COMMON QUESTIONS

GENERAL

Where are you located?

I am currently in the Pacific Northwestern part of the United States. My family travels as a lifestyle, so we may be somewhere completely different each time we speak.

I have clients all around the world. Whether you're in Spokane, Washington or Wellington, New Zealand the design process is the same.

What is your preferred method of communication?

There are rare occasions when voice communication like a phone call or a Skype call will be the best option.  

But, for most project communication, I prefer you to use the commenting feature in our project management tool. I've found this is the best way to centralize communication and the best way to get concrete direction that we can refer back to throughout the duration of your project.

How do we get started?

We start by completing the "Start your project" form below with as much information as possible.  Our next step, is to schedule a Skype conversation or phone conversation to discuss your project in greater detail.  

Once we've outlined the scope and intended outcome of your project I'll email you with an official proposal. If you would like to move forward, you'll simply pay the deposit to add your project to my schedule.

When can we start my project?

I post my next available project start dates in the "let's start your project" section at the bottom of every page on this site.  

Sometimes, smaller projects can be slipped into my calendar in the space between larger projects. So if you need something small, don't be disheartened. Reach out to me. Let's see what we can do.

How long will my project take?

I've included some estimated time frames for larger projects, but keep in mind that every project is unique.

My estimates assume that client feedback is timely and thorough. A simple logo project can take one to three weeks. A full visual identity can take four to six weeks.

A small Nova website package  usually takes 1 - 3 weeks.  Galaxy package websites can take two to four months. 

Your project proposal will include a customized, estimated time frame.

WEB DESIGN

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website is designed to automatically adjust according to your visitor's screen size.  The site is designed to look beautiful & function properly across devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone).

Will I be able to update my own site content?

Absolutely! If you can place an order on Amazon or send an email, then you have the necessary skills to manage the content of your new website. I'll teach you the basics and make sure you're comfortable with the content management system. You'll even have 30 days after launch to ask me anything or get clarification on how to edit anything on your site.

Do you charge a monthly maintenance fee?

At least six months of basic site maintenance is included in your package price.  This covers hosting, regular backups and software updates.  

At the end of the included hosting period, your price for the extended maintenance agreement is locked in at $48 per month.

Do I have to host my website with you?

If you are paying for your website on a payment plan, then yes I do require that we host the website...at least until the site is paid off and ownership is transferred to you.

If you're paying with standard payment terms, it's strongly recommended that you host with us, but it's not required.

While you don't have to host with me, it's included in the price whether you choose to use those services or not.

When you're hosted with me, I can keep a closer eye on your site. Using an outside host also adds a new layer of complication to my management of your backups and updates. 

Do you need my content before we start building the site?

Yes. The content is the most important part of your website. The site is designed & developed to showcase your content.  The first step in the site design process is to consider the overall goal of your website so we can work together to create the site architecture and user interface that will be able to achieve that goal.  To create that architecture, we'll organize pages, images, sections, text, calls-to-actions, and more.

Can you help me prepare the content for my site?

Yes. When we meet to set your project start date, we'll discuss basic site architecture.  Then I'll give you a series of forms that will help you organize your site content.  This will be your homework in the weeks leading up to your project start date.

Can you help me source gorgeous images and photos for my site?

Yes. I love sourcing just the right images to convey just the right message! Each site design package includes a certain number of photos that I can source for you.  I can find more for an additional fee of $15 per photo.

Do you provide copy writing?

No. You know your business better than anyone. So, I encourage you to write the initial copy yourself.  However, I do provide copy refinement.

I can help by massaging the words you've written, making sure that your site not only looks and functions great, but also reads well.

If you aren't comfortable writing your own website copy, I can make a recommendation for a professional copywriter.

Do you do SEO?

Mindmeld Creative does not provide search engine optimization services (SEO).  Your site will include the tools necessary to manage your own basic SEO needs. If you have more advanced needs (like page redirects, site migrations, guaranteed ranking, etc), we can make recommendations for an SEO professional.

IDENTITY

What’s the difference between a logo and a visual identity?

A logo is a graphic or symbol that identifies a company, product, service, or person. Logos come in a number of different styles from a wordmark (with is a thoughtfully designed typographic nameplate), icons, illustrations, and combinations of styles. 

The logo is typically the central point of any branding strategy. But a logo does not make a brand identity.  This is where the visual identity comes in.

A visual identity includes the logo, but it can also include any combination of image style or tone (usually presented as a moodboard), a color palette, logo variations, a typographic system and supporting design elements or graphics such as iconography, patterns, photo style examples, etc. All of these elements are packaged together as a cohesive visual language and presented in something called a style guide. This is the visual identity.

Do I need a logo or a visual identity?

You need a visual identity. You need a cohesive, consistent brand. And the only way to present such a brand is through a visual identity.  

Now, the size of that endeavor can grow with the size of your business' needs.  A small or new business can do quite well with a simple identity system that includes a wordmark or logo, color palette & typography.  

A larger organization requires a more elaborate visual identity system to ensure that everyone in the organization is empowered to appropriately promote your brand.

What’s a mood board or a style tile?

When trying to convey a design idea things like mood, emotion, and tone can be remarkably hard to communicate. Designers often use mood boards to help. A mood board is a collection of textures, images and text related to a design theme. The mood board is meant to be used as a reference point and is not intended to be a literal definition of the final design. The goal of the mood board is to invoke the kinds of emotions & tone that we want the final design to invoke. From that reference point, we can select a style, color palette, and typography to begin creating a visual identity.

What is the difference between a concept and a revision?

Your design concepts will provide you with several different creative directions or ideas to choose from. I offer a number of concepts or versions depending on your design package.

Once you have narrowed down the options to one or two of your favorite concepts, I begin to refine your choice.This refining is called design revisions. It can include slight changes to the color palette,  iconography, typography, and proportions. Revisions typically do not involve changing the main concept of the logo itself.

What is a revision round?

Once we agree on the conceptual direction for your design, I offer a number of revision rounds based on your design package.

A round refers to the feedback - implementation - presentation loop.  Before a revision round, you'll provide feedback on the concept.

I'll interpret & implement that feedback in the form of edits. Then I'll present the updated design as Revision 1. At this point, all feedback is added to the to do list for Revision Round 2. This loop continues until you are happy with your design.

A revision round happens each time I apply your suggested edits to a design.  So, it will help both of us if you collect all of your feedback into one list with as much detail, clarity, & examples as possible.

What if I need more revisions? Or more concepts?

If you "run out" of revision rounds, more can be purchased for just $45 each. If you would like to be presented with entirely new concepts, more can be purchased for $85 each.

PAYMENT

What are the standard payment terms?

Standard payment terms split your project costs into two equal payments.

The 50% deposit will get your project in my schedule and initiate one pre-project meeting to discuss site architecture. While waiting for your project start date, you can focus on gathering and writing

content.

The remaining 50% is payable on the site launch date or 60 days after the project start date, whichever comes sooner.

What happens if my project takes longer than expected?

Projects taking longer than 60 days will be charged a bi-weekly continuation fee.

On day 70, I’ll send an invoice for the $325 fee. I’ll send this invoice every two weeks until website launch.

This policy is in place to avoid bottlenecks & long-lead times in my project calendar.

To avoid continuation fees, all clients are encouraged to clear time in their schedules during the site design & development project so they can meet any deadlines that might delay the project.

Having the site content in hand before we begin each project eliminates the most common reason for project delays.

Can I get a refund if I change my mind?

I do not offer refunds for website design or development services.

There is one exception. If you've made a 50% deposit under the standard payment terms and you change your mind, you can get a 50% of your deposit refunded to you if you cancel your project in writing (via email is ideal) at least 7 business days before your project start date.

The 25% deposits are non-refundable.

So, if you have created a payment plan and cancel your project before the project start date, you will not get your deposit returned. But you will get any payments that may have been paid between scheduling and your start date. And you will be able to avoid additional payments by cancelling as early as possible. 

How do payment plans work?

I understand that many small business owners don't have a few thousand dollars laying around to drop on a new website. This is why I've decided to make payment plans available to my clients.

Most projects over $1000 can be paid with a payment plan.

Payment plans require a 25% deposit and include a 9% service charge. Monthly payments are made automatically. The number of monthly payments will be determined by the design package and total price for your project. 

When you request a payment plan, you'll receive an email with a link to your terms and agreement. Clicking that link will take you to the Partial.ly customer checkout. This is a fully secure, custom checkout page with the payment plan amount and details listed.

You'll be asked to enter your payment method details, agree to the terms and conditions and type your name in a digital signature box to complete checkout and initiate the payment plan.

All future payments will be timed and automated according to the custom terms of your payment plan.

NOTE:  Payment plans are loans not service contracts.  When you sign your payment agreement, you are agreeing to pay the full amount of the loan according to the terms in the agreement.

What if I miss a payment on the payment plan?

Your payments are processed automatically each month. Please keep your payment method up-to-date in your Partial.ly account.

If your payment doesn't go through, Partial.ly will attempt your provided payment three times.  

If it doesn't work after three attempts, your payment account may be suspended. 

Remember, your payment plan is a loan not a service payment. 

If you do not update your payment method to re-initiate your account within 14 days, a $50 late fee will be added to your account.

If the account remains inactive for 45 days, your website will be taken off line and the email accounts will be suspended until the account is caught up.

If the account remains inactive for 60 days, the remaining balance will become due in full, and we will begin the debt collection process.

 

What if I want to pay it off early?

No problem! You can log into your Partial.ly account and make additional payments anytime you like for any amount that you like.

Regardless of additional payments, your automated payments will continue according to the terms until your balance is zero.

LET'S START YOUR PROJECT

MY PROJECT CALENDAR
Next available project start

April 10, 2017