Most of my clients work with me on a project basis. We’ll start with a phone call, Skype or in-person meeting, and based on that I’ll provide an estimate based on my (current as of 6/1/15) $225/hour rate, typically divided into several stages. I ask for a prepayment of one-third of the first stage of the work to begin. I also commit  that unless we mutually agree that the task will exceed the parameters of the original estimate, I will not exceed the high end of the range quoted for any particular stage of the work.

The next step is some work to make sure the overarching concept and positioning is correct, then proceed to the first stage of work. For branding and other design projects, this means about two to four weeks to create a range of rough design ideas, each with a different interpretation of the agreed-upon creative direction. After presentation, one or more ideas are chosen to develop further, taking client comments and other factors into account.

I have done a modest amount of international work, from several projects in Brazil, to a brewery in Denmark and more speculative projects in Nigeria and India. While communications and cultural differences make this kind of relationship a bit tricky, I can help bring the focused communication and eye-catching, sophisticated design with the help of a committed and thoughtful client.

None of my clients use me for all of their graphic design needs, and there is not enough of me to go around to fill that need, any way. Many acquire the software to do it themselves, or hire the services of a more junior and less expensive local freelancer or staff person to do things like banners, event flyers, sales sheets, ads and all the rest of the material a brewery must create to present itself to the world.

I am a one-person shop, so I have to be careful about taking on too many projects. So I’ve been increasingly selective about what jobs I take on. I’m increasingly seeking projects where I am more involved with the total concept rather than a simple execution for a logo or a label, although I still do many of those a year. I am increasingly interested in deeper relationships between myself and my clients.