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The following information has been compiled over time from questions relating to design methods and conceptual thinking to issues as basic (but important as) procedures and cost . Take a few minutes and review our answers if only to satisfy your curiousity about the "Creative Process"...

Q: I'm new in business and need all kinds of stuff. What's the most important ?...
A: If you're just starting out with a new business or have purchased one that you want to have identified as different than before (new and improved) you'll probably want to consider your logo, or brand identity. Invariably, a logo sets the precident for your image, color scheme, and overall style that others will begin to identify with when they see it for some time to come. That's why it's important that you get it right the first time. To that end we have created an informative "walk-thru" form in our Logo Design section to get you started. Click here to learn more...
Q: What do you mean when you say, "Our Business is Design...Our Product is Creativity" ?...
A: The word "design", in this context, refers to the approach and final appearance of any project, be it a logo or website. Our business is in designing that look and producing the end result. Creativity (or creative thinking), on the other hand, is what sets one "design" apart from the next. It takes more into account on the front end so that the result is in keeping with your image and the message you want to convey in a far more effective manner.
Q: How much is this going to cost? Do you hold to your estimates?...
A: It really does depend on your request and the type of project. However, in all cases, we try to gain as much insight from you as possible before the real production begins. That saves everyone time and money as well as reducing errors and confusion. In the event that you decide to make significant changes outside the previously agreed upon approach, any increased costs would be estimated and agreed to prior to inclusion. We may also be able to suggest some cost-saving alternatives that you may not be aware of and which would not take away anything from the quality you're after.
Q: What's the overall process? How long will it take?...
A: We take a phased approach to almost everything. Some projects may require more iterations and revisions, therefore more time. For the most part it's a matter of 1) Consultation 2) Roughs; freehand or digital concepts, 3) Editorials and Revisions 4) Final Approval and Implementation.
Q: What's the first step? What do I need to do or provide to you?...
A: If the project allows for it, we may be able to provide you with a brief questionnaire which, when completed, may give us a fairly accurate idea of what you're looking for. In most cases it comes down to meeting with you in person. There is no cost for the initial consultation. You may want to be thinking in terms of your image, your audience (intended market), specific colors or images, and text or marketing copy you want to be sure are integrated. You know more about your business than we do, but the more we know the more effective (and creative) we can be.
Q: What happens if I change my mind or decide to stop production half way?...
A: Unlike making changes that might incur additional charges, stopping production would result in billing you only for the time spent to that point. All files and materials produced relative to that billing would be copied to CD (or emailed) and submitted to you upon payment.
Q: Do I own the copyright upon payment? Are there any exceptions to that?...
A: Yes, you own the copyright to your design, however, it is incumbant upon you to legally register a copyright or trademark with the appropriate entites. Remember, words and letters cannot be copyrighted, a work of art or design can. Trademarks are different, and considerably more expensive and time consuming to register. The only exception to the whole copyright issue would be if the artwork or design we create for you becomes the product itself. For example, an illustration which is mass-produced and sold. Under those conditions the copyright may still be transferred to you but a percentage of sales may need to be contracturally built into the project.
Q: What is branding or brand identity, and why is it so important?...
A: The term "branding" is derived from what one might assume, a cattle ranchers method of identifying what is his. In the same way, your brand, often referred to as a logo, identifies you to the public and others in the business community, whether it be local or international. Once an identity has been established it is easy for anyone to recognize the company behind it. The Nike "swoosh" is a good example. The very style of design for your "brand identity" can convey a lot about what you're all about, be it humorous, corporate, financial, technical, industrial, etc.
Q: I already have a printer I work with. Can you work with them?...
A: By all means. The only requirement is that we are put in touch with them as soon as possible. Preferably at the start of production. Processes and expectations will vary from printer to printer as to what they demand from outside resources. It's good to know what their preferred spec's are early on.
Q: What is a "rough" or "comp"?
A: A rough is the first phase of the process that (hopefully) puts to paper what the client has in mind, based upon our initial consultation. With digital tools, that "rough" may not always be that rough. It is often times easier and faster to create a digital (clean) rough or proof-of-concept than to do so conventionally (hand-drawn). Although it looks more "finished" it should still be considered a first phase sample or proof.
Q: Will I be able to import and use my logo in Word or Publisher?...
A: For most general use, yes. A logo file, for example, can be saved in a variety of formats and sizes. Many clients import a BMP or JPG file of their logo into Word, place it where desired, and save it as a letterhead master, printing them as needed. A growing number of people and small businesses are printing their own business cards and brochures if it's a small amount (i.e., less than 50) given the quality and affordability of today's office ink-jet printers.
Q: Do you handle printing also?...
A: Yes, we work with a few select printers, whom we trust, and who are dependable with cost and quality. Each has capabilities that differ from the other so, sometimes it depends on the project as to which one we use. At least 2 quotes can be provided to you for comparison.
Q: How long have you been at this? What sort of experience do you have?...
A: Personally, I (the owner) have been in the industry for nearly 30 years. Go to our About section to learn more. Dickson Creative Services has been a formally recognized business as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) for nearly 5 years, however, DCS, as a freelance resource for the immediate business community has been active for at least 20 years prior to that.
Q: What types of software or programs do you use to accomplish the project?...
A: Most every Adobe application; Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. There are any number of other programs related to the design industry today that we use, depending on the task. Programs such as Dreamweaver are used for creation of websites. Whatever it takes.....