PRICING, POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Q. How much does it cost for you to design a brochure?
A. With all the variables associated with the many projects I work on, it would be impossible to come up with a standard price list. Design is not a finite science, where you can accurately predict the number of hours it will take to complete a project – especially when you put your heart and soul into making something spectacular for the client.
Q. So how do you come up with a price?
A. I like best to work together with the client to develop a budget. It is very helpful if we can find an existing item that is similar to what they want, so we can use that as a basis for developing an estimate.
Then I factor in a number of things:
1) the scope of the project (e.g. number of pages, how many designs to present)
2) what is the project generally worth in the marketplace?
3) how much can the client afford? (e.g. a one-person shop vs. a nationwide company)
4) how many hours do I estimate it will take to complete the project (multiplied by my hourly rate, determined by the three factors above)
5) past experience of what I charged for similar jobs
Based on these factors, I come up with a proposal.
Q. Is the proposal price negotiable?
A. Usually, to an extent. I try to work within client's budgets, as long as we can come up with fair compensation.
Q. Do you price projects by the hour?
A. Generally, it is preferable for the client and me to know beforehand how much a project will cost. I don't like surprising people in the end. Also, when it comes to design, sometimes basing my fee on an hourly rate can be unfair. For instance, what if I come up with a great idea for a logo in 10 minutes? Do I just charge for 10 minutes of my time? Or, on the other hand, isn't the reason I could come up with a great design in 10 minutes based on the thousands of hours I spent in being educated and trained in graphic design?
However, for some jobs it is necessary to work on for an hourly fee. These include long-term or extensive projects where the scope in indeterminable. These include such things as certain Annual Reports (where the client has no idea how many pages it will be), Ad Booklets (where the client has no idea how many Ads they will get, or how many pages it will be), certain websites, etc. At times, I can also come up with a per-page rate.
Q. Do you always bill the amount you estimate?
A. Generally, yes, unless there is additional work or revisions, unforeseen or underestimated expenses, or the scope of the job changes. If jobs are open-ended or priced by the hour, I try to give the client updates of my billable time, or send progress invoices.
Q. What about charges for revisions or changes?
A. That is where hourly charges come in. While I almost always factor in a certain amount of time (or rounds) of revisions in my project price, any time or rounds over that become billable by the hour. That is because, as I said above, these can be indeterminable. On my estimates, I usually state the amount of time for revisions or changes that is included, as well as the billable hourly fee for additional work – whether it be revisions, changes or work beyond the scope of the originally estimated job. I also try to let the client know when they have reached the threshold of included revisions. Also, I do not charge for correcting my own mistakes (see Proofreading Policy below).
Estimating prices for projects is one of the most difficult tasks of being a graphic designer. Once in a while I end up pricing a job way too low; other times a project goes so quickly and smoothly that I make much more than my usual hourly rate; but most often, I'm a little under or over, and it all evens out in the end. On certain projects I happily spend more time and energy, because I think it may end up being a beautiful portfolio piece. For me, the most important thing is that the pricing is fair and is based on a sense of mutual respect between myself and the client.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Since there may be many areas of working with an creative firm that be not be 'black or white," I have adopted many policies that are standard in the industry and also in accordance with the Code of Ethics established by the Graphic Artists Guild. When you work with me, it is necessary that such policies be enforced. Effective February 1, 2015, all estimates/proposals will direct clients to this web page to inform them of my policies. Failing to read this page is not an acceptable excuse for not abiding to these policies.
Proofreading Policy If I make a mistake (spelling, grammatical, etc.) I will correct it at no charge. I may also make minor revisions at no charge. However, it is the client’s responsibility to find all errors or request revisions before I send a file to the printer. If a mistake is found, or a minor revision is requested after the job has been sent to the printer, I may still make that change or revision at no charge, but the printer may charge for a new file to be produced and this charge would be the client’s responsibility. In the rare instance where a mistake is found or revision is requested after the job is produced, the client will be fully responsible for the cost of the original printing and the cost of
reprinting, even if it was my mistake.
As always, I do everything I can to make the job perfect, but it is the client’s responsibility to catch my errors, so I can correct them before expenses have been incurred. Thank you for your understanding.
Modifications or Changes In this industry, changes made by the client are referred to as Author's Alterations (aka AA's). These include when the client modifies their original copy, project direction or scope, photograph/artwork or other element of the original assignment. The client shall be responsible for making additional payments for changes requested that do not conform to the original assignment. As the designer, I shall be offered the first opportunity to make any modifications or changes.
Expenses Clients shall reimburse me for all expenses arising from this assignment, including payment of, but not limited to: illustration, graphics, photography, fonts, digital proofs, postage, travel, sales tax (when applicable), shipping, hiring of contract writers/designers, software, web hosting, programmers, and printing fees. Items generated in-house, such as color/black & white output and DVDs/CDs, or royalty-free images from my collection, may be billed at a flat rate fee per item. When requested, client shall advance me payment for expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses will be subject to an industry-standard markup to cover time and costs involved. Any expenses expected to be above $100.00 will be discussed with the client. Mileage may be billed at the current IRS mileage rate.
Delays Any delay in the completion of a project due to external forces beyond my control (such as unusual transportation delays, unforeseen problems at a vendor site, computer/Internet related issues, holidays, bad road conditions, etc.), or actions and negligence of the client (ex: content delivery delays, delays in feedback and/or approval, etc.), shall entitle Randi Wolf Design. to extend the completion/delivery date, upon notifying the client, by the time equivalent of such a delay.
There is an expectation that the client will deliver necessary content, copy, artwork, photography, feedback and change requests in a timely manner. If a project is delayed beyond 30 days after receipt of design layouts, photography or other work, Randi Wolf Design shall be entitled to collect the entire invoice amount or remaining balance due, and promises to complete the work when final materials and approvals are received.
Cancellations In the rare event of cancellation of a project, a fee for work completed shall be paid by the client. The cancellation fee schedule is as follows: 50% of total project fee for preliminary work, concepts, or comps, 75% of total project fee after preliminary work but before near-completion, 100% of total project fee for nearly completed work regardless of final approval. All expenses araising from the assignment must be paid in full as well. Unless the full amount of the invoice is paid, the ownership of all copyrights and original artwork, including designs & source code, and any other mockups, shall be retained by Randi Wolf Design. Any unauthorized usage by the client of any of the project elements will result in appropriate legal action.
Ownership of Artwork Under U.S. copyright law, as the creator of original art and design work, Randi Wolf Design will retain ownership of all original artwork, whether preliminary or final. All artwork created by Randi Wolf Design may be used for her company's self-promotion purposes. Randi Wolf Design will transfer usage rights of the final product or implementation to the client, as specified on the original estimate, proposal or invoice upon receipt of full payment. Because the nature of my business is creating custom work, such as logos, the transfers of rights will entitle the client to unlimited usage and reproduction rights, unless otherwise specified in the agreement.
Copyright Responsibility It is the sole responsibility of the client to ensure that any intellectual property (artwork, photography, programming code, etc.) client provides is owned by them in accordance with copyright laws. Randi Wolf Design. cannot be held responsible for any copyright violations, legal actions or resulting fees due to items provided by the client.
Likewise, client is responsible for completing such things as fictitious name searches prior to assigning logo designs.
Releases Client will indemnify Randi Wolf Design against all claims and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, due to uses for which no release was requested in writing or for uses which exceed authority granted by a release.
Limitations of Liability Randi Wolf Design cannot be held liable for any consequential or special damages, such as profit losses or damages financial or physical due to design, printing or programming delays or issues.
Credit Lines Credit lines must accompany any editorial usage of artwork by Randi Wolf Design, such as photography. For other types of usage, credit lines may be requested and granted at the client's discretion.
Verbal Authorization Although I try to put most things in writing, occasionally certain fees or expenses are verbally authorized. Invoices will include (and the client shall be obligated to pay) fees or expenses that were verbally authorized.
Time for Payment All invoices are payable upon receipt unless otherwise indicated. A $25 monthly service charge in addition to 1.5 % monthly interest is payable on all overdue balances. The grant of any usage, license or right of copyright is conditioned on receipt of full payment. Under no circumstances will design files be released to either the client or a third party until all invoices and related fees are paid in full. Similarly, under no circumstances will a website be launched or set "live" until the entire balance of the website design and development fees are paid in full.
For any custom printed materials, orders will not be placed until payment in full is received from the client in advance.
Refunds Every effort will be made to create design work that will please the client. However, because the nature of graphic design work is creating "custom" products, no refunds will be given for any design fees, photography or any artwork, in the event the client is dissatisfied.
if a client approves an expense, such as the purchase of artwork (such as stock photography) and after the purchase changes his/her mind, they will still be responsible for payment of these expenses, in addition to replacement expenses.