You know those "a day in the life" articles that share what someone does throughout a typical day? I'm somewhat obsessed with them. I love getting insight into people's lives and how they effectively use their time. What I've learned has definitely poured over into how I live, but mostly into how I work. I've been slowly refining my workflow for the past three years – and I'm at a point now where things are really working well.
I always love sharing what I've learned, so today I’m giving you a look into how I design an entire brand and website in an efficient amount of time. Keep reading for a peek into what working with TPA is like...
Each time a potential client inquires about my services (usually through email), I respond with a friendly welcome, an invitation to set up a meeting over Skype or over the phone, and a link to my services page so they can review my process, package, pricing, and availability in the meantime.
During our first meeting, I get to know the client, ask about what they’re looking for in the design of their brand and website, and answer any questions they might have.
If the potential client decides to move forward with the process, they reserve my services through a signed contract and a 50% deposit. A new element to this, is that I set up a project page for them on my website – this will act as a "home base" throughout the project for both of us, and everything I create for them will be downloadable from there. I also give them their homework, which is to work on a Pinterest board full of imagery that they're inspired by for their brand. By sending their homework a day or two after booking, my clients have plenty of time to work through the it before the signed contract gets to me in the mail and we begin designing.
WEEKS 1-2: BRAND DESIGN
I spend the first few days of every project by pulling together a mood board as a visual starting point for the brand. I use images from my clients’ Pinterest board that they set up specifically for the project as part of their homework, and I also bring in some other images that fit well with the overall aesthetic of the new brand. I provide my client with one revision in this stage.
Then I get to work creating 3 distinct logo concepts. Because this step of the process takes me a little longer and feeling rushed interferes with creativity, I give myself one week to work on these concepts. I rely on the colors, patterns, and visuals of the inspiration board for direction and ideas, and I strive to provide my client with 3 different directions that we could go with their brand. I provide 2 revisions during this step.
After my client chooses their favorite out of the bunch, I spend another week creating logo variations to give them variety within their brand. I also select typefaces, create icons, and pull in other brand elements like patterns and borders to create a full brand elements sheet, which allows my client to see everything at once.
WEEKS 3-4: COLLATERAL
After the brand elements sheet is complete, I use the new “system” that I’ve created for their brand and carry it over into 4 collateral items of my clients’ choosing. They can range from stationery (business cards, letterhead, thank you cards) to blog post templates and everything in between. I have my clients provide me with all of the information and photos for these pieces ahead of time to make it easier (and quicker) for me to design them, and I offer 1 revision.
WEEK 5: WEBSITE
Because my client provides me with all of the text, photos, and pages ahead of time, it makes it very easy for me to go in and add it all into a Squarespace template. I spend week 5 working on the layout, customizing the template and adding design elements, and making revisions and tweaks. I create the website in trial mode and add my client as an administrator once they’re happy with the final product. Then they can go in and upgrade their account, set up their billing information, and import their content from their old site if their transferring from a site like Wordpress.
WEEK 6: FILE SHARING, FINAL MEETING, AND SQUARESPACE TUTORIAL
During the final week of the project, I upload all of the logo and collateral files to their project page, as well as guidelines for their brand fonts and colors. I either meet in person or Skype with the client and share my screen with them as I walk through the backend of their site and show them how to edit information, add blog posts, and change out photos. I also answer any last questions, and then the process officially comes to a close...
CLIENT LAUNCH DAY
…until client launch day, when I celebrate my client’s new brand and website by sharing their new designs on my website. I think something as big as a new visual identity deserves to be celebrated, and not only do I enjoy sharing the designs with my audience, but I love driving traffic to my clients’ sites and showing off all of their hard work, too.
Want to work with me? Have questions? Check out my services page for more details and my price list, then shoot me an email!