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Branding + Design

What is the difference between branding and identity design?
Identity design involves the core visual elements used in your materials: logo, font selection, color palette, business cards, and stationery.

Your brand is made up of everything that contributes to your company’s personality–the way you interact with your customers, how you want to be perceived, and, most importantly, how your audience perceives your company to be.

When should a business care about branding?
All the time. And as early as possible.

Many businesses put off branding because they perceive the process to be financially restrictive, or they consider other projects to be more time-sensitive. That’s often because the role of branding is misunderstood. Branding is the process of connecting a company’s business plan with their marketing and production plans. If it’s completely ignored, or, if marketing comes before branding, issues stemming from confusing messaging and production inefficiencies bog down your company’s ability to grow. The branding process decreases these kinds of distractions by creating a structure that fits your company.

Since good communication is the life-force for business, it’s important that the core of what you’re trying to present is something your audience embraces. Defining your brand helps you clarify that message, then build your business around it. This way of approaching communication helps you maintain not only your image, but also your way of doing things inside and outside of your company.

Invest in the future of your company by building relationships through consistent messaging.

When should we brand or rebrand our company?

Here are a few common indications that you’re ready to professionally brand or rebrand your company:

  • You’ve been in business for a few years but your company doesn’t seem to be getting the recognition you deserve.
  • You’re scrambling to produce marketing materials as each trade show or big meeting rolls around.

  • Your communication materials are mismatched and sound like they were written by several different people (likely, because they were).

  • You’ve been in business for a few years, but still can’t decide which style fits your company best, so you’re trying a few things out.

  • Times have changed, and so has your audience or product—you need a fresh image to show you’ve still got it, whatever it is.

  • You’ve undergone a lot of internal changes, and evolved into a new company that needs to reconnect with your audience or expand your reach.

  • You need a new image to help save the future of your business.


I've never worked with a designer—what should I expect?
Every designer will have different skill sets and preferred ways of working. It’s important that you look for one that makes you feel comfortable, who has the skills for your particular project, and who can explain their role in previous projects with clarity.

As creativity often requires, the process of coming up with the best solution for your business is not always straightforward and predictable. It takes a level of openness, and sometimes sacrifice, to arrive at a solution that will deliver impeccable results. We want the result to be an objective response to your practical problems, so I always begin a project by defining what the problems are so we know when we’ve solved them.

Because there is a level of subjectivity to aesthetic preferences, you will be provided with 2-3 options for most any project request. That is standard practice for designers.

Any further questions about the process can be happily addressed during our initial meet n’ greet conversation.

How long will my project take to complete?
It’s a team effort, so part of that depends on your availability and mine at the time the project is requested. I work as efficiently as possible to accommodate deadlines.

General timeframes to expect:

  • Corporate Identity Package. 7-10 weeks
  • Branding. 3-12 weeks
  • Brochure Design. 4 days-6 weeks (not including printing)
  • Website Design. 2-12 weeks. Depends on the size and depth, and the platform used. (WordPress sites built from pre-existing templates provide the fastest option.)
  • iPhone App UX Design. Initial design varies widely based on the parameters of the app. Iterations, typically within 2-5 business days.


How much will our project cost?

It depends on the project and on your priorities (desired turnaround time, level of quality or complexity, and budget).

If you’re looking for design that is fast and cheap, you will be limited on its level of quality and uniqueness. However, Kari developed a line of products specifically for new businesses with smaller budgets called Lean Design for Startups™.his is her budget-friendly line of quick-turnaround Word, Pages, Keynote and PowerPoint templates that are customized with your look and feel and allow you to edit the content yourself.

Will you do our project in exchange for equity?

Sorry, we get offers monthly, along with our bills.

What are your ballpark rates?

Corporate Identity Package. $3600-$7600

  • Logo design
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Color Palette for Print + Screen
  • Font selection + hierarchy

This configuration is open to substitutions and additions, such as a digital letterhead (a template you can edit, print and email as needed) in place of a printed letterhead, or adding a website design. Please note, I do not design standalone logos—they must be part of a package. I specialize in providing visual systems for businesses so you have what you need to continue to grow.

Existing brand extension to new materials. $65-$90/hr
Varies depending on quantity, complexity, duration and size of project.

Branding. $7000+

  • Target audience and competition analysis
  • Business model survey
  • Messaging focus and tone
  • Image style and treatment
  • Graphic elements (patterns, lines, graphic objects)
  • Corporate Identity Package (see above)

Website and iPhone app UX design. $83-$95/hr
Varies depending on duration and size of project.

Business Consultation. $425 for initial consultation
$110/hr for follow-up conversations after action step review

  • This is not to be confused with having a conversation around your project inquiry, which is provided free of charge. This service involves an in-depth discussion of a specific business concern.
  • 1hr. phone interview
  • Custom document with recommended action steps and resources
  • 20-min. follow-up conversation to review the action steps
Do you offer price breaks or retainer agreements?

Yes, but only to clients with whom we have an established relationship.

We provide two options:

  1. Monthly Retainer for 10-40 hours per month for a minimum of three months.
  2. Alternatively, or preliminarily, I provide a flat discount when a large amount of work is agreed to up front.

The type of work eligible for discounts includes maintenance or expansion of an existing project (websites, brochure templates, .pdf downloads, iterative updates to apps). Branding, logo design, or any similar foundational design work is never discounted because it involves intensive work to establish unique creative strategies which are invaluable to your company.

What expenses am I responsible to cover as your client?

I will always inform you of additional expenses ahead of time and get your sign-off before they are added to your balance. Your proposal will list the anticipated expenses that you will be responsible to cover, and will include estimates for each of them when possible. These may include printing costs, shipping costs (only if they exceed $20) and font or image license purchases made specifically for your projects. Travel expenses will only be billed to you when they are in excess of a certain amount of time, distance or frequency, or if I’m required to travel out-of-town.