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The Dutch have a special word to describe “cosiness”, “comfort”, but it’s also something that goes a little beyond that. “Gezellig”. Pronounced correctly, it kinda sounds like you’re clearing your throat, but this blog explores its meaning by documenting experiences that make life richer and deeper; through food, family, and the making of a home.

What’s it like to work with me?

by amanda on May 20, 2017

Just one step closer to pulling it all together!

A post shared by Streamliners Espresso Bar (@streamlinersespressobar) on

The answer to the question that’s burning in your mind: What can I expect with working with a graphic designer?

I get potential clients from all kinds of places; from my website, from referrals, from Instagram. Some clients, like large institutions or non-profits, have worked with a designer before and generally know how things will work when it comes to a working relationship.

But for many people, this is their first time down this road. You might be wondering things like:

  • How does it work, working with a designer anyway?
  • What if I have an idea; can you just recreate that?
  • What if I have no idea, can you help me with that?
  • What will I end up with at the end of this project?

So many questions! So I’m taking the opportunity to finally answer them. Of course, you can always reach out to me directly, but maybe skimming down this post might relieve some of the trepidation you are currently having!

For Creative people: Photographers, Stylists, Interior Designers, Retailers, Vintage Shops, Hair Salon, Personal Brands

If you work in the creative field, then likely your brain doesn’t operate in a straight line. Rather, it goes from texture, to colour, to quality of light, to depth, to contrast, and back again. So we’ll collaborate in the same way. Remember, I’m a creative, too!

For Makers/Artisans: Home Builders, Farmers, Chefs, Bakers, Woodworkers, Coffee Roasters

As a maker, you love working with your hands to creative something of substance. You work directly with raw materials, so perhaps dealing with computers leaves you a little nervous.

As a graphic designer, I am building things as well, and they need to reflect your vision, your style, and your work ethic.

In general (for everyone)

We’ll start with a chat, maybe a Pinterest board, and a cup of coffee. I’ll tease out what is going on in your brain that you may have trouble articulating directly. We’ll put “pen to paper”, and I will come up with at least 2 to 3 concepts for your to consider. I take into consideration your own aesthetic, your target market, your competitors, and any other relevant data. From those initial concepts, there should be one that pops out at you. We’ll take that preferred concept and run with it: we’ll iterate a few times, finalize colours using the universal Pantone colour system, and come up with the dreamiest website/logo/design your industry has ever seen.

If you already have a pretty sound idea, that’s totally cool, and I can help digitize it so that it is usable in the practical world. However, you are not just hiring me for my Adobe software skills (otherwise you would have just hired a student, or someone with little experience). You are also hiring me for my relevant industry experience: what I know about your audience; what practical considerations there are to using the logo on social media, etc…So I will definitely be offering my own concepts for you to consider also.

If we’re creating a brand, I’ll give you a set of files that you can use right away, from business card to Facebook page to car decal to front door signage, so you’re ready to go. If we’re developing a website, I’ll give you exactly what you need to have the online presence ready and functioning, and will hand you the keys.

Usually with enough clues in the general right direction (including getting to know you, your target audience, and your product better), I’ll figure out the style, colour, and aesthetic your brand is begging to be made of, the packaging that delivers just the right tactile effect, and the website experience your clients will love.

What if I don’t love it?

If you don’t love the first few concepts I give you, don’t panic! It just means we didn’t do enough chatting ahead of time. We’ll meet up again, this time armed with more examples that convey what direction you were hoping to go. Remember, part of my skills is reading your mind, and I don’t always get that right. We’ll keep at it until you love it. I promise.

What next?

Normally, someone who hires me for branding will realize that now that I’m already in their brain, it’s just as easy for me to develop their signage, or business cards, or brochures, whatever the case. In the best scenario, we get to keep on collaborating together!

In the case of a website, I do remind clients that they are living things, that need watering (maintenance) every once in a while. There are software updates to do, new portfolio pieces you may want to add, etc…I am always available to help with these sorts of things. At this point I just bill hourly for however long the task will take.

And that’s it! Now you know the process. If you have any other questions about it, feel free to get in touch!

And I’ll head on back over to Pinterest for the latest inspiration…

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