Graphic Design

As part of your Web site package, we create a professional graphic design for your Web site, ensuring it is consistent with your existing branding.

For example, here are two sample designs from our clients:

www.hospitalitydoctor.com

Picture 1

www.intentional.com.au

Picture 2

Our in-house graphic designer Natasha creates the design. Natasha has been working with us since 1999, and understands the specific requirements of graphic design for infopreneurs. She has extensive Web graphic design experience, and follows strict guidelines to ensure that the design works on a variety of computer systems.

The rest of this page describes how our process works, so you understand how we will be working together during the Web site development.

Doing It Yourself

Some clients want to use their own graphic designer, or don't need a full graphic design at this stage. That's fine. The Web hosting system we use allows you or your own designer to create the design for your site.

We'll set up the site with a basic text header, text footer, menus and right-hand navigation bar like this:

You can then adjust this to create your own design. If you would like your Web designer to do it, please refer them to the Squarespace visual customization manual.

IMPORTANT

If you're using your own designer, you take all responsibility for the design and for working with the designer. We don't inspect, assess or review their design in any way. We also don't provide any technical assistance, although they can ask the Web host Squarespace for help.

The procedure is fairly straightforward for an experienced Web graphic designer. However, some designers do not know how to do the complete job. So it's best to send this to your designer before you sign an agreement with them, and ask them to confirm that they can in fact do the entire job.

It's extremely important to ensure that your designer does have experience with graphic design for the Web, not just for print. The technical requirements are quite different, especially for creating designs that work on both PC and Mac, for home users and corporate users, for wide screens and narrow screens, for slow connections and fast connections, and so on.

It's up to you to work with your designer to create the look and feel you desire. Different designers have different ways of working, so each will have their own process. We recommend that you ask them to produce 2 or 3 initial drafts for you to choose from; then choose one and refine it; then ask them to create the templates.

Remember also that you're giving them full access to your Web site when installing or updating the design. This means you have to trust them, not only to get the design right, but also to ensure they don't mess around with the rest of the site.

What you provide

We ask you to e-mail us your logo and any other relevant promotional material that reflects your brand.

Note: We don't do branding or logo design. We strongly believe that branding should be a business decision, not a Web site decision, so please go through your branding process first, before doing the Web site graphic design.

We'll work with the branding materials you provide (e.g. logo, colour scheme, photographs), and will create a design consistent with your brand.

If you don't have a logo or brand designed yet, we recommend you start without a professional graphic design for now, and upgrade to a full design after you've sorted out your branding.

What you get

At the end of the process, you end up with a "template" for your Web site. All pages of the site will use this template, but of course each will have its own page content.

You also get a newsletter template with the same branding, so it's automatically used for your e-mail newsletters.

Additional Templates

This process does not include creating additional templates for different parts of the site. For instance, if you want the home page to have a slightly different look and feel, or you want different sections of the site to have a slightly different look and feel, that is extra work, and we'll quote you for that separately.

Animation

We also don't include animation (slide shows, graphics fading in and out, other moving bits and pieces, etc.) in the design. We can add this separately if you wish, but it comes at an additional cost because it often requires a lot of extra work (especially to be sure it works across all platforms, devices and Web browsers).

How the process works

Consultation

This is generally done as part of a full Web site package, so we start the project by sending you a questionnaire, and then conducting a consulting session, to plan the entire process for building your Web site. As part of this process, we'll talk about your brand, your likes and dislikes, and your preferences for the graphic design. This becomes a design brief for Natasha.

Alternatively, you can do this as a stand-alone task, without a consultation (e.g. re-doing a design on an existing site). In that case, we e-mail you a very brief questionnaire, and ask you to e-mail all the information for the design brief to us. It's not the usual way we do it; but if you're very clear about your requirements, then we're happy to do it this way, and you take full responsibility for providing this completely and accurately.

Design brief

These are the sort of things we would typically include in a design brief:

  • Font and colour preferences
  • Logos, photos and other graphics that are important in your branding
  • Positioning of the menu (e.g. along the top or down the left-hand side)
  • Labels on the menu buttons
  • Optionally, any additional "pop-up" menus for certain buttons
  • Contact information in the page footer
  • Other features to appear on all pages (e.g. a newsletter sign-up box)

Drafts

Armed with this knowledge, Natasha gets down to work and creates 2 or 3 draft design layouts, based on the design brief. For example, here are three drafts she created for one of our clients (click each of them for a bigger version):

Draft 1 Draft 2 Draft 3

As you can see, these are similar in some ways, because we've put a lot of work into the design brief, to save time and effort for everybody.

Review process

You review the drafts and send us your comments, suggestions and requests. Natasha then incorporates these ideas into another draft. Occasionally, we go through this process a few more times until you're happy with the final version.

For example, here is the final version of the design for the same client above:

Final Version

When you're ready, you "sign off" on the design. Your input into the process is now complete.

What happens then?

Natasha then converts it into the right format for use on the Web, and we install it on the Web site. All pages of the site will then automatically use this template. In fact, if you've created some pages on the site already (this happens in some projects, if we're working to a tight deadline), they will automatically change to use the new design.

Fees

Our standard fee for this graphic design is $1,600 + GST.

If you have any special requirements - such as multiple templates - then we can discuss that separately.

First Step Communications Pty Ltd
8 Windich Place, Leederville WA 6007, Australia
Help Desk / Support:
    E-mail
    Phone 02 8006 2481 within Australia, +61 2 8006 2481 from outside Australia
Sales:
    E-mail
    Phone 02 8005 5746 within Australia, +61 2 8005 5746 from outside Australia
www.firststep.com.au

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