Frequently Asked Questions

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FEES / ADMIN / WORK METHODS

Do your quotes include GST?
GST will be added on top of my service quote. Web hosting packages are pre-included.

What payment methods do you accept?
Payment details can be found on the bottom of your invoice. They include Direct Debit, Cheque or Credit Card with or without PayPal account.

Do you charge by the hour?
Most jobs are quoted as a flat rate, based on the tools and expertise required to complete your project. This way you know what you will be paying from the very beginning and you’re in charge of how much you get out of it.

Is paying an initial deposit compulsory? / Can I pay in installments?
If your project is over $200, then a 50% deposit is usually requested. Each individual situation is different though and some clients prefer to have their invoice broken into multiple installments – this can usually be arranged too.

Which charities are available to donate to when I leave a testimonial?
I am both vegan and a human welfare activist, therefore every client who leaves a testimonial with me automatically has part of their invoice donated to charity which reflects this. You can choose from Animals Australia, Amnesty International, PETA, iFAW or HRA.

What qualifications do you have?
I have earned distinctions throughout my training. I complete multiple short courses every year, and have studied many design, IT, web and writing courses, certificates and diplomas throughout my life, including – but not limited to: Graphic Design, Copywriting, Design & Technology, Desktop-Publishing and Website Design.
If you would like to read more about me on a personal note just visit my Why Hire page

We’re a big business who need you on a regular basis and do not find individual quotes convenient. Can we make an easier arrangement?
Yes. I work for many larger businesses who simply require a quick turn-around who I then charged with a fortnightly timesheet. These projects are administered as billable hours in 15 minute increments, which are lower than my usual rate as a dedication to your permanent commitment.

Can I arrange a face-to-face meeting with you?
I work only via e-mail and phone to ensure that I’m constantly available for all my clients. This is a tried and tested method with my current clients who say that they prefer this arrangement. If you need face-to-face meetings then another designer will suit you better. I’ve never had a client who I couldn’t work with this way.

DESIGN | PRINT | FINAL FILES

How can I help you best understand what I want in a design?
It is completely normal to feel apprehensive about paying your money (which you worked hard to collect!) and not be sure if you’ll end up with what you want. It’s important to remember, that you are working with a professional, who has been in the industry for years and knows the ins & outs of different styles and industry appearance + specific niche market’s tastes when it comes to designing for that market.
A professional designer such as myself is very used to hundreds of styles and can describe a style to you which you may not have been able to put into words.
To help, you can bombard my email inbox with plenty of similar products that you like. Even if you can’t tell me why you like it, it will still give an obvious feel to me. I may also provide you with a little questionnaire which you can fill in and send back to help me get a better idea of your needs and wants.

I don’t know how I want my design to look – how can you help?
Just bombard my email inbox with pre-existing designs that you like! It may surprise you once we get a collection going, just how much everything you send has in common. Once we find that common ground then it will help to narrow down what look and feel you want your project to have.
Even if you can’t tell me why you like a certain design, it will still give an obvious feel to me.
I may also provide you with a little questionnaire which you can fill in and send back to help me (and you!) get a better idea of your needs and wants. You may not know them when you start, but by sitting down and answering some quick and simple questions a real pattern can start to appear.

Do I own all rights to a project once completed?
Once the project has been paid for in full then you are permitted and licensed to use the final files as you wish. You can read more within my Terms and Conditions.

What file types will I receive once it is completed?
Logo: Your logo package will include a multipage PDF Logo Guide, which breaks down your colour codes, font names, how to use each different file type and varying sizes. Files include your original Vector (.eps | high resolution CMYK) file as well as .TIFF (300dpi CMYK) and JPG and PNG (72dpi RGB). Every file comes as colour, white and greyscale in small, medium and large sizes for white or transparent backgrounds.
Website: If you have paid for a design without development then you will receive an organised and layered Photoshop (.psd) file to hand to your developer. If you have paid to have the website developed, then you will not receive any files, however all flat images and coded pages will be available on your hosting via FTP.
Print Media: A high resolution, print-ready PDF file will be provided. If source files are requested then these are at 50% of the design cost.

Why do I need to pay an additional fee if I want the source file?
By law, you have IP rights over any content provided to complete a project (so long as it is created/written by your own company and not a third-party) but you do not have IP rights to the design file which has been created by Shona Creative. If a source file was in any way manipulated or corrupt or had a law suit filed against its content due to any changes made to it by the buying party, after a project was deemed complete, then Shona Creatve could be liable as the creator. This is why source files are not given away easily.
Additionally, as the creator of a particular design a price needs to be arranged for single production rather than ongoing maintenance to a file which would cost less.
Thirdly, a certain amount of time does need to be used to package the final file ready for office use.
Further reasons can be supplied by an IP lawyer and I will be happy to provide the contact details of my own if you would like to discuss these.

How long will it take for a print order to arrive?
Once your payment has been received I then place your order with the printers. This can take up to 1 week for production, and then 2-5 days for delivery around Australia. Generally the entire process takes 3-10 days from payment to your doorstep. Business cards are usually processed and delivered within a week all up.

Are your printers Australian and Eco-Friendly?
My trade printers are based in Queensland, Australia and use all Australian materials, employment and equipment. They also have eco-friendly papers for you to choose from!

WEBSITES

I need ongoing website/design maintenance – Do you have special arrangements or prices?
Feel free to email your request through to me for a custom quote and I’m usually available to complete it for you immedately in the case of emergency fixes. If you need the same task repeated frequently then I will quote you according to its specs and frequency.

Do you use ‘Flash’ to create websites?
No – and for very good reasons: Flash is not good for SEO (search engine optimisation), mobile devices, and doesn’t work on all browsers + is very slow to load. There are plenty of other ways to achieve the same effects such as ‘jQuery’ and many other Javascripts that are more compatible and Google-friendly.
If you are serious about getting your website to the top of Google and also keeping your client’s attention, be sure to steer clear of Flash.

What is the difference between “hosting”, “domain names” and a “website”?
Basically, a website is made up of 3 items:
1) your hosting account – which is the space on the internet where all your files and emails will be held.
2) the domain name – which is the address you type in that points to the hosting.
3) the website design – that’s where I come in and make all the files on your hosting account look good!
You can buy hosting and domain names from many different places. I happen to resell very secure hosts. Security and service are my main focus when reselling servers. You can view the packages on my Hosting page and each package comes with a free domain name so you don’t need to worry about setting that up!
Once the hosting and domain name have been purchased then we can begin planning and designing your very own website. I’ll also send you a Web Handbook to teach you more about your account.

Will I OWN my domain name?
Yes, you would ‘own’ your domain name for the time that you pay for it. Some companies simply register the domain name under their own contact details and lease it out to you for a yearly fee but when you use one of my packages we would register it using your own ABN and contact details. This gives you the right to move it around to any other host provider/register in the future as you wish. Personally, I don’t charge a yearly fee for domain names since I only charge for the hosting but if you were to move it to somebody else then you will need to pay for both.

Will my website be SEO / Google friendly?
Each website is developed to be “search-engine friendly”. This means that all the basics are in place to ensure Google sees your content properly and efficiently. As a basic example; we all know Google reads the text on your page – but what about the images? If you have an image which says “affordable photographer in Sydney” then it’s wasted since Google can’t see that statement on an image. Instead, I will ensure all images are coded behind the scenes to include all important key words there such as “affordable”, “photographer”, “sydney”.
For further SEO compatibility it’s always wise to hire a professional and full-time SEO company to send you monthly edits, statistics and updates.

PROJECT RESOURCES

Where can I buy professional looking (stock) photos from?
I use an account with www.istockphoto.com. I recommend iStock over other services since they provide pay-as-you-go options so there’s no need for you to setup an account with credits. They have also been around the longest and I find they have a better quality range of photos. If you prefer, I can purchase any photos on behalf of you and add the cost to your final invoice.

What is the difference between ‘vector’ and ‘raster’ for my logo?
There is a huge difference. If you’re after a logo or large image then you want ‘vector’ which is not produced in Photoshop or any other paint program. Vectors are made out of shapes instead of pixles so they can be enlarged to any size without resulting in a blury image. Visit my Blog page for an article called Logo Quality: Vector vs. Raster which goes into more depth.

What is the difference between ‘RGB’ and ‘CMYK’ and ‘Pantone (PMS)’ when it comes to colour?
The general rule is that RGB is on-screen colours (e.g. for websites) and CMYK is for physical printing (e.g. brochures). Pantone is also for physical printing but is made up of one solid colour unlike CMYK which is a mix. Visit my Blog page for an article called Printing Made Easy: RGB, CMYK or PMS for the best explanation.