Graphic Design FAQ

Here are some common questions asked about our graphic design service and our responses to those questions.


 

What can you design?

We have experience designing book covers, magazine covers, book and magazine page layouts, display advertisements (for print or online use), business cards, vinyl banners, postcards, flyers, stationery, brochures, rack cards, stamps, gift certificates & loyalty cards, personalized office products, invitations, address labels, announcements, promotional products, greeting cards, photo gifts, signage, and more.

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What covers have you designed?

Our designers have created covers for audio cassettes, CDs, board games and tabletop roleplaying game books, as well as fiction and non-fiction novels. I’ve worked in a number of genres, including science fiction, Young Adult, children’s fiction, historical, fantasy, and more. We’ve worked with several licensed properties and characters (e.g., Zorro and Usagi Yojimbo). Several of the books whose covers we’ve created have won awards (e.g., Origins Award and the Grog d’Or in France).

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What is your process for developing a concept for a design?

We consider the genre and sub-genre, the content (the story, if fiction, etc.), and the feeling the client wants to evoke in those who see the product. Using this information, we approach the design as we might a movie poster. Something that conveys all the ideas (emotion, content themes, etc.) into a compelling design that draws the viewer in.

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Do you offer design and printing packages?

Absolutely. We are partnered with a network of high-quality wholesale printers, with the ability to have your product printed and shipped directly to you. Contact us for a quick quote to design and print items such as business cards, vinyl banners, postcards, flyers, stationery, brochures, rack cards, stamps, gift certificates & loyalty cards, personalized office products, invitations, address labels, announcements, promotional products, greeting cards, photo gifts, signage, and more.

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Are you available to create custom images for which I’d have sole rights?

We don’t offer photoshoots or the creation of custom artwork for projects. If this is something you desire, I recommend you contract with an artist. Once you have the artwork to use for your cover, we’re happy to work on the design for you using the original image(s) you submit.

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Can I see your complete portfolio?

You can see samples of the book covers we’ve designed in the gallery.

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What are your fees and payment structure?

We charge a base $60 per hour for graphic design work. We sometimes offer discounts or package rates for projects (see the pricing section of each category for details). If you have a particularly complex design idea, feel free to contact us for a custom quote based on your exact specifications. For projects involving research and selection of a royalty-free image, we require a deposit of 50% of the project fee.

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Do you offer a no-risk money back guarantee?

We work with the client to obtain their approvals throughout the design process, ensuring they are happy with the product. Basically, we don’t advance from one part of the design process to the next unless the client approves the work we’ve done so far. Because of this, we do not offer a money back guarantee.

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What will the design process look like?

Step #1: Consultation. I consult with you via email, telephone, or Skype. I need to know some basic information about your book. What is the sub-genre? What is your book about? What ideas do you have for the cover design, if any? What feeling should the cover evoke in the viewer? (Emotion drives purchase decisions!) What do you hope the cover will look like? (Sketches and digital mock-ups are a huge help!) When do you need it? What are the design specifications for the final cover file?

Step #2: I will deliver a quote based on what we’ve discussed, or finalize the pricing based on the pre-defined design package you choose.

Step #3: Concept pieces. After learning your vision for the design of the cover, I will usually do a search and examine the covers of the top selling in your sub-genre. I want to get a feel for what covers are selling well, in terms of style and design.

We have access to several image libraries such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, Adobe Stock Images, Pixabay, Clipart.com, and others. This gives us a wide selection of images to get inspiration from or choose from. Our goal is to deliver something as close to your vision as possible while creating something we feel will do a great job promoting the product.

We will design several draft designs or “mock-ups” of what we think the book cover or package design might look like, and send them to you for your feedback. You can choose which you’d like us to go with, or suggest a new design that incorporates elements from two of the concept pieces. By indicating what you like and don’t like, we determine in which direction to go with the cover.

Step #4: First draft. We will send you a draft version of the complete product design (for book covers this includes the back cover, spine, and any other elements you discussed in Steps 1 and 3). Once approved, we move on the finished product.

Step #5: Final product. Once any requested changes are incorporated into the design, we generate a final version of the image and send it to you. This is your opportunity to request any final tweaks to the design, such as nudging elements, changing the retail price on the packaging, etc. Your satisfaction is important. We want to make sure you’re happy with the final result.

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How will you deliver the final product?

We will send you a high-resolution JPEG and/or PDF file of your final design. For book covers, you get the front cover, the back cover, and the spine (unless, of course, you’re just hiring us to design an ebook front cover). If it’s important to you to be able to make changes to your own cover in the future, we can also provide the source file (the Photoshop .PSD file) for an additional fee.

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What is your average turnaround time?

We generally can get covers done within a week. If you have a tight deadline, make sure to let us know. We may or may not be able to complete your project due to other projects our designers are working on.

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Will you also be available for additional projects?

Yes. We are available for follow-up work. If you want to design a series of products–or display ads, flyers, etc.– with a consistent design style (called “trade dress”), we’re able to do that for you, as well. For instance, we can design covers for a sequel or a series of books, audiobook covers, display ads (for use online or in print publications), bookmarks, logos, Twitter header photos, Facebook Page cover photos, and more.

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What is your communication style?

We typically respond to email within 24 hours, though sometimes we are much faster.

If the designer assigned to your project is unavailable for an extended period of time (on vacation, gone to a conference, etc.) we will let you know and give you the option of having it reassigned to another designer.

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Do you have any references?

We have a number of testimonials from former clients, including businesses and individuals. Some of the companies our designers have done work for include Citizen Games, Crunchy Frog Games, Firefly Games, Gold Rush Games, Gold Rush Publishing, Grey Ghost Press, Inc., Living Room Games, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

We also have several references available upon request, should you wish to communicate with some former clients of ours directly.

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