FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What are your professional business practices?

What are your rates?


How do you determine how much you'll charge?


Do you do work "on spec," or speculation work?
We want to see what you can do before we hire you.

I'm an ad agency. How do I know you won't try to take my clients if I give you a project?

What is your payment policy?


What is your approval/sign-off policy?


What is your policy regarding using other images, text, etc. that don't belong to me?

If I'm paying for your work, do I get the copyright to it?

Are there any rights you'll reserve for yourself?

 

What are your professional business practices?

After over 14 years of doing business in graphic and web design, we have discovered (sometimes the hard way) the wisdom of following standard business practices. We believe in our clients being able to make an informed decision, so we try to spell everything out up front so there are no misunderstandings.

 

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What are your rates?

The initial consultation and any research or preparation work we do for the first meeting is billed at a rate of $75.00. Our hourly rates are $65.00, charged in 15-minute increments, with a 15-minute minimum. This includes design, production, meetings, domain/name/hosting/dedicated SSL set-up, programming, coding, revisions, printer set-up, correspondence, and telephone calls. We do not charge clients for correcting errors we've made ourselves. No one is perfect, and mistakes are sometimes made, but we do proofread text and may suggest text changes to the client for their prior approval. However, in the case of print work, we will charge the full fee if the work has been signed off.

 

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How do you determine how much you'll charge?

We take many things into consideration - the size of the company, what the design is to be used for, time-frame for the project, how many hours we would average on a project like the client's, and other factors. A simple logo for a small business is going to cost less than a logo for a larger business that is going to put the logo on their letterhead, business cards, t-shirts, baseball caps, packaging, trucks, billboards, etc.

 

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Do you do work "on spec"? We want to see what you can do before we hire you.

We do NOT do work on speculation ("on spec"). Doing spec work is considered an unfair business practice for a variety of reasons, and both parties lose out when this principle is violated. A few reasons are that the artist may put in several hours' worth of work and possibly not get paid for it, and the client will usually not receive the best design for their project because no time or money for adequate research has been allowed. Also, paying work will always take priority over spec work.Our portfolio is included on this site to give you an idea of what we can do, and we will have hard copies for you to review at the initial consultation, depending on your needs. We will also be happy to give you a list of references.

 

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I'm an ad agency. How do I know you won't try to take my clients if I give you a project?

Aside from being unethical, we just don't do business that way. We seek long-term relationships with our clients, not a one-night stand. Stealing clients is not conducive to that. We will not knowingly approach an agency client's clientele. We are happy to include or sign a short-term (1 year from the last date of payment) non-compete clause in our contracts. Even if your client should contact us privately within that timeframe, we will abide by a non-compete clause in a contract we've agreed to prior to beginning work.

 

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What is your payment policy?

Based on our experience, we will estimate the total cost of a project. We require a non refundable deposit of 50% of the estimate and a signed letter of agreement before work will begin. The client will be charged on an hourly basis (see above) and for applicable costs, and billed bi-weekly until the project is completed and final payment has been received. The client will get a breakdown of hours spent on their project. The initial deposit will be applied to the first charges.

 

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What is your approval/sign-off policy?

Before any project goes to print or is launched on the web, the client is required to sign off (approve) bluelines, press proofs, printouts of web site pages, etc. The client's signature indicates that he/she has read the final copy carefully for errors and omissions, and acknowledges that the design and/or copy is ready to print/publish as is . Despite many opportunities for both parties to review and correct the material, mistakes sometimes slip through. We advise the client to not only review bluelines, press proofs, printouts of web site pages, etc., but to appoint another person within their organization to review those items, too, before approval. This is for our mutual protection. In the case of web sites, since corrections are usually easily made, we will not charge the client to correct mistakes we have made. Corrections the client has made will be charged at our regularly hourly rate.

 

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What is your policy regarding using other images, text, etc. that don't belong to me?

We abide by United States Copyright Law in all matters, and will not knowingly use graphics, photos, or text that do not belong to the client or designer. This is nonnegotiable, and we may ask for proof of ownership of materials. Current copyright law states that design (graphic or web design) is copyrighted from the moment it is created. A request for copyright does not have to be filed with the Copyright Office in order for the copyright to be effective. "Fair use"--the ability to use someone else's work without their permission, has fairly strict guidelines. If you believe your work might fall under the "fair use" provision of copyright law, please discuss it with us first.

 

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If I'm paying for your work, do I get the copyright to it?

The project fee will include any fees for rights released to the client, and rights released will be stated in the contract. Use of the design(s) beyond the agreed-upon rights will incur an extra fee. In all cases, and especially in cases where we don't wish to retain any rights, the agreed-upon rights are automatically released to the client upon final payment of the project fee.

In the case of web work, does that mean your site can't be up on the web until final payment is made? Absolutely not. Your site will be up ("live"). This section of our contract, however, gives us legal recourse and allows us to pull the site off the web if payment is not made within 30 days of completion and successful launch of your site. In the case of print work, this section of the agreement gives us legal recourse if the client uses our materials without making final payment or without adequate rights. In the case of code, we retain the right to reuse any code we create as we see fit. The code only creates and enhances the structure, look, and functionality of your site. The content and graphics and the overall design of your site are what belong to you.

 

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Are there any rights you'll reserve for yourself?

We reserve the right to show any and all work we do in our portfolio, either digitally or in print. We also reserve the right to enter a client's work in any design competitions, unless doing so would create a conflict of interest for our client. If we do choose to enter a client's work in a design competition(s), we will contact the client beforehand, and also contact them if their project should win any awards. Appropriate credit will be given to the client/client's company.

 

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All other issues will be addressed in our letter of agreement, and follow the Graphic Artists Guild guidelines as contained in the handbook mentioned above. The handbook is available at most large book stores or Amazon.com.The information above may be changed or amended at any time, without notice.

 

 


E-mail: david@studioxagency.com