How I Work
Curious about my process or policies? Get all the answers here!
We can do a video or Zoom call anytime. You can schedule a meeting with me HERE.
If you are wanting me to come to your office or meet you for coffee, this can be done as well. Please note that off-site meetings for new clients are a billable time for both meetings and drive time. This is billed before our first meeting occurs.
This varies by project, but generally speaking approximately 10-14 days. If you need your project done sooner, a $75 rush fee will guarantee your project to be completed in 5 business days or sooner.
- ACH. This is the preferred method if you can. This is available on the invoice I will send you.
- Paypal. Please use the “Friends and Family” option through Paypal.
- A paper check through the mail (Mailing address is on the invoice)
- Credit card This is available on the invoices I will send you using Stripe.
- Zelle (937-470-3860) or Venmo (Jen-Chapman-1)
All projects are paid in full before work will begin. This is true for all new clients.
Regular, recurring clients are billed after the project is complete, with Net 15 terms. Working files and print files are not released unless all invoices are paid in full.
Clients that send a steady stream of work weekly will be billed on the last day of the month with net 15 terms.
Both. Many projects have a flat rate price which can be seen on my Pricing Page. If there is not a flat rate already established for your project, I will quote you how many hours it will take me based on my hourly rate of $70/hr.
I include 2 rounds of changes for every project. Each change beyond that is billed in 15 minute increments.
What is a “round” you ask? A round of changes is all of the changes you want me to do on the next iteration of your design. It could be as simple as showing you different colors or fonts. It could be adding or changing content.
What I consider a “round” is me opening a file, changing that file, saving it and then sending it back to you for review.
Yes. All day long M-F 8-5. Sometimes evenings. Sometimes weekends. Though I really REALLY try not to because I am a mother of 3 and let’s face it-parenting is a lot of work. Plus, these people are only going to be small and adorable for so long so I’m trying to enjoy them now while they still like me. But-sometimes, stuff just has to get done.
I love WordPress for so many reasons, but for the sake of not ranting I’ll keep it simple:
It’s easy for YOU to edit when I am all done.
I have two top goals when designing and developing a website.
- To provide you with a stunning website that attracts new customers and compels them to call you.
- To handoff a website that YOU have the ability to edit and manage without feeling dazed and confused. I will provide you with training and documentation so that you can edit content, add new images, pages and new blog posts as much or as little as you please.
It’s easy to customize.
Unlike some of the platforms out there such as GoDaddy web builder, SquareSpace, or Wix, WordPress gives you the ability to design whatever you want; however, you want it. This is a designer’s dream come true!
You are not confined to what shape box or how big your logo can be. My FAVORITE thing to do is to design a custom WordPress website design. This allows me to create a completely unique, one-of-a-kind design that is exclusively for YOUR brand and YOUR content.
Google Loves WordPress.
You aren’t just building your website for fun. You are creating your website as a way to acquire new customers and to be found online. The best way to do this is to hold hands with Google and make Google your friend.
WordPress gives you complete control over your page titles, descriptions, meta tags and more. It also has a plethora of plugins available to dive deeper into your SEO strategy so you can maximize your impact on a page by page basis for your targeted keywords.
Lastly, WordPress allows you to have a blog, which is a perfect tool for adding fresh, new content to your site, so your website is not viewed as outdated or stale by Google.
Absolutely. EVERY site that I design and develop is mobile responsive. This is now an industry standard across the board. If your current site is NOT responsive you are losing business and credibility with Google. Google now ranks websites higher that are mobile responsive and follow the guidelines that go along with that (example size of text on a mobile device).
Consumers are now trained for this as well. People will not take the time to pinch and zoom so they can read your text or find your contact info on a website that is outdated and only designed for a desktop computer. They will simply move on and find your competitor instead.
Website design and development is the wild west. There is a full spectrum out there that range from the self-taught IT guy to the ex-agency freelancer to a full-service design firm. All of them “could” deliver to you the same (or somewhat similar) final product, but each of them will be wildly different in pricing.
First, you should know that I spent the first 10+ years of my career working for various agencies. I currently sub-contract for a variety of agencies both in and outside of Arizona. You ARE getting the expertise of an agency-trained designer.
If you are getting quoted $10-$20k for a simple business website it is because you are talking to an agency. Agencies have overhead. A LOT of overhead. You are not just paying for the designer and developer. You are paying for the creative director, the account manager, the new business sales department, and the accounting department, just to name a few.
My pricing is the way it is because I run a lean team. A website project consists of me + my developer. This does a few things for you
- Gives you fair, affordable pricing to get a beautiful website
- Gets your project done faster than working with an agency because there are not 10 different people and layers to get to the same solution
- Gives you direct access to your designer without having to go through an account manager. (Speaking from experience here-account managers tend to water down great design. So before you even get to see it-it’s already been changed by someone who is NOT a designer and has NO design training. Rant over.)
Themes are a good choice if you:
- Your website needs to be done quickly (It takes about 2 weeks)
- Need a beautiful web site, but at a lower cost (Theme setup is $1750)
- A design that is already complete and is geared to appeal to the masses
- Don’t mind that many other businesses will be using this theme as well
There are thousands and thousands of themes out there to choose from. It can be overwhelming! If you choose to go with a theme, I will research and find 5-7 themes for you to choose from that will work with your content, your industry, and the functionality that you are needing.
Keep in mind, however, that a theme means the design is already done. So, that aspect will not be changing. What WILL be changing is the content, colors, pictures and logo. I will art direct the theme you choose to match your branding. It is essential that you love the “bones” of it before we begin. Customizing a theme design or functionality will result in extra cost, which sometimes means that you should have gone with a custom design to begin with. You can view some sample themes I have built here.
Custom WordPress Design
A custom WordPress website design is a good choice if you:
- Have looked at available theme designs and have not found any designs that suit you.
- Want a website that is uniquely designed and created for your brand
- Want full control of the design and layout without restrictions from a template
- Plan to expand and add to your website over time in terms of functionality
Not every brand can fit into a website theme that was designed for the masses. What if you are a Barbershop that has a nostalgic 1950’s feel? Or a restaurant that was inspired by art deco? Perhaps you are wanting your website to be better tailored to your content while also throwing in some fun design elements that are harder to find with a theme?
Themes are designed to appeal to the masses. Because of this, it is unlikely that you will find a theme that will have the design cues necessary to bring that concept to life online. This is where a custom Phoenix WordPress website design comes in.
When I start the design process for a custom site, I begin with a completely blank slate. I start at the top with the logo and navigation and then work my way down to the footer. Every section of the website is artfully considered. Through each step, I am balancing the content with the images. I am dividing the content in a way that can be quickly and easily understood while pairing it with images for visual appeal.
Most importantly, I use this time to begin to develop graphic elements that help to build the brand “toolbox.” The brand “toolbox” consists of items such as: iconography, photography style, typography, color palette, and graphic accents/elements. This comes in handy as we move on to other projects such as brochures, marketing materials, etc. so that from website to printed materials, they all feel like they belong to the same brand. You can view some of my past custom Phoenix website designs here.
If you have a brand new domain and a brand new website, Google does not know that you exist yet. There are thousands of new websites submitted to Google daily. It does take some time for the Google bot to crawl your site and start to recognize you. There are some things you can do to speed this process along:
- Submit your website and sitemap to Google Search Console
- If you are a local business, sign up for a Google My Business™ profile so you can come up in local business search results in Google maps
- Create all of your social media profiles that link to your website such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Start writing regular blog posts. (More on this topic in other FAQ answers)
These are just a few nuggets to get you going. With regular maintenance and fresh content, you should begin to appear organically within 3-6 months. It DOES take time. If you want results NOW, talk to me about an SEO strategy for your business! You can book a call with me here.
Of course my answer is no, but allow me to elaborate.
Again. The Wild West (see above question). Designers come in all different “sorts”. Many of them struggle with communication. Many of them leave the freelance life because they don’t have enough clients to support themselves.
I have ZERO intentions of going back to a 9-5 job. I started my company over 8 years ago and have never looked back. There are two things that have made me successful
- I communicate. I answer the phone, I reply to emails and texts. And do not leave people hanging. This is the BIGGEST problem with designers. They just “disappear”. I am passionate about what I do, I take my clients and my business very seriously. If you need to talk to me right now and email isn’t fast enough, call me! As long as I am not on the phone with someone else, I WILL pick up the phone. 623-476-7394.
- I combine design with development. Here is something you should know. A designer is NOT a developer. A developer is NOT a designer (ever). These are two completely different parts of the brain at work. You need the left and the right side. If you work with just a developer and tell them to put a theme together, they will do it, but how will it look? Did they notice that the photo makes the text harder to read? Did they break up the text into smaller pieces so that the user will actually take the time to read it? Do they hand-select the fonts so there are variations in size and weight to give it more visual interest than just plain Arial font? No to all of that. They put it together, called it good, and gave you a website that is completely boring. This is why you need a designer. The designer does all of that, and MORE to turn that “blah” into beautiful.
If you choose to go with the creative freedom package I will send you my logo design worksheet to fill out. This is a simple, two-page fillable PDF that asks a series of questions to help narrow the creative field in terms of style, color, fonts and iconography.
In addition to this, there is a quick activity that I have you do. (this is listed on the logo design worksheet in a red box callout) I will ask you to visit logopond.com and choose 3-5 logos that you like and 3-5 logos you do not like. They do NOT have to be logos that are related to your industry. What I am looking for here is what type of style and visuals you are most attracted to. There is typically a pattern or similarities that arise out of this activity that help me get a window into your creative side. This activity in combination with the logo design form will provide me enough information to design 3 logos for your business which I will present to you in our design presentation which is typically done as a phone meeting.
- You fill out your logo design worksheet
- I create a proposal for the work which you sign digitally
- An invoice for the work will be issued
- Once the invoice is paid you will be added to my work list
The lead time is 2-3 weeks for your logos to be ready to be viewed in our design presentation. If you are in a hurry for your logo, I can complete your designs within 5 business days or less for a rush fee of $75.
Logo design is a form of art, and art is subjective. If you have chosen me as your logo designer, it is likely because you have gone through my logo design portfolio and you like other logos that I have created in the past and can see your business in my portfolio.
I will present to you my 3 logo design concepts and you do not want to move forward with any of them and will create a fourth logo design concept for you for an additional $75. In order for me to do this, I need a clear direction or concept on what we are doing with that fourth logo. The three logos that I presented to you were my very best effort at translating all of the information that you gave to me creatively.
No. By the time I have presented to you my logo designs, many hours have gone into your project and communicating with you to help me with my design process. Please know that I will do absolutely everything within my creative power to deliver to you a logo that you will rave about. I want you to be happy!
Please communicate. Please respond to emails and questions so I can fix or remedy whatever it is that you need to be happy with your logo. I cannot help if you do not reply to emails or return phone calls.
Your logo files will be prepared for you in three formats:
- JPG: This is your general use file. You can use this in word docs, as an email signature, social media profile image, etc.
- PNG: This file is a transparent background so that you can place it on top of an image or color without a white square around it.
- EPS: This is your LIVE vector artwork. It’s likely you will not be able to open or see this file unless you have a program like illustrator or photoshop. Vector artwork can be scaled to any size without losing resolution or pixelating. A vector logo can be scaled as high as a skyscraper and still look crisp and beautiful. This is the file you will give to printers to make your T-shirts, banners, etc.
No. This is not a good branding practice. The font that is used for your logo should be used exclusively for your logo. The reason for this is that you do not want to dilute your logo by using that same font face for every headline and body copy. It stops the logo from being “SPECIAL.”
Look around. Take a look at some of the top recognized consumer brands today. Starbucks. Nike. Apple. Target. The font in their logo is NOT the font that is used in their marketing materials, websites, or packaging. Instead, they choose complementary fonts that become an extension of their branding toolbox.
Sure. But please take the advice above.
If I purchased the font, you will have to as well if you want to use it. My licenses are only for me. I will tell you where you can buy the font if you need it. ( but you don’t!)
As a general rule, I DO NOT use fonts that come free on your computer or with programs like Microsoft word. These fonts are generic fonts that anyone and everyone has access to.
The same goes for free font sites such as dafont or fontsquirrel. I have a font library of 3500+ fonts and all of them have been purchased or licensed throughout my career. Believing that fonts that are used for a logo or branding should be unique and special. I would never use Times New Roman or Arial as a font for a logo. Every time I start a logo or branding project, I go through all of my fonts to find the right one for that project.
Sometimes, I need to go find a font for a project if I don’t have anything in my library that suits the project. What I am getting at here is that fonts are important. Fonts are special and they help tell a story. So let’s make sure that we are being thoughtful about them and not use Calibri as our brand font. 🙂
Book your 30 minute design call
Some example topics we may cover:
- Questions you may have about how and where to get started with your business branding, materials, and website
- A review of where your branding and materials are currently at, and how we can make them better
- Which design package makes the most sense for you and the differences between them
- Best practices for making your website Google friendly
- How and why consistency in your branding and messaging matters