfolio and the opportunity for a free consultation you will feel confident in our ability to meet and exceed your needs before you decide to hire One Tiny Elephant. However, we do not do what is called “spec work” where graphic design work is done free of charge in hopes of winning business. Avoiding this practice and certain sites that offer design projects as contests ensure that our designers are fairly compensated for their hard work and that you get our best, most focused design solutions.