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We had the opportunity to create the full brand for GFPD (Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders) — our favorite kind of project! The mission of The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders is to help children and families faced with a diagnosis of a Peroxisomal Biogenesis Disorder (in the Zellweger Spectrum of Disorders) and to assist family members and professionals through educational programs, research, and support services.
We started with their logo (featured above), where we had the foresight to explore color options and expand our view of what would be the cornerstone for the GFPD brand. This was followed by their website, letterhead, business cards, and marketing brochures. As you can see, the GFPD has a very professional look, which remains consistent across their print and web materials. This reinforcement strengthens their brand integrity and compliments the work they do.
Maybe its the swirls and small details of her work. Maybe its the washed colors and how they relate to the sketched elements surrounding them. Or perhaps it’s the various little elements you can find in her work. No matter what catches your eye, you are sure to linger on the illustration design of Carol Rivello.
Carol Rivello has a degree in Design, but she loves art direction and illustration as well. She has worked in Brazil and Italy, creating for clients such as SPFW, Ferrè, Rolex, Yakult and Mitsubishi Motors. Now I live in Florianópolis, a pretty island in the south of Brazil, and just started to work as a freelancer. Pigs, internet, music, movies, traveling and ice cream are her passions.
We think her work is fabulous! Click on her name above to go directly to her website. And also take a gander at some more of her work, which we have featured below.
If you are considering hiring a graphic designer or working with a new designer for the first time, its important to lay all of the cards out on the table up front so that there are no surprises later. We think that you should develop a checklist of questions that you want to ask a new hire or a potential designer. Do this ahead of time so you have some time to properly think things out, and then bring that list to you to the initial consultation, whether it be on the phone or in person. Make sure you have a notepad to take notes and jot down items of interest, and as you go through your list check off your questions when they are answered to your satisfaction.
The reason that you should come to the table prepared is to insure that you get the best ROI (return on investment). You are hiring the designer that is going to help to promote your business and create your image. It is very important that you do your homework first.
Below is a general list of questions that you should consider asking and other items you need to consider:
- Do you have a portfolio that I can view? A designer should be able to show you examples of his or her work. It should be in form of a website or a PDF sent to you via email. In fact, you should review the work before setting up the initial consultation so that you can get a sense for the quality of design that will be provided. At any point it is okay to ask for project-specific examples. So, you can say “I am in the market for a brochure design, can you send me examples of any brochures, sell sheets, or other print items you have done?”
- What type of software would you be using to create graphics? The industry standard for graphic design software is the Adobe brand. Your potential designer should be saying something along the lines of “I am proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign” (for print) and “Adobe Dreamweaver, and Adobe Flash” (for web). There are other programs out there that provide high quality graphics, but I would make sure some Adobe products are mentioned. If a potential designer says to you “Oh, I design in Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word” run! Unless you specifically ask for something to be outlined in Publisher or Word for formatting reasons, under no circumstances should these programs come at the top of their list.
- What is your availability for your freelance/contract projects? Some designers work on a part time basis and may only be available after normal business hours. Others you will have access to throughout the day. It’s important to know up front when your designer will be available and the best way to get in contact with them (phone, email, smoke signals, etc). If you have quick changes will they have a quick turn around? If you are entering into an hourly rate contract, it would also be good establish how many hours per week (even if this is an estimate) that the designer can dedicate to your project.
- How will you deliver files to me? Are they going to come electronically to you (as email attachments) or will they be provided to you via FedEx on a CD or on an FTP site? This is important. Will your designer be able to provide print and web ready files? Also, if you yourself have a version of the software that your designer is using, make sure you let them know what version that is (for file compatibility). The last thing you need is to get your final design files and then find out that you cannot view them or your production department cannot open them because of version discrepancies.
- Can you provide me with any standards, color codes, or instructions? Your designer should be able to provide you with color codes for print and web (CMYK for print, RGB for web, and Pantone colors for high-end printing). This color code information will help for your image to remain consistent across several different mediums. If your designer is creating a logo or corporate identity, they also need to be able to provide brand guidelines/standards that can be followed once all the files are delivered to you. This can be a PDF of a few pages detailing the uniqueness of your logo or corporate identity and how it should be used for various different mediums and materials to insure your brand integrity.
- When can you start my project? A designer is usually working on more than one project at a given time. But even with this in mind, their goal is to make you feel like their priority and to take care of your design needs. If you have a rush project or a tight deadline, it is your responsibility to say that up front (and also the designer’s responsibility to ask). It is absolutely okay for you to ask the question “what’s a reasonable timeline for preliminary design concepts for this project?” and it also okay to ask “Is it possible to have it in two weeks instead of three?” Only ask that if you really need it (for maybe a presentation or meeting) and not because you just want things in a hasty fashion.
- What is your price quote for this project? Some designers can tell you on the phone or in person, others prefer to work up a quote and email it to you so they have a written record of what they submitted. You should be okay with both forms, as both are considered professional. Don’t leave this open-ended. If you decide to go with a particular designer and feel it is necessary, set up a contract to the terms that you will both agree upon and then sign it. It is okay to ask the designer questions about any part of the contract or to ask them to amend a part of the contract if you have good cause for concern. You have to talk money here, and when it comes to $$, the terms need to be clear. Also inquire as to what the price includes and does not include (a designer should tell you this upfront, but ask if they do not). In many cases, if it is a project that requires photography or services to be purchased, that will not be included in the price quote and will be billed separately. Also inquire about how many revisions are included in the contract if the project calls for it. These are also terms that would need to be outlined in the contract.
These questions should definitely get you thinking about the importance of hiring the right designer for your project, and making sure you and the designer are on the same page. You are creating a relationship with the professional that is going to help to shape and direct a part of your business through their creative expertise. If you are in the market for a new designer, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation, where we can insure you that we have all the right answers to the questions above.
When you can’t say it with words, say it with images. We are often impressed by the lengths that some of our clients go to in order to explain what they mean. Some of them have a blank canvas and let us go to town, while others already know what they like in terms of style or design elements. We think both ways of approaching creative projects are acceptable.
When you are looking to have design work done, say for example, a new website or a new logo, one way for you to personally start brainstorming is to open up your friendly search engine and see what’s out there. Know one knows your brand from your perspective better than you. And you should be familiar with your industry too. As you are browsing through various websites for inspiration, you may not know why a certain site or design element speaks to you, and you don’t have to know. But, it would ultimately be in your best interest to flag it, to take a screen shot of it, and to create a folder on your computer filled with items that you know you like. This way, when you are ready to bring a design firm on board for a creative project and you are given that free consultation, you can make the most value of that time and really make sure that both parties are on the same page.
This in no way means that you are taking over the creative direction of the project or labeling yourself as a designer. It simply means you have an idea or you have something you like and you just want to put it out on the table. We appreciate moments like this because it allows us to see where you are coming from and your thought process on the project.
So, let’s get you started with looking for some visual stimuli! Image searches on the internet are always fun because you’ll never know what you’ll find. But, if you are on the look out for some more direct means of creative inspiration, we recommend the following powerhouses to get you started. You’ll always find something fun and interesting on the sites below, and hey, you might even spark a great idea that could be the core of your next project.
Design*Sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, Design*Sponge was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” (NY Times, 2008) and features store and product reviews, city, product, and gift guides, diy projects, before & after furniture and home makeovers, home tours, recipes, videos and podcasts, and trend forecasting. In addition, Design*Sponge is dedicated to covering student design, national and international design shows. The site is updated constantly throughout the day (with an average of 6-10 posts a day), and attracts a core group of devoted readers.
The Design Inspiration
A categorized collection of websites, articles, logos, illustrations, photos, patterns and more to tickle your fancy and get your creative juices flowing.
A catalog site featuring some cutting edge, well designed websites. You can click on the pictures of the sites featured to visit the sites and see how user friendly they are.
Designflavr is a moderated art and design showcase built upon user submissions.
Established in 2007 by Andrew Gibbs, The Dieline is dedicated to the progress of the package design industry and its practitioners, students and enthusiasts. Its purpose is to define and promote the world’s best examples of packaging, and provide a place where the package design community can review, critique and stay informed of the latest industry trends and design projects being created in the field. The Dieline has quickly grown into the most visited website on package design in the world, and has become the voice of the industry. It is an active sponsor of the Pentawards, the first and only professional design competition devoted exclusively to the art of brand packaging, further promoting the field.