1. We have never collaborated with a design studio before – how does the process work?
2. I need something designed in 2 days – will it cost extra?
- You send us details of your creative needs, e.g. “We need a new logo, business cards, letterhead, email footers and a 5-page website”. If we require more details in order to provide an estimate, we’ll let you know. It is always preferable to provide a budget beforehand, but we understand that this is not always possible.
- Based on all the information received, we send you an estimate of costs or price range. The lower end of the range signifies basic design and less options to choose from. The top end of the range signifies our full creative package, including brainstorming, visual research, art direction and detailed project management.
- You give us an indication of which level suits your budget and we submit a detailed quotation.
- Upon approval of the quotation, we require a 50% deposit (indicated in the quotation). This secures your booking with us and allows us to schedule the project in the studio’s timeline. Unfortunately we cannot provide credit or do any speculative work.
- As soon as we have received proof of payment, we will create an invoice to process the payment in our accounting system. For this we will need the following company details: Company name, VAT number (if applicable), Physical address, Contact person and Contact details (telephone number and email address).
- We will then schedule your project in the studio’s timeline. The final deadline (or delivery date) will depend on the number of projects already scheduled. We will give you specific dates on which we require feedback or content from you (critical dates). Any delays from your side will result in subsequent delays in the final delivery date.
- If we deem it necessary, we will send you a creative interview. This short questionnaire will help us finalise the brief (details of what you want). Our clients usually find that this process helps them to redefine their own goals, target market and unique product offering. If you find the creative interview limiting, we might need to set up a meeting to clarify details face to face.
- In some instances we will ask you to create a mood board. This is a collection of design-related images with qualities that you like. This will help us to better understand your needs and preferences. These images must be emailed to us and can include any relevant details that you prefer, eg. typography (lettering), colour schemes, visual styles, etc.
- At this stage you must send us any content that forms part of the project (text, images, etc.). Note that we view all received content as final. Within reason, small content changes will be done free of charge, but any significant changes will be deemed alterations (see FAQ 17) and will incur extra costs. It is therefore best to finalise (spellcheck, etc.) all content before submitting it to us.
- We will then begin the creative process (brainstorming, visual research, design). As soon as we have finalised the first design draft, we will send you a proof for your approval.
- If you are satisfied with the direction the design is going, you have to approve the proof in writing. Bear in mind that this will form the basis of the rest of the creative process. If you change your mind at a later stage, we will have to start from scratch and extra costs will be incurred.
- If you are not entirely satisfied with the proof, we will revisit the brief and make adjustments where necessary. Please refer to FAQ 16 and 17 for more information on revisions and alterations.
- After each design stage, we will send you proofs for your approval. When we send you final proofs of the whole project, you must read through all the text and make sure all the content is correct. We do not accept responsibility for any mistakes after approval by clients. It is your responsibility to make sure everything is in order and ready to be printed/uploaded to the web.
- After your approval of the final proofs, we will prepare the files for press (ready to be printed) or web (ready to be uploaded to the server). If there are any last minute changes after files have been prepared, extra charges will be incurred in most cases.
- Upon the delivery of the final product, the rest of the invoice is payable, including any additional charges incurred during the creative process. Please see FAQ 4 for more information on our payment structure.
- We will send you the print-ready (or web-ready) files upon request. Bear in mind that the original files (also called source files or open files), remains the intellectual property of the studio. Please see FAQ 6 for more details.
3. What if I don’t like what you send me – will I get my money back?
- Yes, we charge a rush fee for any work that needs to be completed in a hurry. At any given time we have between 10 and 15 active projects that have been scheduled ahead of time. We have a commitment to clients that book in advance and therefore have to honour existing deadlines.
- We do, however, have ways of accommodating rush jobs. This usually involves working overtime or trying to move an existing deadline (with the affected client’s permission of course). In certain cases we need to outsource to freelance designers.
- Due to the extra burden on the studio, we charge a rush fee (between 50% and 100% added to the normal price, depending on the degree of urgency and availability of designers).
4. How does your payment structure work?
- We realise that design is in essence a subjective field, so there will always be the possibility that we might miss the mark with a proposed design solution. However, we are usually approached by potential clients that are familiar with our creative work. If you haven’t seen any of our work, we strongly encourage you to view our portfolio to make sure that you like what you see and are confident in our creative skill set.
- We try to minimise the risk of failure by working closely with our clients and getting a very clear brief from the start.
- The brief is complemented by the creative interview and the mood board (see FAQ 1 for more details).
- If we miss the mark in spite of a detailed brief, we will determine where we have gone wrong and make adjustments to the design to fit your requirements.
- If the adjusted design still doesn’t meet with your approval, we will go back to the drawing board and come up with a new solution. We are willing to repeat this process until you are 100% satisfied.
- If it gets to a point that you are convinced that we cannot find a solution, you might need to approach another creative team. You will only pay for the work that has been done up to that point and the rest of your deposit will be refunded. Note that you pay for and receive the proofs only, not the original files (see FAQ 6 for more details).
5. Which payment methods do you accept?
- After acceptance of our quote, we require a 50% deposit before we schedule the project and begin any creative work.
- Upon receipt of proof of payment, we convert your quote into an invoice in order to process your payment in our accounting system.
- We require the balance of the invoice (and additional invoices, if any) upon completion of the project. Unfortunately we cannot provide credit.
- With comprehensive projects that cannot be completed within one month, we might require a progress payment (usually 25%) after a set period of time. This will be communicated to you in advance.
- Any outstanding invoices must be settled before we will accept new work from you.
- Interest may be charged on invoices that are not settled within 30 days of issue.
6. Who owns the intellectual property (IP) of the designs?
- The only method of payment we accept is an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Unfortunately we don’t accept cash payments or cheques. Our banking details are as follows:
- Name of bank: ABSA
- Name of account: Sunflood Studios
- Account number: 4068616457
- Branch code/Routing number: 632005
- Branch address: Plein Street, Stellenbosch, 7600
- Swift code: ABSAZAJJ
- Note also that we do not have credit card facilities on site.
7. What is a release fee and when does it apply?
- Unless specified otherwise in your quote, you pay for and own the print-ready and/or web-ready files only. The source files remain the intellectual property of the studio. In certain cases, like logo design, you will also receive various file formats and the rights to their use.
- If you wish to acquire the source files of a project for whatever reason, you will be liable to pay 50% of the original invoice linked to the project (release fee). Please see FAQ 7 for more details.
- If you know beforehand that you will require source files for a certain project, we can structure the quotation in such a way that you can avoid release fees. The specific design element will be prepared as a template and the template file(s) will be made available to you at the end of the project. Note that templates are more costly than print-ready files, because they have to be structured differently and cleaned up before submission. The same reasons that necessitate release fees are also applicable to templates. We do, however, honour clients that communicate the need for source files beforehand and therefore templates are more cost effective than source files with release fees attached to their dissemination.
8. Do you offer printing services?
- A release fee is an additional payment required when a client requests the source (original/open) files of a design project. It is usually 50% of the original invoice linked to the project.
- The reasons for release fees are as follows:
- Our technical expertise will be disclosed (as revealed in the source files);
- We lose the potential of generating future income from the project files;
- We lose creative control over the files and its use (or misuse). This poses a serious risk to the reputation of the studio and its work.
- To avoid release fees, you can request a template before the commencement of the project. Please see FAQ 6 for more details.
9. What kind of printing do you offer?
- We collaborate with reputable printing industry professionals with whom we have a long-standing relationship. We can therefore negotiate good prices on your behalf and manage the entire process for you – from preparing files for press, handling technical difficulties and signing off machine proofs. We therefore outsource printing and do not print on site, but because we carry the risk if something goes wrong, we add a markup to printing quotes.
- Printing quotes are valid for 14 days only, as paper prices fluctuate.
10. How much does a website/logo/brochure cost?
- Lithographic printing (litho), including special finishes like spot varnish, embossing, foiling and die-cutting.
- Digital printing. Note that minimum orders apply (see FAQ 18 for more details).
- Large format printing, e.g. pull up banners, banner walls, etc.
11. Do you deliver printed work? What are the costs involved?
- There many variables that influence the cost of each design project. It is therefore near impossible to provide an accurate estimation before discussing your unique needs. It is very much like wanting to know what a car costs – the price range varies considerably, depending on features, finishes, etc.
- We therefore have to consider each project’s unique requirements before creating an initial estimation of costs. If we need more information about your creative needs, we will contact you.
12. I discovered a text error in my printed work. Can you reprint it free of charge?
- We collaborate with a network of affordable and dependable courier companies. Seeing that the risk is ours, we usually add a markup to delivery charges and you pay us directly.
- Delivery charges will depend on the size and weight of the final printed product, as well as the destination it needs to be delivered to. We will provide an estimation of costs before delivery takes place.
13. I need a printing quote. What information do you need?
- Unfortunately, no. We send through final proofs before going to print – these have to be approved in writing by the client. During this stage you have to make 100% sure that all content is correct. After receiving your approval and going to print, we do not accept responsibility for any missed errors. Reprints will therefore be at an additional fee.
14. Do you design large e-commerce websites or do any back-end development?
- FORMAT: What is the format of the product, e.g. 6-panel brochure (U-fold). Include amount of pages (if applicable).
- SIZE: What are the dimensions of the product, e.g. open size = 210mm H x 297mm W; final size (when folded) = 210mm H x 99mm W.
- COLOUR: What are the colour requirements, e.g. full colour on both sides. Include special requests like Pantone colours (if applicable).
- FINISHES: What special finishes are required, e.g. spot varnish on cover panel. Other options are embossing, foiling, die-cutting and binding (saddle-stitched, perfect bind, etc.).
- QUANTITY: How many of the finished product do you need, e.g. 500 brochures. Include other amounts that you might consider because of better unit prices, e.g. 1000 and 2000.
- DELIVERY: Where must the printed products be delivered to, e.g. physical address in Johannesburg. Include detailed address information and details of contact person who will accept delivery (telephone numbers).
- SPECIAL REQUESTS: Are there any special requests, e.g. pack 150 brochures in a box labeled “Sandton branch” and the rest in boxes labeled “Fourways branch”. Include any details that we need to know about the finished product and/or delivery.
15. Can you send through a 2nd invoice for the final 50% after I've paid the first 50% deposit?
- We specialise in the front-end of web design (making your website look professional and aesthetically pleasing). All back-end development, e.g. databases, e-commerce, SEO (search engine optimisation), etc. are referred to one of our web development partners. Because of the complexity of web development, we don’t outsource the work, but prefer that you communicate with them directly.
16. Can I request additional logo options after we've completed 3 rounds of revisions of the chosen idea?
- After we receive your 50% deposit (as indicated on the quotation), we create an invoice for the full quoted amount. All payments are then credited to the invoice.
- Our accounting system does not allow the creation of partial invoices for outstanding amounts.
- We can, however, send you a detailed statement that indicates all received monies and any outstanding amounts.
- If you definitely require two separate invoices (one for each payment), please indicate this to us beforehand. Once we have created an invoice, the only way to make changes is to issue a credit note and create a new invoice. This doesn’t look too good on our financial statements and creates unnecessary administration.
17. I need to chop and change a few paragraphs of the final text I sent through. Can I do this?
- Unless otherwise specified, we view 3 rounds of revisions as acceptable, but prefer to finalise the design before a fifth round of revisions. If you require additional options after this, we might need to charge you for the extra work (depending on the circumstances). We will discuss this with you beforehand to make sure all parties are in agreement of what is fair.
18. What do I need to know about digital printing?
- We can definitely do this for you, but it will come at an additional cost. We view all content received from you as final and ready for layout (unless otherwise specified). Any content alterations after layout has been completed, will be invoiced separately. The reason for this is that we are in essence duplicating work. Substantial changes to content usually necessitate substantial design changes (new layout decisions have to be made).
- The correction of a spelling mistake here and there will not be deemed content alterations. Again, we will discuss this with you and decide together what is fair to all parties involved.
19. My Wordpress site was hacked! You'll fix it, right?
- Minimum quantities apply and quantities are project dependent.
- It is compulsory to sign off a physical proof and the client is responsible for delivery costs incurred.
- Due to the unpredictable nature of digital printing, colour consistency cannot be guaranteed, even when a physical proof has been approved.
- Cutting and finishing is not on the same standard as lithographic printing, therefore its quality cannot be guaranteed.
- The client is responsible for the costs of any reprints due to unsatisfactory results.
- As a result of the above-mentioned limitations of digital printing, we recommend lithographic printing in most cases.
- The web technology behind WordPress gets updated regularly to minimise security risks. If you have a WordPress website you might be vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking attempts if you are not running the latest version of WordPress and your plugins are not updated frequently. Proper website maintenance will keep your online risk low.
- We recommend our monthly WordPress maintenance package, which includes updating the WordPress database, doing backups, updating all plugins, troubleshooting and making sure everything is running smoothly. This usually does not take longer than one hour, which comes to R400 ex VAT per month. If this is not an option for you we recommend doing this maintenance at least once every 3 to 6 months.
- Regrettably we cannot accept responsibility for any hacking attempts and consequent damage to your WordPress website. Any restoration/rebuilding of the website will be for your own account.