Working with Nicola Black Design – The Basic Process to Book a Project
You’ve been in contact about your project and are a little curious about the next steps of the booking process. How does this all work and how will you know that your project is being worked on? It’s actually quite simple and there are generally only 4 steps you have to take care of before your job is officially in queue! Here’s a quick look:
THE DESIGN AGREEMENT
After you’ve approved the proposed cost per project that you received via email, you’ll then receive a link to my online design agreement (that’s a little snapshot of it in the pic above). It is a standard agreement for work between freelancers and clients and outlines everything, in detail, regarding usage, turnaround time, and more that you may be curious about. The great thing about my design agreement is that you don’t have to complete a new one each time a new project is ordered. That’s right! This step only happens once when working with me unless you have a project that falls outside its scope. In which case, an agreement dealing with that particular project will be sent.
THE CREATIVE BRIEF
It’s very important that each project’s goals / needs are outlined and understood by both the client and designer. The creative brief helps to clarify these aspects of each project in detail. It keeps us on the same page and is something to reference during the design process. You’ll receive my online creative brief to fill out along with the design agreement.
INVOICE and DEPOSIT
The great thing about my online agreement is that once you fill out all the information fields (address, company name, etc.), I then get notification and am able to use that information to put together your account. Once you receive your invoice, you have the choice to pay the deposit using PayPal, credit card or by check via snail mail.
Your project may call for particular text, logos or photographs to be used. It is your job to deliver those items via email or on disc. Make sure you’ve proofread all of your copy prior to submitting text. I will input the text and format it, but I am not a copy editor. If you require one, I can definitely point you in the right direction. Images should be high resolution for print. If you are unsure about the resolution of your image, I will let you know if it’s of good quality or not before proceeding.
Once all four steps have been met, your job will go into my job queue and turnaround time will begin. I do not move any projects from quote phase into my job queue until all three items; the design agreement, deposit, and deliverables have been sent and received. You will know when your project has gone into queue because I will send an email with the estimated date you can expect to see your first proof.
Something to think about – turnaround time is also dependent on the client. It may be stated that you’ll receive your first proof within 10-15 business days via the design agreement. This is true, but please keep in mind time for edits, time for printing if you require that service, and any time the project will be in your world for proofing. This is very important in planning around any deadlines you may have.
Also, realize that most freelancers usually can’t book projects until a deposit has been received. Why? Well, that would be like working for free in the hopes that you might get paid. We too, have mortgages and bills to pay. Your initial deposit ensures that you are retaining that time from the freelancers schedule. The last payment is due before any files are released. Why? Because we have to ensure that the rest of our time will be properly compensated. In my experience, this technique is the best way to ensure everyone is satisfied. The client receives a timely product and the freelancer’s time and expertise has been compensated. It also assists in scheduling. I, personally, plan my schedule around who has fully booked. First come, first served… well, really it’s, first to fulfill all three steps, first served. That, and time in my schedule is retained just for that fulfilled project.
If you ever have any questions about how this process might work, you are always welcome to ask! Communication is the biggest asset we have in working together.