Time is money – that’s how! But seriously, there’s more to it than that …
Although every design project is different, I have a number of ways of “measuring” yours before I begin. I ask for your word count, which I can use to accurately predict the number of pages (for longer projects) or the size of the brochure. I estimate the number of images you’ll need. And I compare it to similar projects I’ve done previously.
From that initial survey, I’ll calculate the amount of time I’ll need to design your job, including consultations with you, revisions, ancillary time spent on phone calls or emails, plus transfering files to the printer and reviewing proofs. I often express my quotation in a range. This reflects that we’re engaged in a creative process that may take more or less time depending on what we develop together.
In addition to my time, I often provide you with a print quotation, based on the specifications of your job, and sometimes comparing prices between printers or print technologies (e.g. offset printing versus colour copies). I also include the cost of freelance or stock images (photos or illustrations), if needed.
My written quotation to you will spell out my promises and my expectations. I sign this, and ask you to sign it too; it becomes our contract.
Once I start your job I record the tasks, materials and time spent, using Timelog, a software product that tracks the many projects I work on in the course of a day.
My aim is to deliver your job within the quotation, as long as its scope stays the same. If the project looks like it may exceed the quote, I’ll call you to discuss. When you receive my invoice, there will be no surprises.
I’ve used this quotation practice for 15 years, and it is also my obligation as a Registered Graphic Designer of Ontario – to quote at the outset of every job, and to honour my contracts and promises.