Creative Process

Once we discuss your project vision, we can offer some design ideas & options to fit your budget.  From there, we put together a detailed estimate outlining what’s included – usually with price ranges for different projects.  (Occasionally we can adjust the details to work within your budget range by giving less design options… it just depends on the complexity of the project).  Once approved, we like to meet in person for our initial consultation meeting, but in some cases where time or location is an issue, we can definitely make things happen via email & phone.

Once you review the estimate & decide which options you’d like to move forward with, we request your signed approval, along with a 50% deposit.  (Then you may have a little bit of homework to do: gathering all the content we need to begin – text content, photos, graphics etc.)

After we receive your design content (all the pieces of the puzzle) we put our thinking caps on and put together some ideas & options. Typically, (depending on our current work load) it takes 3-5 business days for us to issue a first proof. (We will let you know if we anticipate a longer delivery time.) Unless previously arranged, we send the proofs in PDF format by email.  Please notify us if you need a phone call to alert you of incoming email.

Most projects include up to 3 proofs unless otherwise specified on your estimate.  (technically up to 3 design proofs + your FINAL PROOF APPROVAL.)  Depending on your budget, the first proof will have several design options to choose from, then we move forward with your choices / revisions.

Please send us your revisions by email, clearly listed in point form for maximum efficiency (although some revisions are easier to review in person or by phone).  We accept small groupings of revisions PER PROOF so please group them together – as once we make changes you send, that’s one of your proofs.  ** Grouping changes saves a LOT of time & money, as several emails with little changes ends up creating many more proofs, it takes longer to find & organize them which can be tricky to keep track of and WILL MOST LIKELY go over the allotted time / budget – (and no one likes surprise invoices)

• Additional revisions & project scope changes are billed hourly

• Scope of project – Some projects, such as websites, evolve during the design and production stages. Once a proof is presented, ideas begin to flow and often additions or a new direction is desired by the client. If these are beyond the original scope of the project, we will need to discuss the additional design time, and may need to provide a new design estimate for all additional expenses.

We’ll issue a final proof explaining the printing details, web functions, and other pertinent info. It’s your responsibility to carefully proof your project. The Graphic Garden is not responsible for errors missed or not brought to our attention on the final proof.

Once we’ve received approval of the final proof by email we prepare the files for production (printing or programming).

* please note – After your file is approved and goes into production, there will be an additional cost to halt the presses or stop the programming for changes once the process has begun.

Balance of design and 50% deposit on printing / production due before proceeding.

The actual printing process can take anywhere from 2 days to weeks, depending on vendor scheduling / type of project.  Always best to allow extra time for production when planning projects.

• trusted vendors – We work with a handful of approved vendors with whom we have trusted relationships. This allows us to promise and deliver a high level of quality. If you wish to use your own printer, we can release the file; however, often times there is further assistance required from us during production which will be billed hourly. Also, we cannot guarantee the quality of a final product which hasn’t been produced by our approved vendors.

• press checks – We may choose to personally inspect your offset print project as it is run on press. This is an additional option for peace of mind that is highly recommended for larger projects. We ensure the colours and special operations are correct; a minimum of one hour of our time could save hundreds or thousands of dollars if the final printed colour isn’t what you expected – without a press check, we can’t guarantee the outcome.

Before your web project begins, let us help you consider all future needs and goals for your website, so we can plan the site for expansion in those areas. It will save you money! Let us know if you’d like to include a strategy meeting.
WEB expansion – After a website has been quoted on and work begins, additional requests are often made, changing the scope of the project. We’ll be happy to find solutions to your needs, and a revised proposal may be required as the scope increases. This includes adding pages, special functions, or site expansion.

WEB domain & hosting – We strongly suggest that you use one of our approved hosting providers, even if it means repurchasing new hosting. Using hosting from non-approved providers can lead to untold problems, including undermining or disrupting the entire programming of the site! We can refer you to a trusted vendor that suits the job profile; once set up, domain names and hosting are billed directly to you from the chosen vendors.

FULL PAYMENT IS DUE UPON COMPLETION OF EACH JOB. All projects are C.O.D.  For release of files or pick-up of materials full payment is due prior to release.  Projects on hold / on-going projects are billed monthly.