• Frequently Asked Questions

Working with a Designer

Why hire a professional designer?

Because a graphic designer will save you time by doing your design right the first time. I learn about your business and provide an outside perspective that will most closely represent your customer’s experience. And while you probably have good ideas, you don’t likely have all the skills, time, or inclination necessary to complete those ideas. You also want to confirm that those ideas help you reach your business goals.

What should you consider before hiring a designer?

Even if you decide not to use me, here are some things to consider when hiring a professional designer:

  • Portfolio: Be sure to check out some of their past work (mine is here). Does their style match your vision?
  • Artistic Range: Does their past work prove that they are capable of variety within their style?
  • Flexibility:Are they willing to consider your ideas as valid, not just impose their own ideas without considering your expertise in your field? Can you bounce ideas off of them?
  • Collaborative-Minded: Will they work with other professionals you’ve hired?
  • Reliability: Will the work be done when they say it will be?
  • Personality: Do you like them? Can you work with them?
  • Education: Some self-trained designers are fantastic! Some aren’t).
  • Price: Can they fit into your budget?

What is the cost of choosing a professional designer?

This is the question on everyone’s mind, and it’s unfortunately a very difficult one to answer without knowing more about your needs. Please keep in mind that I can generally work to fit into most budgets.

Timeline, how much forethought you have put into the work, quality and completeness of writing and photography, and strategy and market research you already have completed all factor into making a proposal.

That being said, I offer a few different packages, myself, based on average factors. For complete pricing, feel free to get in touch.

Finally, if you have a design budget, please be prepared to disclose it to your designer. Most of us will not take advantage of you for your budget: we use this number to offer you the best we can offer within it. If you choose not to tell us what you’re prepared to spend in favour of us “giving you our best price”, you will likely be disappointed.

How long does it take to design your item?

Timeline for a project is based on several factors, including how much thought you’ve already put into the design, if you have content (writing, photos, etc.) ready, how final your preparations are, how many decision-makers need to approve the design, and what your deadline is.

To give you an idea, here are a few basic timelines (upon receipt of a signed contract and/or deposit):

  • A logo design will take approximately one month.
  • A brochure design can take between one week and a month.
  • A business card (if you have a logo) can be turned around in a week.

Tight deadlines can often be accommodated, but know that rush surcharges usually apply.

Working with a Jessalyn King

What makes me different?

I am:

  • skilled in traditional and digital art forms;
  • a trained communicator and writer with a background in marketing and an interest in photography;
  • appreciative of the need for balance between words and pictures; and
  • a collaborative minded person: I love working together with other creatives to unite your brand.

What is my design process?

I first meet with you to determine who you are as a business owner, what your business is about, where you want it to go, and how you’re planning to get there. This initial meeting will determine what kind of design you need and give me a good feel for the style that will best reflect your company and resonate with your clients. Within a few days, you will receive a proposal for your project outlining estimated scope, cost, and timeframe. Once you provide me with the All Clear, I start sketching and send you several concepts. After discussion, I either send you further concepts, or refine the first ideas. Once we’ve settled on a direction, the rest is refinement and a bit of back and forth until we’re both happy with the outcome. Then, to create a cohesive image, I either liaise with whoever will be taking the next steps (your chosen web designer, printer, etc.), or simply recommend my favourites.

What does it cost to work with me?

For corporate design and branding, I have several packages starting at $2675 + GST listed on my Business Services page. For all other pricing, let me know what you need and I’ll prepare a custom proposal for you.

  • A standard branding project takes about a month, includes a design brief, logo, business card, letterhead, and templates for you to use that letterhead (excluding printing) and would cost around $2700.
  • A more comprehensive project takes about 2-3 months and includes brand strategy (how to look and sound the same across all platforms), logo and business cards, and execution of some of the strategy, and would cost around $5900.

For writers, I have several packages starting at $995 + GST listed on my Publishing Services page.

How are my payments structured?

I generally charge a 25-50% deposit before I begin the design work. I charge the rest upon completion of the project. I am willing to discuss payment plans if you’d rather pay the final amount over period of time after completion.

Common Misconceptions

Design is too expensive! (also: Design isn’t my priority right now!)

Design is the first impression your clients receive. It’s something that represents the core of your business. If you feel that is something that doesn’t warrant consideration, and you’re happy with what you’ve got, then good on you. If you’re looking to impress your leads with professional and consistent visuals, then you may want to consider hiring a professional.

Compare your brand to your competitors and pretend you’re a first-time client: would you hire yourself? Without a good first impression, you have to work that much harder to grow the same client-base. Having a design to match the quality of your product is an investment.

Getting a logo done online is so much cheaper!

Cost is always a button for people, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to save money. And some companies end up with fantastic results from whichever online service they’ve used. That’s not always the case. Usually, you get what you pay for.

One detriment to branding with an online service is that they generally don’t take the business as a whole into consideration. They’re not going to ask the questions to figure out who your business is, what separates it from your competitors, and who your clients are (among other questions!). These questions are key to getting a design that attracts your key market instead of just a logo that looks good.

Another problem is the lack of communication. I’m available to chat if you have problems, questions, or concerns with drafts and concepts. Most logo services are harder to communicate with.

My brother’s sister-in-law can do it for free!

While free is good for your business’s pocketbook right now, do you have time to work with their schedule? Do you feel comfortable telling your family or friends that you’re not happy with their work? (It’s a double-whammy of “hard to reject” going on: family and free!)

Sometimes, if someone is doing your design as a favour, you have to work within their schedule. It might take longer, since you’re not their priority and they don’t necessarily have a reason to do their best work (besides facing you at the next family reunion, of course!). Getting a design right takes time, and iterations.

If you’re not able to tell your designer that you don’t like the ideas they’ve come up with, then you won’t get the best outcome. Design is really a 2-way process.

No one can understand my business like I can!

You’re not looking for someone to run your business, but to communicate it to your market. I can do that. Professional designers are trained to dig into your business to find out what you’re all about, and then look at you from your client’s perspective.

I spend quite a bit of time learning about your business before I ever set pen to paper (or mouse pointer to screen), and then I try to provide an outside perspective that will most closely represent your customer’s experience.

I am trained to listen to your desires and ask the right questions to determine your NEEDS. Even though you know your business inside out (and I probably never will), your customers don’t. Sometimes an outside perspective will help you see the business from your customers’ perspective, enhancing the customer experience.

I’m creative. I can do it myself!

While it’s my firm belief that everyone is creative, there are several reasons why hiring someone else could be better.

  1. It’s good to have an outside perspective, a second opinion, or a consumer’s viewpoint.
  2. You are busy doing what you’re best at: running and growing your business. Proper design requires many iterations and a fair amount of thought time.
  3. Creativity is one aspect of what goes into design, but do you also have the technical skills and know-how to implement and disseminate your idea? Can you take your sketch and make it into a logo? Can you explain why you want to use certain colours? How to prepare the files for your printers or web designers? The benefits of vector over raster (or vice-versa)? RGB vs CMYK?

If you have the know-how, skills, time, and second opinions, then by all means, what are you doing here? Go design! If not, give me a call.