Graphic Design: 4 Things We MUST Know Before Starting Your Order

­When you’re placing a signage order with any company, it’s imperative that you ask about art charges and set up fees. It would be awful to get an unexpected $150 charge on an order you for which you were only quoted $100, right? We certainly think so!

As we mentioned in this blog, having vector art is an absolute must when creating signage. Without vector art we cannot print or plot cut materials for signage. If you’re unable to obtain vector art for your signs, it doesn’t mean we cannot help you. However, you’re likely to accrue an art charge.

Some shops will outsource the graphic design, but we staff two designers in house. One of whom has over twenty years of experience in the industry. At Signs & Design we typically charge about $75/hour for graphic design.

You can always expect to be notified beforehand if your order requires any graphic design time, as well as provided an estimate before we begin. There are several things you can do to help reduce the time it takes to recreate old art or for our graphic designers to put together artwork from scratch—

  • Identify any fonts. Even if you don’t have existing art, fonts are a crucial part of logo and sign design. By letting us know what type of font you want before our graphic designers get to work, you’re reducing the time they spend searching for fonts that fit your image. We suggest using dafont.com to locate fonts that you like. Once you’ve found one, you can provide the font name when placing your order.
  • Provide reference images. Research examples of logos or sign designs that you like before placing an order. This is especially crucial when you don’t have any existing artwork. While our designers are talented, having a starting point is always helpful. It ensures that they are on the right track at the beginning of the design process.
  • Know your colors. Here we talked about different color formats including Pantone. If you have specific Pantone colors required for your branding, make sure you note these when placing an order. If you do not have specific color values, it’s still helpful to note what colors you’d like to see in your logo. Whether you have a specific color in mind (i.e. K-State purple) or a vague color (i.e. dark blue, somewhere between navy and royal), it’s useful information.
  • Know dimensions. When we do a project such as a vehicle wrap, we always take the dimensions ourselves. But if you are calling in an order for something like yard signs, real estate signs, or site signs, we’ll need you to provide those dimensions. Our designers create vector art, meaning we can enlarge the design without reducing resolution. This isn’t helpful when you tell us your sign is a 4’ x 4’\ and it’s actually a 4’ x 8’. That’s going to result in a redesign and more graphic design charges accrued because it’s proportionally incorrect.

One last thing to note when discussing graphic design is that it will add time to your order. Though we do strive to send out proofs in a timely manner, placing an order with vector art in-hand will always expedite the process. If you have existing artwork and are unsure if it follows our artwork guidelines, you can view those here.