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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You may have a few questions before beginning your graphic design project and the answers to some common questions can be found here. If you are still unsure about something or you would like additional information, feel free to contact us with your query and we’ll get back to you.
Why should I read your FAQ's?
Well, you've probably got a lot of questions, right?
We want to make the design process as easy to understand as possible and our hope is that these FAQ's will answer a lot of the questions that we get asked.
Who is XCV DESIGN?
XCV DESIGN is a freelance graphic design studio, located in Brisbane, Australia. XCV DESIGN offers graphic design and creative services to a broad range of businesses. Sean Wall, our principle designer, is a qualified graphic designer with many years of experience in the graphic design and creative services industry. Sean has had many years of customer service experience from working in the design industry, hospitality (hotels) and retail sectors and the airline industry - both in Australia and overseas. From time to time, we may also employ other experienced graphic designers to undertake our design projects and fulfil our client needs and workloads.
What do the 3 letters ‘XCV’ in your company name, XCV DESIGN stand for?
Yes, they actually do have a meaning! When we were deciding on a business name all those years ago, we wanted a name that was unique and at the same time, have a meaning. The X, C & V stands for the following computer keyboard shortcuts: X = CUT; C = COPY; V = PASTE. Although graphic design is so much more technical than just cutting, copying and pasting, we thought it was a clever way of incorporating computer functions into our business name.
What is a freelance designer?
A freelance graphic designer is a CEO, Account Executive, Art Director, Admin Coordinator, cleaner and public relations executive all rolled into one skilled package. We have to work more hours and make greater sacrifices than if we were employed at a design studio or company but we wouldn't have it any other way.
A freelance graphic designer is usually available on nights and weekends when most agencies and design studios have closed their doors. We’re usually the last one to get called for any particular design project and often spend a lot of time creating a relationship with a client who has been burned by a design studio or an under-qualified family member who worked on their last project.
A freelance graphic designer relies on word-of-mouth advertising which is a direct by-product of good service. A freelance graphic designer is committed, creative, caring and confident.
Why do you freelance?
Every freelance designer has made the decision to detach from the corporate environment to better serve their clients. We don’t do it for the stability, the money or the accolades because there isn’t a lot of each of these. Most of us do it because it brings us great pleasure to see our clients succeed, the freedom to work with whom we choose and on which projects.
How much does a graphic design project cost?
This is probably the question we get asked the most and unfortunately there is no single answer. It’s like that age-old question ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Pricing depends on many variables associated with the design project in question. Our graphic design projects will either be quoted on a fixed price basis or an hour rate. A fixed price is generally worked out by estimating how long it will take to complete a specific project/job (approximate number of hours etc). Depending on the type of design project and the Client, a fixed or hourly rate will be advised on the quote/invoice. Once a price has been quoted/invoiced and the design project is underway, any changes requested by a client which alters the original project brief will incur additional costs and this will be communicated to the client as an amended quote/invoice.
Our rates are competitive for the level of service we provide and our clients benefit by receiving a quality product at an affordable price. Our service is a highly skilled art that we have spent years developing. All projects are priced at a fair market value for the level of service we provide. A main point to note is that graphic design should be thought of as an investment and not an expense. When coupled with a quality product and service, a well designed brand identity, business card, brochure or advertisement will pay for itself again and again. Feel free to contact us as we would be more than happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a quote.
My nephew offered to design my logo and stationery … so why should I pay for one?
Because you usually get what you pay for. Properly interpreting the clients needs, marketplace and audience (demographic) is a skill you learn after years in the industry and from many client meetings. It’s definitely something you get better at. And while we're sure they have good intentions, how confident are you that the design you’re accepting is 100% original and not “borrowed” from another logo or clipart gallery?
The same goes for logo design contests. While extremely inexpensive and sometimes free, you run the very real risk of accepting a logo or design that has been designed by someone else and slightly modified to suit your needs. Not only is this bad design practice but it opens the client up to a host of lawsuits and liabilities.
Most designers, freelance or not, has seen it happen and it’s an unfortunate aspect of our industry. Remember, just because you can buy dental tools doesn’t mean you should give yourself a root canal. You probably shouldn’t let your nephew give you one either.
Do dentists go to other dentists or do they just do it themselves?
I’m not a dentist but if they do dental work on themselves, that's something I’d like to watch!
Do you have discounts, promo's, offers or specials?
From time to time (and at our absolute discretion), XCV DESIGN may display discount offers, promos and/or specials on our website. These offers contain specific conditions which relate to the offer in question. Some main points to note are as follows:
• Discount offers may target a specific graphic design project or task (ie Logo design, business card design etc)
• Discount offers may target specific groups, businesses/companies or organisations (ie Airline employees, ADF (Australian Defence Forces), Ironman 70.3 etc).
• Discount offers will state a discount amount (percentage or dollar value) and this will be applied to the total cost of the design/creative services project prior to any Australia GST being applied.
• A Quote Code (ie ADF10) will be displayed and this needs to advised to XCV DESIGN at the time of a quote request so that the amount (percentage or dollar value) can be applied to the quote.
• An expiry date of the discount offer is displayed. Offers will not be accepted once they have expired.
• Due to workloads and other factors, XCV DESIGN may not guarantee deadlines or completion schedules and should not be held liable for such instances. However, we will always do our best to meet our clients deadlines.
• In the case when multiple discount offers are available, discount offers cannot be combined or used with other offers.
• All sales terms and conditions apply to design projects conducted by XCV DESIGN.
Can we meet face-to-face to discuss a project?
XCV DESIGN is located in Brisbane, Australia. If you are nearby and would like to discuss your project face-to-face, a time can be arranged to do so (subject to work load commitments). Otherwise, we find that communication via email or phone works well. Email is always a preference.
I’m in a different country from you, is this a problem?
This is definitely not a problem. Though it’s nice to meet face-to-face, there is no reason why a design project cannot be completed via email and/or telephone (our preference is usually e-mail). From our design studio in Brisbane, Australia, we have worked with clients from other countries and this hasn't created any issues to date. We work with time zones, understand and appreciate cultural and language differences - our preferred language is English.
What is the client’s involvement in the design process?
Whatever involvement the client wants. We like to involve the client as much as possible, especially new clients. The conception of every project is arguably the most important aspect of delivering what the client wants so we usually ask a lot of questions to determine what they expect and want. Client input and participation can be a critical aspect of keeping a project on track and on budget.
However, once a good relationship has been established, we often have a good idea as to what the client wants before they do and we are able to work more independently, allowing the client to focus on other matters.
How does the design process work?
Every project begins with obtaining a better understanding of a clients objectives, brand management and timelines (the Brief). We may ask to see examples of work they like and examples of work they don't like so to get a better understanding of what direction the client is going in. One thing we have learned over the years is that the computer is just a tool used to get the job done. Most designs begin on paper, using a pen to develop sketches.
Once preliminary sketches and/or digital drafts have been produced, these are then presented to the client. A direction is chosen for the project and production of the design begins. Content is inserted, photography and illustrations are finalised and carefully placed. Finally, the first draft is presented to the client for review. Changes and alterations are discussed before moving on to the creation of final files.
What file formats will my initial project ideas and finished artwork be in?
From initial rough drafts and ideas, we will select those that we feel works best for your brief. You will be sent a PDF file containing computer-rendered examples of the preferred design concepts. Depending on the project at hand, this PDF file may be for logo files and include a colour, 100% black/greyscale version and a reversed image on a black background to display how your logo will look on a variety of reproductions. Initial rough drafts and sketches may be included.
All industry standard formats are followed when delivering final files. For brochures, flyers, posters, etc., final files are delivered as hi-resolution PDF files to the chosen printer for production. For the majority of graphic design projects, source, native or 'Raw' files from industry standard design applications by Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop), Affinity (Publisher, Designer, Photo) and other app providers, are retained and owned by XCV DESIGN (the graphic designer). For logos, the Client may receive a host of file formats for a number of possible applications from low-resolution website (web) versions (.jpeg, .png) to high-resolutuon (print) files (such as .pdf) and vector files (.ai - Adobe Illustrator, .eps - Encapsulated PostScript, .svg - Scalable Vector Graphic etc) of which can be scaled infinitely with no loss of quality.
Finished artwork files will typically be provided as high-resolution PDF documents. Other file formats may include (but are not limited to) image files such as JPEG (.jpg) or Portable Network Graphics (.png).
PDF is a standard document format. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it is available here (via this link to the Adobe Reader website) as a free download.
How long does the design process take?
Projects can vary from days to a few weeks or several months. The length of time depends entirely on the project requirements. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your needs and deadlines.
Who owns the rights to the final design?
Standard industry practice states that the designer retains ownership rights of all works completed. Clients are not authorised to resell, lease or sublease any of the original art or designs produced by XCV DESIGN. A design created by a freelance graphic designer is a work-for-hire created by an independent contractor. In such a case, the designer retains copyright ownership and has the following rights: (a) Make derivative works or modifications including using media to execute an idea, combining images or applying various effects. (b) Publicly distribute copies and/or display the work including for promotional use such as in a portfolio (whether printed and/or electronic/digital), advertising, a web site or social media site (ie xcvdesign.com.au, Facebook, Pinterest etc). (c) Control reproduction of the work which includes granting usage rights to clients.
There are certain situations where ownership is granted to the client - this occurs mainly with logo designs. It would not be practical for the designer to retain ownership of this design. Depending on the agreement set down between the graphic designer (XCV DESIGN) and the Client, the terms and conditions (agreement) may state that upon full payment, the Intellectual Property ownership rights of the logo design may transfer to the client (known as a Transfer of All Rights). This is a commonly accepted standard by which most graphic designers adhere.
Are there any terms and conditions (an agreement/contract) for the graphic design work I am entering into with XCV DESIGN?
XCV DESIGN makes available detailed and specific terms and conditions which relate to the professional working relationship between the Client and the Graphic Designer (XCV DESIGN). In a nut shell, these terms outline what XCV DESIGN expects from their Clients and also details what Clients can expect from XCV DESIGN. It is designed to help protect both the Clients best interests and those of XCV DESIGN.
Wording throughout our terms and conditons may be updated periodically and as a result, we recommend our clients ask for the latest version of this document before proceeding with our graphic design services. We also recommended our clients seek legal advice before accepting our terms and conditions and proceeding with our graphic design services.
To access the XCV DESIGN Terms and Conditons (Graphic Designer-Client Agreement) document, please click here to download a copy.
I need something designed yesterday!…can you help me?
We have learned a long time ago to never say “No” to a client as the answer is always, “Yes, but…” - Therefore, we can usually accommodate your "rush job" depending on the scope of the urgent project but there will be an additional charge to put other projects on hold.
Do you have examples that I can see?
Yes. Our portfolio pages have examples of the different projects that have been completed. If you have a specific design project in mind and you don't see it listed on our Design Services page, contact us for more information and ask for a quote.
I have a really small project…can you help me?
Absolutely. Just because your project may be small doesn’t mean it’s not important. Sometimes it’s the small projects that have the greatest impact. Custom Facebook logos are a great example. Some clients receive more feedback about their custom Facebook logos than they do about an entire company logo overhaul.
How and when do I pay for my design project.
a) FIXED RATE BASIS:
We require a 50% deposit prior to commencement of the design project, with the balance to be paid upon approval of the final artwork and prior to it's delivery.
b) HOURLY RATE BASIS:
Due to the nature of hourly rates of pay and the uncertainty of the final balance, an up-front charge will be advised, with payment due prior to commencement of the design project. Hourly rates are billed in 15 minute increments and the rate amount will be shown on the quote/tax invoice.
c) THIRD PARTY SERVICE PROVIDERS:
ie outsourced work such as printing, manufacturing, font purchases, photography etc):
Full payment is required before work commencement. Due to this, the Client agrees to pay XCV DESIGN 100% of the third party service item charges as shown on the quote/tax invoices. XCV DESIGN reserves the right to charge an administrative fee (ie mark up) to offset the time arranging and liaising with third party service providers on your behalf. At our discretion, this fee may be shown either separately or incorporated into the total quoted/invoiced price.
A copy of our XCV DESIGN Terms and Conditions (Graphic Designer-Client Agreement) document is provided to the Client prior to each design project. This document outlines our processes and legalities and forms part of our professional working relationship. The Client can elect to sign, date and return this agreement to XCV DESIGN. Please ask for a copy of this document or click here to download a copy.
We accept cash and direct bank deposit/bank transfer as our preferred payment methods. Payment by Paypal may be arranged with prior consultation and will attract additional processing fees and charges. We do not accept credit card payments.
Can you arrange printing for me or can I arrange the printing myself?
Either way is fine. If you do not have a preferred printer, we can manage this process for you. If you would prefer to manage the printing process yourself, we can simply provide finished, print-ready artwork files. After years in the industry, we have developed good relationships with a variety of printers and vendors. Sourcing the right printer for your job can be incorporated into the scope of the project. We can also work with any printer that you’ve developed a relationship with. Printing administration fees will apply.
How long does it take to receive my printed media once approved?
Depending on the type and size of the printing job depends on the time frame. Once the final design has been approved, banner and large format printing generally takes approximately five to seven working days while offset printing generally takes eight to fourteen working days. Smaller printing projects may take less time to complete. These are of course general figures, large projects, or those with complexities such as embossing or foil-stamping can take longer.
When can you start?
We may be able to start on your design project immediately, but this depends on our current workload. To ensure quality is maintained and deadlines are met, we are only able to accept a certain number of projects at any time.
Changes to these FAQ's
XCV DESIGN reserves the right to add, amend, change and/or withdraw any information or content within this website (including these FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions) at any time and without any prior notice or advice.
I have questions which are not answered here…
If you are unsure about anything at all or you have some questions, feel free to contact us. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
WHERE TO FROM HERE ...
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