What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My hourly rate for pure design is $75. The going rate in our area is anywhere from $60 to $125. I have very low overhead and also provide a lot of intangible benefits for a healthy amount of added value.
My hourly shop rate (sign installation, fabrication, painting, etc.) is $50.
Logo design: Logos are priced out not on an hourly basis, but on their perceived value. A national company with great exposure could pay as much as $25,000 for a logo design. A local grocery store in Missoula might pay me $300 and two loaves of bread per week. The fee all depends on where and how much the logo will be used, and the size of the business that commissions it.
What types of customers have you worked with?
My approach is to cover the variety of different graphics needed by business owners. Brochures, logo design, posters, banners, signs, vehicle graphics, and on and on. A business owner could spend all day chasing down different vendors for each project, or she could make a single phone call or email to Zephyr. I work with a broad network of printers, signs shops, web developers and fabricators. I handle all the legwork and details, leaving the business owner free to concentrate on business!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Insist on clear, timely communication. I've found that customer service is really lacking in our area, and I pride myself on keeping my clients in the loop and up to date on their projects. Things always change in the course of executing a graphics project, and I communicate these changes to my clients so that when the job is delivered and the bill is presented, there are absolutely no surprises.
If a designer or sign shop offers to cut corners or try to circumvent city sign ordinances or permitting requirements, you should not deal with them. My compliance with local permitting and sign rules ensures that your project will face nothing but smooth sailing.