How We Work Together
Working with a publication services company may be new to you. You may have a few questions and concerns. You may wonder if we will be able to interpret your needs. What about effectiveness and efficiency? How will the project stay on track? We have addressed a few of these concerns here. Plus, you are always welcome to phone or send an e-mail if you have more questions.
Our invoices and project rates are based on the time we invest in a project. You may be a business owner yourself, so you understand that running a project requires more than just doing the actual creative and production work. Currently we bill our time by the hour. Different types of work are billed at different hourly rates. Project costs range accordingly, but we always consider our clients' needs and budgets. We always provide a detailed proposal and estimate for approval before starting any assignment. We adhere to our estimates, except where clients change the scope of the project or request production schedule changes.
Once a project begins, we start by working with your key staff to gather the information we need. We do not limit our interest to scheduling, budget, and job specifications only. We also assess your preferences, target audience, and objectives. Although we don't like meetings any more than you do, this process is crucial. It helps you sharpen your focus and objectives, and it helps us better understand what you want, to better ensure what we produce is both what you need and what is right for your business goals.
Despite popular mythology, the creative process doesn't come in flashes of inspired vision. Instead, good work evolves from hard work, often by a lot of trial and error. For that reason, we often take time to consider several approaches, try them out, and revise them. Then there's the practical, real world stuff: scheduling jobs, working with printer's schedules, contractor availability, and so forth.
In order to schedule our workflow properly, we normally ask for up to two weeks depending on the job's complexity, before we submit our rough concepts for your review. Of course, if you have a rush project or deadline pressure, we adjust our workflow and fees accordingly.
Initially, we work with the project manager and one or two project team members and/or support staff. Keeping it small means we all stay focused. Our rough concepts generally consist of wireframes and sketches with descriptions. It's the Goldilocks Approach: we develop the concepts just enough to adequately convey the ideas, but not so developed that we've wasted a lot of time if we need to correct our course.
After presenting the initial concept(s), we'll ask for comments. The more objective and specific you can be, the better. Comments are our input for revising the rough concepts into finished ones. Revision can take up to a week depending on the scope, and we schedule a second presentation shortly thereafter.
From the input at this second presentation meeting, further minor refinements are made as necessary. We also finalize the production timetable, and the scheduling of additional services such as photography, illustrations, or other elements called for by the project.
Ensuring Your Satisfaction
We recommend the finished product be routed to the appropriate decision-makers for fact and detail checking only, reserving stylistic and subjective decisions to your project manager. To avoid costly confusion, it is also important that all communication with us come from a single point of contact.
During the course of the project, we keep your project manager informed of our progress. Activities that will affect the schedule or budget will always be identified in writing. Our goal is to keep your project moving along, smoothly and cost-effectively.
Kelley Greenman and Reese Howell
Ink Works Publication Services