Step 1: Initial Contact

When a client contacts me with a creative request, we discuss the estimated scope of a project; then I put together an estimate. Once the project scope has been fully defined, the final pricing and schedule is set.

Step 2: Design Contract

The client receives a design contract that outlines the scope and deliverables, along with the cost and schedule. Depending on the payment setup, a deposit may be required (1/3 of the total project cost). For that type of project, the other two payments will be invoiced based on the deliverable dates (one at creative approval, one at the delivery of final files).

Step 3: Creative Development

The creative development stage will produce a number of initial designs (comps) that represent different creative directions. The client will review these initial creative designs and approve one of them to move forward with.

Step 4: Revisions & Approval

Once a creative direction has been selected, those designs will be revised and refined based on feedback from the client. At the end of the revisions cycle, the client will give final approval—and the design(s) will be locked and moved into production.

Step 5: Production & Implementation

Depending on the project, the production and implementation will differ. For print projects, production would require setting up the files to be handed off to a print vendor. In the case of a website project, the working HTML site would be produced—or in the case of a database-driven site, the visual design is applied and integrated with a CMS (content management system).