Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Because online marketing is currently the smartest use of one's marketing funds, I do a lot of web site design, placement and SEO. However, for most of my clients I act as a third-party marketing manager, managing and producing everything from startup or re-imaging logos, to display ads, point-of-purchase displays, digital photo editing, production of printed communications and more. I offer a one-woman graphic design and marketing advertising agency.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Redesign of a web site for a client I have been working with since 1987.
Logo redesign for a client I've been working with since 1992.
Business cards, customer loyalty cards and a web site for a start up business.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Determine if you are on the same wavelength and that communication is easy. Do not make a decision solely on cost because, unfortunately, many times if you pick the lowest provider you get what you pay for.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. It is critical that you check the name of your company with the United State Trademark office before having your logo done. No sense putting good money into a design and getting to the point of wanting to trademark your logo ... then finding out that someone already holds a trademark on that name. I always check this if the client has not.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Firstly, it is important to know what you want. Sometimes people are unable to verbalize what they want. In this case, it is helpful to know what you DO NOT want. Many times I suggest to people to show me logos or web sites that they don't like if they are unable to narrow down what they do like. It's important to see if the professional is able to put themselves in the back seat and do create pleasing designs that meet the client's objectives and preferences. It is important to ask if the professional holds the rights to the work or if the client owns it. In my case I give all rights to the client, but I maintain the rights to use the work in promoting myself and my services.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. If someone is starting a new business, they need to do some research and see if someone else has already not only used that name, but more importantly obtained a trademark on the name through the US Patents and Trademark Office. This is not difficult to do, but it is something that so many people overlook. I always do a trademark search before designing a logo for anyone. If possible, someone starting a new company should do some research to determine if there is an audience either locally or via the Internet who would be looking to buy their goods or services.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. What I like most about my job is that I have the ability to help people succeed in their businesses. While I am creative and have always been artistic, I know that at times I am tapping into some great creative ideas at a level beyond me, the individual. I love that every day is different. I love that many of my clients have stayed with me for many, many years. They have become dear friends.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. The multifunction web site for Stage Neck Inn (www.stageneck.com). I did all of the design on the project, all of the writing, some of the coding and creating page templates. I maintain the day-to-day changes on this 200-plus page site.