Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different.
Ask any graphics designer who’s been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and they’ll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skills. I think of myself as a designer-meets-journalist-meets-number cruncher – as the content needs editing, selecting and crafting, and *then* designing.
Your input is vital to the success of the project – you know what you want and you know your industry – it’s up to you to point out the important information and decide on your message.
So you’ve decided your company needs an infographic.
You may have a strong idea of what needs communicating (i.e. your end of year finances, a new process or a summary of your work) or you may have simply heard the word, and feel you should get on board.
Knowing what you want communicating (the overall message as opposed to the specific content) is important and will save you time . It’s also worth thinking about a few key things, as they will be useful to know at the start of the process:
- what are you trying to communicate? You can read more about this here
- who is your audience? age, knowledge, gender, nationality
- is this for online, print or both?
- what is your deadline?
- what is your budget?
- do you have the information, or do you want me to source it?
You will be asked more questions as the process goes on but these are a good starting point.
Much of my work comes in via email, Twitter or Linkedin – with a client contacting me with a tentative query about costings. Few designers (including myself) put prices on their websites. (This is because every job is different. Pricing is based on final output, amount of research required and how quickly you need it).
I’m usually happy to give a ballpark figure, and I have a PDF which gives examples of work and costs, but always ask for more information before giving an official quote.
Many designers quote by the hour – I quote per job. I find this puts everyone at ease (including myself). Of course, I have contingency plans in place if things change – but these are explained fully with my initial quote.
I’ll give a full and detailed price quote once we have completed the next stage, the initial discussion.
An opportunity for us to set out initial ideas, and discuss the project in great depth
Your initial conversation with your infographic designer is key. It may be held face to face or over the telephone. It’s your time to explain what you want, or be honest and say you don’t really know *what* you want. Make sure you have as much information as possible to hand.
Treat it like a first date – find out as much as you can about each other, the process and how each other works. From this you can decide if working together is right for you.
I may do some rough sketching whilst we are talking, so we can make sure we understand each other.
Once I have a better understanding of the job, and we have worked out the basic aims and objectives, I will send over a final quote, before starting any work. You will be asked to sign a New Job Agreement form, which quotes the price and details of what the quote does (and doesn’t) include.
Depending on the size of the job/length of time it will take, I sometimes ask for 30% or 50% upfront.
A series of draft ideas to show you some options of layout and theme/styling
One we’ve had the initial discussions I’ll spend up to a week (depending on the amount of work you want and how many decisions you’ve already made before approaching me) developing a series of options. Here I’ll be exploring 3 areas:
- general approach
- content layout
- styling / theme / concept
I will usually send a series of images over, either ones I’ve drafted myself, or examples found elsewhere, to show you what is possible within the budget/timeframe.
These will not be fully completed images (the themes often develop over time) so I’d ask you to be prepared for some changes in the future and any temporary placeholder content in the image.
One you’ve selected a content layout and theme I will start work on the final files.
An opportunity for you to see a part-completed version, and make sure you’re happy with the direction
As I said above, this is a collaboration, so I will be checking in with you as I design the final deliverable. This could be for several reasons:
- if I shift dramatically from the initial ideas I sent over
- if I want to confirm you are still happy with the direction
I may send the whole piece, or parts of it to make sure you’re happy.
Working towards a final version, I will send work-in-process files for your review. This ensures that we are both on the ‘same page’ and working towards the same outcome. It’s easier to make changes earlier in the process, so if you want something changing, speak now.
The final version – before spell-check and final tweaks, for you to approve
Once I’ve worked up a final version, I’ll send it over for you to review. It may still have typos, spelling errors and require more precise tweaking, but I always leave these until you are is 100% happy with the content (no point pixel-checking copy or images that may change!)
You will then be asked to confirm the content, make any final changes (if you make major changes it will lead to further charges) and run it past your team (if necessary).
I employ a proof reader to check final content for spelling mistakes, statistics and grammar issues. It’s easy for errors to slip through the net. I also ask you/your team to check the final information as well – the more eyes the better.
Once I’ve made any changes I will make sure everything is aligned etc and prepare final files for you (depending on their requirements).
Final files are sent over and once you have given it the final OK, I will invoice for the full/balance amount.
Payment is appreciated within 2 weeks, or 1 month at the longest. I look forward to working with you.