Questions and Answers

Can you design a logo, website, and packaging for my business? And what does it cost?

I can likely facilitate any creative need, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I should. While I definitely create logos, websites, packaging, etc., the act of designing is always the last part of a project. First we must have an objective understanding of your business values and culture, customers, market, and goals, in order to inform what will be created, what it will look like, and how it will be used.

I can help if you are:
Launching a new business
Repositioning a tired or revalued brand
Introducing a new product or service
Seeking results as much as style
Seeking to know Why, as much as What
Seeking a consultant, not a vendor

If you’re only seeking a quick fix or execution for an already-solved problem, that’s great, but then I’m not the right fit for you. I typically enter projects during the early stages of a business (or during a rebrand) to create or realign foundational brand elements.

Because every business has their own unique needs and challenges, I’m unable to offer specific pricing until we determine exactly what you need. But if you know your budget and it fits into the price ranges below, let’s talk.

Brand Strategy: $5k
Brand Identity: $5k — $20k
Product Packaging: $3k — $10k
WordPress Websites: $5k — $25k
Print/Digital Collateral: Need more info
Integrated Campaigns: Need more info

What is Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy (or creative business strategy) is a process that provides a framework for how we’ll solve your current and future creative business challenges. It objectively aligns your culture, values, customers, and message to create clarity, cohesiveness, memorability, and trust.

Design without strategy is really just educated guessing, which may look pretty, but does nothing to solve your long-term creative and marketing goals or brand perception.

The strategy process includes a series of discovery sessions that allow us to arrive at an objective and unified solution, together. The first four are core, but the framework is equally-suited for naming, messaging, websites, etc.

Business Discovery: Who are you? What do you do? Why do you matter?
Customer Discovery: Who are they? What do they need? Why do they need it?
Competitor Discovery: Who are they? What’s their value proposition?
Positioning: Your ideal position in the marketplace based on your expertise, relevance, and competition
Naming: Business, products
Messaging: Taglines, headlines, body copy
Integrated Campaigns: Print and digital platforms, events

What’s included in a brand identity package?

While there can be many pieces that make up a brand identity, the first five are crucial for consistency and memorability:

Logo: Digital, vector format, resizable; Learn more
Logomark: A simplified version of the logo and used as icon, avatar, etc. Learn more
Color Palette: Primary, secondary, tertiary; Pantone, CMYK, RGB color values
Fonts: A small, appropriate set of typefaces used consistently for headlines, body copy, etc.
Style Guide: A comprehensive guide on how to use and not use visual identity elements
Print Collateral: Business card, letterhead, brochures, annual reports, etc.
Digital Collateral: eNewsletters, social media graphics, etc.)
Signage: Exterior, interior, events
Product Packaging: Food, beverage, toy, etc.
Websites: Learn more

What website capabilities do you offer?

A lot goes into a successful website. Not just the development of code and design of the layout, but also understanding your target audience so that your message, user interface, and overall experience is customized for them. Because if it doesn’t work for your most important customers, it won’t matter what the rest think.

Website projects include:
Content Types: Purely informational, blogs, eCommerce storefronts, 3rd party marketing tools
Framework: All sites are built with WordPress–a highly trusted and tested, open source content management software
Responsive: Fluid content reformatting and sizing for mobile and desktop devices
User Experience Research: Understanding the needs and wants of the primary and secondary users of the site
Sitemaps and content: Understanding the content to establish the page structure and hierarchy
Concepts: Establishing the structural, functional, and visual layout
Hosting Setup: Guidance/setup of client-run web host/server
Testing: Compatibility testing for all currently popular web browsers and computer platforms
Warranty: 90 day guarantee on functionality and design
Training: Overview of best practices, content and software updates, etc.

What’s the difference between Phonographik, an agency, and a Graphic Designer?

Graphic Designer

Whether freelance or inhouse, a graphic designer’s primary objective is What and How–What will I create? What will it look like? How will it be produced? They translate written creative direction into organized layouts that meet digital and/or print requirements. But they are not typically involved in strategy or marketing decisions. Although they can offer conceptual ideas and art direction.

Agency

Creative agencies come is a variety of shapes and sizes and offer a multitude of services under one roof (strategy, advertising, marketing, branding, etc.). But the cost of working with them is quite high, due to their need for specialized talent and pricy office space.

Phonographik

Phonographik is the sweet spot between a graphic designer and an agency. I first seek to deeply understand who you are and why you matter, before we determine the solution to your challenge.

For just over 20 years, I’ve been studying, practicing, and solving problems through advertising, marketing, print and digital design, and brand identity for a wide range of businesses across the United States. My experience and abilities are competitive with most agencies, only lower in cost. I am highly motivated by creativity, order, and helping people do good things—all of which, I obtain through Phonographik.

I just need a logo, not a whole identity package. Can you do that?

Sorry, no. A logo created without consideration of other core visual elements (color, typefaces, signage, overall style) and a deep understanding of the business culture, customers, and market, is at best, an educated guess. At worst, it is generic and unsustainable; a paper tiger.

Also, many times when a business owner decides they need a logo, they’re really envisioning a broader identity system that includes not just a logo, but companion marks, color palette, fonts, messaging, etc. But their thinking goes that if they can just get the logo now, to start promoting the business, then they can come back later to figure out the rest. But that rarely works and ultimately, costs more time and money.

So while it may require more investment up front, a logo created as part of a cohesive brand identity package will help you grow your brand more effectively and efficiently because it will be based on real facts and genuine stories, not gut feelings or culture trends, which can change much too quickly.

I’ve already sketched out my logo but don’t have the software to convert it to a digital format. Can you do that for me?

Sorry, no. If you feel you’ve already solved your challenge and simply need someone to execute your concept, a freelance designer or desktop publisher may be a better fit in that situation.

I can get a logo designed online for $50. So why should I work with you?

Brand identities are not created on a computer, they’re created through deep understanding. And rarely is understanding quick and cheap. If cost is your number one concern, you should definitely seek someone other than Phonographik. But keep in mind, you get what you pay for–a fifty dollar logo is worth about $50. Because if someone’s charging extremely low rates for something as important as a businesses identity, then they either lack experience in their discipline or undervalue themselves or their profession. Either way, your business suffers because for that price, they’ll surely not take the time to fully understand what’s needed in order to produce the best possible outcome.

Can you create marketing materials for us, using our current brand identity and creative direction?

Sorry, I don’t work on isolated or currently-branded projects. I take a more comprehensive approach by working with new and emerging businesses who are seeking a new or repositioned brand identity.

I thought my logo, identity, and brand were all the same thing. What’s the difference?

Logos & Marks

A logo (or logotype) is a visual, graphic symbol specifically used for identification of a business, product, or service. Logos are considered the cornerstone of a visual identity because they typically appear on all brand touchpoints (websites, business cards, billboards, etc.). They also distinguish a business from its competitors and set the tone and consistency for the rest of the visual brand elements. They should also be able to stand on their own, but are not the entire visual identity or even the brand. The word, logo is derived from the Greek meaning for word, “logos”.

A Mark (or logomark) is a simplified version of the logo that is used as an icon or avatar in social media and in spaces too small for the full logo(type) to fit or be understood easily.

Fundamentals of successful logos:
Simplicity
Memorability
Appropriate
Meaningful

Aesthetics are also an important factor to consider, but because beauty is subjective, it is not a reliable indicator of quality.

Identity

A brand’s identity (also referred to as visual identity and corporate identity systems) is a collection of cohesive visual elements that identify and differentiate a business in the marketplace.

Brand

Brand master, Marty Neumeier explains “brand” best: “A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” and “A brand is person’s gut feeling about a product or service.” So a brand is only a perception, thus emotional, thus intangible. Another way to think of brand is as an invisible layer of meaning that surrounds a product or service based on individual or group perceptions.

Have a question not answered here?

Please contact me and I’ll return an answer, promptly.