Frequently Asked Questions

Jump To Section: General Questions + Pricing / Web Design / Graphic Design / Branding / Illustration

Below you will find a list of questions that I get asked on a regular basis. I’ve divided them up into sections based on the topic and you can jump directly to the section of the page you need by clicking one of the links above.

If you don’t find the answer to your question below or if you need more clarification, please send me an email or give me a call and ask me directly.

General FAQ

Do you have a wait list?

I only take on a limited number of clients at any given time to make sure that I can devote my full attention to each client and project. I provide a service that focuses on quality rather than quantity. This means that I often have a bit of a wait list for my next available opening. The length of wait does vary depending on my workload and the time of year but I can USUALLY get started within a week or two.

I NEEDED SOMETHING DESIGNED YESTERDAY, CAN YOU HELP?

I always try to leave a little bit of wiggle room in my schedule for such cases and, often, I can squeeze a small job in. It really depends on my workload at the time though and the only way to know for sure is to ask. I promise I’ll do my best to accommodate you. Please be aware that there may be a rush fee added for the quick turnaround time.

What is your hourly rate?

The short answer is that I actually don’t have an hourly rate as I charge based on the services I provide rather than the time I spend providing them. This means that, for most services I offer, I will charge a flat rate. The only exceptions are really small jobs and quick fixes, those I do price based on time because it makes more sense to.

Flat rate pricing means that you won’t pay extra for the work we’ve agreed on if things go a little longer than expected. The price you’re quoted is the price you will pay.

How much should I expect to spend?

It really depends on what you’re looking for and whether you want me to start from scratch or with a template that I’ve pre-designed. The most reliable way to determine costs is to ask me for a custom proposal/estimate. It’s free and you just have to send me an email or call with your project details to get one.

To satisfy your curiosity immediately though, here are some starting costs to give you an idea.

Websites:
If you’re looking for the most inexpensive route, I can get you up and running with your own basic website WITHOUT an online shop starting at $350 CAD if we go with one of my pre-designed sites and customize it for you. Custom website design starts at $1200 for a modern one page WordPress website, $1800 CAD for a standard (no shop) WordPress website and $2400 CAD for an e-commerce WordPress site.

Logos:
If you just need me to illustrate a logo, you’re looking at a starting cost of $500 CAD for the logo design.

Brand Design:
Brand design is a custom design service and it starts at $1200 CAD. Each package is tailored to your needs but at minimum it includes my personalized brand discovery process, your custom logo design, color palette selection, business card design, brand launch marketing material for social media, and detailed brand guidelines to help you when developing materials that match your brand in the future. Additional items can be added as needed to your brand design package.

Illustration:
Illustrations are extra difficult to price without an idea of what is required, it’s really best to contact me with your idea. Costs vary, but start at $75.

*Please note that these starting costs are current as of January 2020 and are provided as estimates only. These rates are not guaranteed as they may have changed since the time they were written here. Please consult my welcome guide or email me for the most up to date information on rates.

When are payments due?

Your first payment, your retainer (which is equal to 50% of the estimated design cost), is due within five days of signing off on the design proposal and contract. This retainer will hold your spot in the queue and, as such, you are not actually booked until it is paid. Because I will likely turn work away to hold your spot for you, this retainer is non-refundable. Your retainer will be applied to your balance owing.

Depending on your project, your remaining balance will be broken down into one to three additional payments that will be due at specific milestones during the design process. You will receive a payment timeline as part of your design proposal and contract.

How can I pay you?

For Design Projects:

Interac Email Money Transfer (preferred method):
If you are located in Canada you can pay me through your online banking using an Interac email money transfer. Because this method is most convenient for me, if you choose to pay via Interac email money transfer you will save 5% off the total cost of your design project as a thank you gift.

PayPal:
If you are not in Canada, or if you are but would rather not pay via e-mail transfer, you may also pay via PayPal. PayPal allows you to pay using funds from your PayPal balance, your linked bank account or your linked credit card without giving me any of your banking details or account/credit card numbers. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can still use it to pay securely with your credit or Visa debit card. All payments are processed in Canadian Dollars.

Cash or Cheque:
If you are a local business that is located in Kings County, Nova Scotia, I will also accept cash or a cheque as payment. If you choose to pay by cheque, please be aware that work on your design project will be delayed until the cheque clears at the bank.

For Shop Purchases:

Stripe:
All payments for products purchased through my online store are processed using Stripe.

How will I receive my completed Design files?

Once your project is paid in full, I will upload your digital files to DropBox (or a similar file share service) and email you a link to download them. If you require your files to be delivered on a USB instead of, or in addition to, a direct download I can send your files on a USB drive via postal mail for an additional fee.

Web Design FAQ

What is the difference between a template and custom design?

I’m going to liken it to buying a dress. Let’s pretend that you’re going to a big, fancy party, and you need a big, fancy dress to wear to it. You have several options to get that dress.

Option 1 (The Custom Design Option):
Find a seamstress to custom make a dress that fits every curve perfectly. The seamstress would start from scratch and choose fabric and thread, take measurements, create a pattern, etc. This would be your most expensive option because it is most labor intensive. You’d end up with a beautiful dress that no one else at the party will have.

Option 2 (The Template Option):
Go shopping yourself to find a dress that you love and then take it to that same seamstress to have her alter it to fit you. Your dress will still fit you like a glove as if it were custom made but because you started with an off the rack dress you’ve saved a ton of money and time. You may see another person at the party with a dress similar to yours if you compare them close enough but you’ll still both look different.

Option 3 (The DIY Option):
Then there’s the third option of finding a pattern and sewing the dress yourself. If you don’t have the skills upfront to sew the dress, this option will take a lot longer as you learn HOW to make the dress in the first place. It can have similar results to option 1 and 2 if, with enough time and effort, you get really good at it. It could be a complete flop too. It’s honestly a bit of a crapshoot. This would be your least expensive monetary investment but your most expensive time investment.

Basically, the end result of having a beautiful, functional website is the same between template and custom design but the process and the money and time spent are a lot different.

With custom design, I start from a blank screen and build every last piece of the website from there. It’s a great option if you need something different than most websites offer but most people honestly don’t need a custom design.

With a template, I’d start with a pre-designed site that I’ve still built from the bottom up and then customize and add your content (images and text) to it. The template would be used as a framework to build your site on. Templates are used more than once for different businesses but since the content for each site is different each site would be different even though they are laid out the same. Chances are that most people wouldn’t notice the similarity between your site and another with the same template unless they happened to have a keen eye.

What about hosting costs?

Hosting costs as well as purchasing a domain name are separate from the costs for your website design and not something that I offer directly at this time. I personally use DreamHost and I always recommend them to my clients. Their “DreamPress” plan comes with everything you’ll need to get give your WordPress website a good home, even free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt so your site will rank higher in Google searches and so you can process credit cards on your site. A [email protected] email address is also included. At the time of writing this, monthly hosting costs start at $16.95 USD if you pay yearly (all at once) and $19.95 USD if you opt to pay monthly. A domain name is roughly $15 CAD yearly for a .com url.

Check out DreamHost’s DreamPress plans.

Affiliate Notice: If you purchase your hosting through the DreamHost links on this page, you’ll pay the same as you would normally for awesome web hosting but, DreamHost gives me a few $$ off my own hosting fees with them for sending you their way. If you’d rather not use the affiliate link just Google them instead, they should be pretty easy to find.

Graphic Design FAQ

Do you provide hard copy print products?

In most cases the answer is no but I can if you’d like. I generally provide a digital file for print projects and my clients print their designs when and wherever they choose. If you would prefer to not have to handle the print work, I can absolutely do that for you but most of my clients opt to print with their usual print lab.

Branding FAQ

What type of file will I get if you design my Logo?

All logo design projects include a vector file as well as a high resolution png file with a transparent background so that it can be overlaid on images or marketing materials.

What is a vector file?

A vector file, although you likely don’t even have software on your computer to open it, is a VERY important file. So important that, even if you don’t end up working with me, PLEASE make sure you work with a designer that will be handing over a vector version of your logo!

A vector file is an infinitely re-sizable version of your logo. You can make it the size of a postage stamp (or smaller) or the size of a building (or bigger) and the image quality will be exactly the same. If you tried that with a regular ol’ jpeg file it’d be so pixelated at the larger sizes that you wouldn’t even be able to recognize it.

Why is this important, you ask? Well, chances are someday that you’re going to want to put your logo on something that’s bigger than a piece of paper – a sign for example. When you call up that sign company, they’re going to ask you for a vector file of your logo and if you didn’t get one, you’re kind of out of luck. ALWAYS get the vector file. Back it up. Remember where you put it. It’s like keeping the negatives from the photos you took so that you can get reprints of them (If you’re old enough to remember taking pictures with something other than a digital camera!).

Who owns the copyright for the completed logo design?

You do, plain and simple. Your finished logo is YOURS because that’s just the way it should be – you’re paying for the work, right? All final designs created on your behalf within the scope of your logo or brand design project become your property once delivered in their final finished form. I only retain limited usage rights that allow me to display what I have created in my portfolio as well as in publications (digital or print). The copyright is always transferred to you.

A note about fonts…
Please note that unless you’ve chosen to add them on to your design project, any fonts that are used in your designs are NOT included as part of your design project. Premium (purchased) fonts are subject to the terms and conditions put in place by the font designers and can’t be redistributed. If there is a premium font used in your logo or branding you will be provided with flattened graphics anywhere the font is used in place of the actual font file. If you require the font file for your own use, I will provide you with a link to purchase it.

Pro Tip: This is another thing that you should always ask when you’re hiring a designer – not all of us hand over the copyright when we’re done designing for you.

Illustration FAQ

Do you have a particular illustration style?

My natural style tends to be bright, colorful and fun. My illustrations are often well suited for kids. I love to create clean vector illustrations but a more hand-drawn sketchy style is often what I enjoy most.

How do you create your illustrations?

The majority of my illustration process is digital. I often will start a project on paper to get a good idea of what I’m going to draw and how I’m going to draw it. I scan those drawings, bring them into either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop depending on the type of illustration I’m creating and use them as a guideline to finish the illustration digitally.

I create each illustration by drawing directly on the screen of my graphics tablet. This allows me to keep the hand drawn feel of the artwork, if necessary, even though it’s produced digitally.

Was Your Question Answered Here?

If you didn’t get the answer you needed or you need more clarification, please send me an email or give me a call and ask me directly.

Krystal

About The Author

I’m Krystal and I’m one of those quirky, super-introverted, stereotypical designer folks that’s in legit danger of becoming a hermit. You know the type.

I’m also an unashamed geek, sarcastic to a fault, I laugh way too hard at Dad jokes, am totally hooked on Fortnite, The Sims 4 and Pokemon Go, and I probably drink too much coffee. Oh, and I love, love, LOVE anime. Did I mention that I love anime? Because, seriously, I really love anime.

Wanna be friends? Send me an email or hit me up on social media! Being super-introverted I’m admittedly not the most active participant on social networks but Instagram is where you will find me most often.