• How do you like to work?

    Well I personally like to work directly with you, the client. I also like to make you, the client, feel that you are always the center of my attention. I try to make turn-around times short so you feel that you are always the top of my list for priority. Due to the fact that I have other clients, you will notice an update on my terms that I need at least a 2-week lead-time for deadlines. Depending on the project it could be more or less. That amount is discussed in the client contract that will be customized to your project.. Rush fees (+50%) will be incurred on any project that is needed within two weeks and an additional +50% if it involves working over my holiday schedule (always posted on my home page). I work in a queue so I do projects in the order they are received (contract must be signed along with deposit). I can of course work on your project within that time without rush fees being incurred, but the rush guarantees that it will be done before a shorter than two week deadline and will push your project ahead of others.

    Please note: You can view my current work schedule through the menu link. I respond to emails within 12 hours of receiving them (usually sooner). If you have something that needs to be done urgently, please call me. Rush fees apply for emergencies that arise out of my control.

  • Can I get a discount?

    While repeat clients are wonderful, you won’t get a discount for being one (I can’t give out a continuous coupon). I do accept retainers for web maintenance (see the Client Area page). I also do apply a 10% discount for a credit on your design (Design by Aibrean’s Studio) if requested. If you are a non-profit, you will receive a 50% discount on design (not to be conjoined with the credit line. You must be able to prove you are a non-profit and a credit line will be placed permanently to receive the discount.).

  • How much will it cost?

    Design is not a skill that can be nailed down in a set price. Each project is different and each client is different. I need to know as much about your project and you as possible to get a quote. Even with the quote, there might be issues that were unforeseen (like additional pages to a website, or more concepts on a logo) that affect the overall end cost. It is very similar to house-flipping. While I can give you a ballpark, you never know when you might find some termite damage (like if your logo isn’t press ready and I need to re-create it for a print piece). My main questions that I ask you for the project checklist is for your budget, deadline, audience, and previous materials for reference. You can get an idea of cost with my project cost estimator. My estimates after getting feedback from you are usually within $200 of the actual cost and you will be made aware if we are approaching the estimated quote.

  • What if I want to see what I’m getting before I want to get in a contract?

    I don’t do spec work, and here is why:

    Just like any vendor, I expect to be paid for my work. I do not work on-spec (design “before you buy”) however I am more than willing to work under a non-disclosure agreement. Basically, it means I get paid for giving you a concept but you don’t have to work with me further if you don’t want to and you don’t have an inconvenience charge if you back out. You aren’t allowed to show anyone else the concepts during that time and I only receive payment for the concept which remains my property. This helps with the time spent coming up with the idea and carrying it out which might include costs like fonts or stock photos. If you would like to see an example non-disclosure form, click here. If you like what you see, then the artwork gets refitted under a contract and the prices may change depending on the rate (non-disclosure rate is specified in your personal form and is typically higher than my normal rate for obvious reasons).

  • Who are your clients?

    I have worked as an independent consultant in many design firms in addition to my personal business of Aibrean’s Studio. I have worked with NCR, Ferrari, Standard Register, MeadWestvaco, NewPage, LexisNexis, AAA, CareSource, TaleMed, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, Brunswick, Cassano’s, Kings of Chaos, Pies and Pints, Vision Marketing Group, PLIE, as well as many other diverse clients ranging from musicians and tax professionals to non-profit groups and software companies. That range enables me to work within a variety of design styles with the knowledge of the type of audience base you have.

  • How knowledgeable are you about your clients?

    Not only do I talk to them, but I also take advantage of the internet and research my clients and their competition/relevant market. I make a point to understand their brand and their products/services. It’s not just about making you look good, it’s about making you look better!

  • How are you viewed by your clients? By your peers?

    Client referrals (a previous client recommends me to another person who becomes a new client) are about 90% of my business. I get the other 10% from the internet and the local AAF membership list. Being a member of AAF-Dayton, I am involved in applicable professional development meetings as well as volunteer service for the Association in local advertising events when I can. I also have won six bronze ADDY awards (AAF-Dayton) since 2007, which a lot to be said of an individual in the business working against other multi-staffed firms that can have very extensive job budgets. I am affordable AND award-winning. I also have been nominated for an Emmy for interactive work while at ThinkTV/CET.

  • What is your design process?

    First off, upon initial contact, I have the client fill out a design checklist (these can be found at the right sidebar of my contact page). This gives me an in-depth look at the audience, deadline, subject matter, overall idea, and budget. It’s not worth the client’s time or mine if the project doesn’t have a budget I can work with, but it is if I can quote significantly less knowing more about the project before-hand. After the design checklist is completed, I give the client an estimate and a contract they can sign if everything is in order. From there I start researching and concepting. I send the client an initial rough concept to see if I’m in the right direction. If I am way off, I revise and send a new concept (perhaps altogether from scratch), and if I’m on target I work forward.

  • What kind of design experience do you have?

    I have been active in the field since 2003. I have worked in 3 design firms as a consultant as well as my own design business. I am currently active as an Art Director at a local non-profit where I recently was nominated for an Emmy. I also have a degree in Applied Business in Advertising Art from The School of Advertising Art.

  • What kind of results have you achieved?

    I have always delivered 100% satisfaction. In terms of actual noted success, I have six Bronze ADDY awards from AAF-Dayton. One of my email campaigns had such a good response the company told me they had more contacts in two days than they had in two years. On one of my website designs, the client received business without even a credit check. My work has also been published in design books.

  • Who will work on my project?

    I do. If there is something I am not able to do (such as advanced programming …I’m a designer not a coder) I will let you know and give you a quote on the service from programmers I have worked with in the past. I also enable you to personally talk with them if needed. They are local as well so if you are a local client, we can meet together to discuss options.

  • What do you need from me?

    Typically I would need logos, photography, existing collateral, color preferences and company fonts (multi-seat so I am able to use it). Obviously if you have none of that, we start from scratch in the branding process. Consistency plays a big role in your audience’s perception of your company. You want to be immediately recognizable by the similarities in design elements. Of course, there are those times when being different is appropriate. The best way for me to start is for you to fill out a creative brief (the link can also be found on the contact page).

  • Will I have to sign something?

    I provide you with a contract and project estimate. The project contract details all the terms and conditions. They can be found here for those who would like to take a look before-hand.

  • What do you mean by “front-end”?

    I am a designer and front-end developer, not a programmer. I can build beautiful WordPress sites, but I couldn’t create a plugin if you asked me to. That said, just because it’s something I don’t do, doesn’t mean I can’t be involved in the process. I work for a web development company full-time so I can put the scripting in the hands of trained professionals.

  • How do I pay you?

    You may pay by check/money order as well as credit card payment by way of Google Checkout, Square, Stripe or through Paypal (all accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). I use Hiveage for invoicing so you will have a web-based invoice that I will update when you pay and you will receive an acknowledgment. If you pay online, you will get your project files faster (and in project initiation, along with the contract, the project will be started faster). Square, which I previously listed, is available for in-person payments so I can process your payment when I’m with you.

  • Do you offer content management?

    I have a few services I use. I recommend a backend system driven by a database. You can have administrators, editors, and designers. The system allows page generation, custom meta, and title tags for each page, customized templates, plus many additional modules. I can set-up Joomla, Concrete 5, CMSMS, or WordPress (this site is run on WordPress and I have extensive experience from scratch builds from website design to finish). You will need PHP and a MySQL database to install the system. Please use the service offerings page when budgeting.

  • I found a really cool image while browsing the internet, can you use it in your design?

    If you don’t own the image/have rights to use it, then no I won’t. I am very adamant about not using other people’s copyrighted work in my designs without their permission (and I’ve lost a full-time job over it in the past – I’m very serious on this topic). That’s like going into a store and pocketing something…just because no one might see it doesn’t mean it’s right, and just because you did it, doesn’t make it all right for me to use it (it’s almost like me having possession of stolen property). I do include a clause in all of my contracts that I am assuming you own all intellectual property but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasional double-check to make sure. I do my best to give you the best bang for your buck by using microstock sites (iStock, Dreamstime, sxc, etc.) but I am not going to pull from an internet search. If I were to find something I would contact the author directly.

  • How fast can you get this done?

    I require a lead time of two weeks on all projects minimum. If you require a turn-around in less time, then I have a rush fee that I apply which is 50% added to the total cost. This guarantees your time and puts your work in front in terms of priority over other scheduled projects. In some cases, two weeks or less than two weeks with rush is not enough time (due to availability or project scale). That will be discussed during the initial conversation of your project if need be. Remember, even with a rush project you need to be aware that quality takes time.

  • What will I get?

    All designs are delivered in flattened formats for reuse only with some exceptions. Logo designs are delivered in a native EPS vector file, transparent PNG, 300 DPI TIFF, and web-quality JPG along with a black and white, greyscale, CMYK, and Pantone version in all formats. Email campaign design will have PSD layered files delivered (a higher rate than regular web design due to the release of layered PSD) along with a JPG proof. Large format printing is typically done in Illustrator and you will receive the native EPS or AI format along with flattened graphic files if needed. Websites will have all HTML, FLA, and CSS files uploaded along with support layered PSD files (for updating text on certain things like headers or ads). Print design is delivered in a PDF or flattened art file. Layered or source files are given direct to printers only. I supply the transfer of files for printing/web updates free. If you would like a CD of all project files, contracts, invoices, etc, or all that information FTPed there is an added cost that is defined in my rates as I allocate for the time it takes to put things together and shipping. If anything extra needs to be added for delivery, please define it upon initial consultation for inclusion in the contract. I am very flexible.

  • I noticed a typo on my final file. Who is responsible?

    If you provide me with copy and the typo is in your native file, you are responsible. Likewise, if I were to provide you with copy and you signed off on it (you proofed it and said it was fine) you are responsible. Remember, I am looking at the same thing again and again and I will be the one most likely to miss it. When proofing, I suggest you have three people to look at it. The person who provided the copy, and two people who have never seen it before (fresh eyes always help).

  • What is resolution and DPI?

    Video/Monitor resolution is very different from print resolution. Monitor resolution is based on the amount of pixels on a screen measured horizontally and vertically (such as 1900×1200). Print is measured in DPI (dots-per-inch). Ideally, 300 DPI minimum photos are needed for print, and 72-92 DPI for web and video because the monitor can’t display anything higher (since it doesn’t work in dots). In television, you still have a pixel resolution, even with high definition. The difference is the amount of pixels that can display. HD displays a higher pixel resolution. When you see a blurry image after resizing, it’s because the computer does not know what to do with that extra data. That is why making sure you are using the right resolution for print is so important.

  • I have some files that I need converted into software that I don’t have. Can you do that for me?

    I can do logo retouching/recreation (such as Photoshop to Illustrator vector) under my Logo Recreation rate ($105/hr). I am more than happy to convert files. If you have something created that you need converted into a PDF or make it print-ready for an ad I will be more than willing to help. I have a rate tier for this (Pre-Press). If you have art that is in color and you need it converted to black and white or you need something resized, I am able to do this as well within the pre-press tier ($65/hr).

  • I have some photos that need some retouching and manipulation, can you do that?

    I can do photo retouching (I quote based on the level of difficulty rather than by hour). I have done everything from removing acne, fixing color, to removing wires from images. I would be happy to show you some of my retouching samples. I do not do photo collages (a picture that utilized many images but is one scene).

  • I have a designer working on a project already but I want someone with a more professional creative eye to direct the project. Are you available for consultation?

    I would be more than willing to help and I bring a lot to the table with my various backgrounds in everything from music and industrial to non-profit and corporate. Please contact me to discuss.

  • Can you show me how to do…? Do you provide training?

    I am able to create tutorials (much like that on my blog) to enable you do edit files that I have made for you (especially in CMS for web design). For an added fee, I can do live training with you via a shared desktop (Skype).

  • Will I own the copyright?

    By default, I do logo design and identity kits (letterhead, business card, envelope) with a copyright rate so you will always own the copyright to your own logo and stationery. To save you cost, I keep the copyright to all work I have created on other types of design (excluding designs using your content as a base – “derivative” or items from a third party such as stock art). I DO provide a copyright transfer at +100% of total design cost (if your project costs $300 and $200 of that was the original design I did, then the copyright is $200 with a total project cost of $700). You will receive a written transfer of copyright after payment is complete.

  • Can I partner with you?

    I am very particular who I trust to work with me. I am very adamant about keeping my partners local and at least within my country to support our economy. Under no circumstances will I outsource graphic design work (I have received more than one email about people wanting me to outsource offshore and I will NOT have it). I pride myself in doing designs for my clients myself. If I can’t, the client will know and they will know who they are working with and in most cases – work directly with that provider. For 3D modeling, I work with my brother, Derek Smith. For programming, I work with my work (based in Miamisburg), Edge Webware. I’ve done collaborations and I’m open to partnering. I will not bend on my terms of service so you will have to work around it.

  • Who do you use for hosting or stock photos?

    I have a list of all of my resources available for viewing here. You can also see the company I use for billing and time tracking as well.