The steps below represent our complete process. We customize this process per client, initiative and budget.
• We make sure we select the appropriate team for your specific project, budget and end goals.
• Both partners are project managers and actively involved in every project.
• In order for us to be our most creative and most efficient, we need to be as informed as possible.
• Regardless of the size of a client or the respective project, we make sure we ask as many questions as possible.
• We cover the strengths and weaknesses of each client in the marketplace, general information about the client’s industry, information about competitors and best practices.
EXPLORE AND DEFINE STRATEGY
• We work with our clients to define the best approach for their project, components and process.
• We develop a schedule and outline the responsibilities of the client as well as the DIC team.
• Often, this requires considering (and reconsidering) budget constraints and objectives.
• We provide each client with two to four visual explorations based on the strategy we’ve defined.
• Within each project, each concept will typically be unique from one another, thus providing the client with a wide range of styles from which to choose.
• Based on client input/feedback, we refine the selected design concept.
• We cross every t and dot every i to ensure a smooth process and to generate accurate quotes from subcontractors, when their services are necessary.
IMPLEMENT AND COORDINATE END PRODUCTS
• We offer our clients the option to coordinate with all subcontractors and vendors themselves, or to have us coordinate and maintain quality control of all deliverables.
EVALUATE AND MEASURE RESULTS
• We work with our clients to measure the outcome of their projects. This helps our clients define and redefine strategies for future marketing objectives.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is branding?
A company’s brand is what sets it apart from its competition. A brand is the identity of a product, service or business. It reflects the company and creates a connection with the company’s audience. Branding begins with a concept, known as a positioning statement. This is the map that serves as the strategy for the development of the brand. This concept ultimately determines and defines how clients are perceived by their customers. With the groundwork laid, all of the physical components can be created: brand identity, tone of voice, ad campaigns and so on. Establishing a solid brand through consistency in messaging, visuals, product/service quality and company culture results in brand recognition and loyalty.
What is the level of experience of Design in Common and its team members?
We are seasoned creative professionals who are able to guide clients through a collaborative design process. All of our current contractors have at least 10 years of experience in their fields.
Why do you work in so many mediums?
Jamie began her career with specific design specialities, but soon evolved through exposure to a variety of clients, projects and goals. By working as an independent freelancer and art director for many years prior to forming DIC, she has been fortunate to work with extremely talented individuals in the design industry. These relationships expand our knowledge base, keep us abreast of new technology and trends, and help our team to fully service our clients. Our clients experience a seamless process, enabling them to keep their brand strong and consistent across multiple applications.
What is the work style of DIC?
Our style has been described as:
• comprehensive (we look at the bigger picture) while being detail-oriented (we don’t let small details slip through the cracks)
• invested (our clients’ goals are our goals)
• sustainable (we want our clients to spend money wisely — we design for longevity)
• time- and budget-efficient
How are you different from other design agencies and freelance designers?
• Our services are approximately one-fourth of the cost of those found at large design firms — however, we provide a very similar and thorough experience for our clients.
• We are completely invested not only in the overall creativity of a project, but in our clients’ return on their investment. We delve into not only the project itself, but into the company, its competition and its market.
• We look at the big picture in order to make decisions that will result in a successful end product.
• Yes, we are generally more expensive than typical freelancers and design students — but the experience and the end results are generally unequalled.
How do I know that will have good results at the end of this process?
The proof is in our work. We have a wide variety of projects you may check out on this site. While you might not see a business or industry similar to yours, all of our projects will display the common threads of our business practices: honesty, thorough research and understanding, attention to detail, clean and simple design solutions. We know each business is unique, and our job is to make you stand out from your competitors, not blend into the landscape. Please take a look at our portfolio and client list to see the variety of clients with whom we have been fortunate enough to work.
Some of your team members are in different locations. How does this work?
Since the majority of our work is done via computer, we are able to operate a virtual office. This also allows us to collaborate with our favorite and trusted resources through online meetings, video conferences, etc., regardless of their geographic location. We have been working in this manner for approximately 17 years, and find that many of our clients work similarly. However, we do always try to get as much face-to-face time as we can with our clients.
What is your fee structure/payment process?
We require a 50 percent deposit of the total project fees prior to beginning the project, with monthly billing for the remainder. For quick-turnaround projects (one to two months), we bill 50 percent up front, and 50 percent when the project is complete. We work with prospective clients to clearly outline the project scope and determine a project ceiling in order to complete the project in the most efficient manner possible.
Can I afford to work with you?
Yes! We can work with you no matter what your budget may be. We consult with prospective clients to see if we are a good fit, and to determine how we can assist with projects. We will take a look at your budget and show you how to get the most for your buck by making decisions that are financially smart for everyone involved, without compromising on quality and creative input. And though we cost money, we can save you money: We can provide competitive pricing for subcontractors from printing to construction. We are also able to troubleshoot and catch things that could potentially cost you more money in the long run. Most importantly, we can help you make money by effectively connecting with your target audience.
What if I only need help with part of a project?
We can do that. Whether you are a small company in need of a new logo and stationery, or a large firm looking to brand multiple products or concepts, we can work with you. We can become your marketing department or we can work with your existing resources (internal or external) to accomplish your goals. We all have the same objective: to grow your brand and meet your business objectives.
We all have the same objective: to grow your brand and meet your business objectives.
What happens after DIC has completed the project?
It is important to us that you come away from this with a brand and system that you can use to better reach your audience and goals. We have developed a number of processes/systems for hand-off. It is our goal that our clients can maintain the foundation and work that we have started, then use our services on an as-needed basis. One example: The majority of websites we build have an extensive back-end content management system, which allows our clients to update content on their sites as needed.