Working with Ember & Co
Which design services do you offer?
Can I work with Ember & Co if I don't live in Colorado?
Absolutely! One of the best aspects of my business is the ability to work with anyone, regardless of location. Ember & Co has clients all over the world.
Who will be handling my project? Do you have a team?
While I (Caitlin) handle the vast majority of the project management, design work, and creative direction for Ember & Co — I will sometimes partner with trusted experts in niche fields to help make your project a success. This might include SEO strategists, social media marketing experts, copywriters, and/or advanced web developers.
As the saying goes, "Teamwork makes the dream work." You will always know ahead of time who will be tackling what.
When will we be working on my project?
I am a big believer in maintaining a healthy work/life balance, so that I can bring you my best self and most creative work. I work (and respond to client communications) 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday. If your project is expected to span multiple weeks, you will receive a project timeline that will outline when each phase of the project is expected to be completed.
How long will it take to complete my project? What if I'm in a hurry?
Your project timeline will depend on the scope of work and how quickly you’re able to provide feedback for each phase of the project. I would plan for at least a month for most projects; websites and full branding suites can take close to three months.
If you don’t have that kind of time, you can pay a 20% rush fee to get your project moved to the front of the queue 🙂
What happens if I miss my feedback deadlines?
Whenever possible, it’s important that we both hit the project deadlines that we commit to at the start of the project. A small delay here and there likely won’t affect things too much, but know that your project completion date will likely be shifted back.
If there are significant delays on your end, the project will be paused and rescheduled for a later date so that it doesn’t interfere with other projects. A rebooking fee will apply.
What will you need from me during the process?
Most importantly: sincere collaboration. Think of our relationship as a waltz — I’ll lead, but I need your effort and participation to make it a success. You know your business, and I know how to make it shine.
How can I guarantee that our project together will be a success?
I like to refer to the three C's: collaboration, communication, clarity. If we ensure that we're a good fit for each other, communicate openly and authentically, trust in each other's expertise, and speak with clarity — we'll do great together 🙂
How do I book you?
Introduce yourself here. That’s the first step! We will schedule a time to chat about your project in more detail, and if it seems like a good fit, I’ll send over a proposal, contract, and an invoice for your project down payment. All three pieces (proposal + contract + down payment) must be complete before your project is officially added to my project calendar.
How much will this cost me?
Your investment will depend on the scope of your project. My hourly rate starts at $75/hr and all of my design packages have been built to cover the time and expertise that goes into each project. Branding packages start at $750. Website packages start at $1,500.
Do you have payment plans?
Yes! For most projects, 50% will be due at the beginning of the project, and 50% at the end.
If you’re booking your project more than a month before the start date, 35% will be due to book, 35% will be due at the start of the project, and 30% will be due upon project completion.
Projects over $2,000 also have the option to be on a 35/35/30 payment plan, if desired. 35% will be due at the beginning of the project, 35% will be due one month later (or mid-way through the project, whichever comes first) and 30% at the end.
Which forms of payment does Ember & Co accept?
Ember & Co accepts all major credit cards (there is a convenient payment button on each invoice you receive). We also accept checks — just let me know when you drop them in the mail so I can keep an eye out for it. Bounced checks will result in a 10% penalty fee.
If we have the opportunity to meet in person I am happy to accept cash, but for your safety, I prefer not to have cash mailed to me.
When do I pay?
Unless we’re on a special payment schedule, 50% of your project total will be due before we book your project. The remaining balance will be due at the end of the project, before I hand off your final design files.
If I’m booked out more than a month, 25% of the project total will be due to book your project, 25% will be due on the day our project starts, and the remaining balance will be due upon completion of the project (before I hand off design files).
What happens if I miss a payment?
Life happens, and sometimes payment dates slip our minds. A payment that is a day or two late isn’t the end of the world and with good communication, we’ll bounce right back.
However, keep in mind that each payment is tethered to your project’s progress and work will not commence/continue until each payment milestone is met. If you fail to make a payment entirely, a 10% late fee will be added to the project total every 30 days until the total balance is paid off. Timely and honest communication is essential when it comes to avoiding potential fees 🙂
What does Ember & Co charge for brand design?
Prices start at $750 for a mini brand package and go up from there depending on your needs. You can find more details here.
Why is there such a variance in what brand/logo designers charge for their services?
When you browse the internet, you’ll notice a vast array of price points for logo and brand design. Why is that?
Well, most obvious is the level of experience and expertise. Brand identity design is a challenging, highly creative, and deeply important process. Your business is precious to you, and its success (or failure) can hinge on a properly executed brand that truly resonates with your dream clientele. That expertise is hard-won and worth investing in — believe me.
Some designers are also better than others at gauging the time and energy that goes into each project — or are willing to commit more of themselves to a project than others are.
If someone is charging you pennies for a logo design, it’s likely that they’re either:
- Not very experienced
- Don’t have confidence in the quality of their work
- Work from another country that has a much, much lower cost of living
- AND/OR take on lots of projects at once and spend minimal time/energy on each project
If you’re going to invest in your business, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to partner with someone who has the necessary skills, expertise, creativity, and attention to dedicate to you and your business goals.
What is the difference between a logo and a brand identity?
A logo (short for logotype) is a graphic mark or symbol that is used to promote instant recognition of your brand. Think of it as your signature— how people recognize something as yours. Your logo should be simple, memorable, and timeless. Despite their visual simplicity, logos are one of the most difficult design elements to perfect. Your logo is one element of your overall brand identity.
Your brand identity is the visual expression of your brand: your logo, color palette, font palette, imagery, website, stationery, brand guideline, etc. This is what we will work on together. Think of it as your clothing, how you present yourself visually to those you meet.
Your brand, as a whole, is how you are perceived by others. As Marty Neumeier has said, your brand is “a person’s gut feeling about [your] product, service, or organization.” It’s your brand voice, your values, how you speak about yourself and your customers. It’s how someone feels about you after they’ve interacted with you. Your visual brand identity works to reinforce the impression you’d like to leave on your ideal clientele.
Will you design just a logo for me?
I used to offer this service, but I’ve found that it’s really challenging to give you a well-rounded brand presence without giving thought to color palette, font selection, or how your logo will be used within the greater context of your brand.
If you are an established business with an existing color palette, I may be able to work within your existing brand identity to craft an updated logo. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
How much does a website cost?
Prices start at $1500 for a mini website package, and go up front their depending on your needs. You can find more details here.
I’ve never built a website before. How does the whole process work?
That’s okay! Most people haven’t. I’ll be here every step of the way to lead you through the process. You can learn more about Ember & Co’s website experience here.
What is a domain name?
Think of your domain name as your address. It’s how people will find you when they want to visit you. You want your domain name (URL) to be simple, memorable, and easy to spell.
What is a website host?
Think of your website host as the plot of land you build your house (or in this case, website) on. It’s the physical location that your domain name (your address) will lead people to. Some hosts are cheaper than others; it’s often worthwhile to pay a little extra to get added security and privacy. I wrote a lot about this HERE.
Do I need my own domain and hosting?
Yep! I let you choose your own domain and hosting so that you have full control over billing and ownership. I’ll help you set everything up after you’ve purchased what you need.
- My recommended domain provider: Google Domains
- My recommended hosting providers: Flywheel is my top pick for WordPress sites. Hands down. Siteground is also good, though you’ll share space with other websites on their starter plans.
Depending on the website platform we choose for you, here is what you’ll need:
- For WordPress.org sites: you’ll need a host AND a domain
- For ShowIt sites: you’ll just need a domain (ShowIt handles the hosting)
- For Squarespace sites: you’ll just need a domain (Squarespace handles the hosting). If you don’t already have a domain, you can actually purchase it through Squarespace so that everything is managed from one account.
Will my website look good on mobile?
Absolutely! In this day and age, it’s essential that your website looks just as good on mobile as it does on a desktop. I use responsive design principles to build out a website that looks great no matter where/how your customers are viewing it.
Do you do eCommerce/Online Store websites?
Yep! Keep in mind that your website package investment will increase based on the complexity/scale of your online store.
Which website platform should I use?
Good question! There many different options out there, and they’re all designed for different needs/business objectives. I design for WordPress, Squarespace, and ShowIt. I wrote an in-depth overview of each platform here.
Will you teach me how to update my website myself?
Of course! I want you to feel like you have full ownership of your website, and I don’t want you to have to make a request every time you want to update the text/images on your website.
I use industry-leading drag-and-drop builders on every website I create so that you will be able to make basic updates to your website without any coding knowledge. I also film a walkthrough of your website before hand-off (showing you how to make yourself at home) and offer a free training session post-launch if you have any questions after diving in 🙂 I will never leave you hanging!
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is a fancy way to say that we want your website to come up in Google search results when your customers are searching for businesses like yours. There is a lot that goes into SEO and if you get really serious about it, you’ll likely want to hire an expert that specializes in it.
However, there is a lot that we can do to get you started on the right foot when we launch your new website. My standard website package includes basic SEO set-up. You can help by giving some extra attention to your copy. Focus on well written, keyword rich and appropriate content is the key.
Do you write the content/copy for my site?
Ember & Co can help with some basic editing and optimize the copy you provide so that it fits within the structure of each web page and the goals we’ve set. However, we don’t write the copy for you.
Effective and well-written website copy is just as important (if not moreso, in some cases) as the website design itself. If you’d like some professional expertise, I’m happy to connect you with one of my trusted copywriting partners.
I highly recommended STORYBRAND by Donald Miller if you’re interested in writing effective copy that tells a story and captures the heart of your ideal customers. It’s a fairly quick read (or listen) and will completely transform how you talk about your business.
When do you need my website copy?
Your final copy (whether you write it or have someone help) is due BEFORE we start on the website development process. Within the first week or so of our design process, I will provide you with a wireframe of each main website page that is filled with placeholder copy. Sometimes it can help to “fill in all the blanks” rather than starting from scratch.
I recommend having all of your rough copy ready before we start, and fine-tuning after you’ve approved the wireframe and we’re about to start on development.
Have more questions?
No problem! Reach out via the contact page, or via email: email@example.com