General questions

How do we get started?

If you're interested in working with us, please contact us and tell us a little bit about your vision. From there, the process generally goes a little something like this...

Our coffee date.
We meet either face to face or virtually. During this time, it is your job to describe your complete version - everything that you are hoping to achieve. It is our job to listen, to understand, and to engage.

Project proposal.
Within a week of our conversation, you can expect a proposal. The proposal will outline the specific steps we will take to turn your vision into the deliverables you need. It will also provide a timeline and projected costs. You may be requesting all of our services or only one of them - either way, the proposal you receive will be a single, comprehensive document.

Scope of work and contract.
If the proposal looks good to you, we will come up with a mutually agreed upon scope of work and sign a contract. At this time, a deposit will be due.

Project implementation.
Christine Seed will be your main point of contact and will orchestrate all of the moving pieces so that you don’t have to. She will coordinate with each Detail & Design collaborator assigned to your project, ensuring quality control and timely execution of deliverables.

What do you charge?

The first coffee date and the proposal are on us.

We are committed to working with small, local businesses, and our pricing reflects that commitment; we want to remain affordable to business owners who are just starting out. We also love working with nonprofits and are known for our ability to translate a charitable organization’s mission into a compelling communications strategy. We feel strongly about putting effective communications within reach for every business.

Because we offer many complementary services, your Detail & Design proposal will likely be presented with package rates. These rates may vary from a la carte or hourly rates. All of these details will be spelled out in your proposal so that you can determine which services fit your budget.

How long will my project take?

This is dependent on many factors including scope of the project, our workload, and your availability and responsivenes. When we draw up a proposal for you, we will include an estimated timeline. If you have a particular date in mind, we will do everything that we can to ensure that we meet that deadline with flying colors.

I don't live near you. Is that a problem?

No, it's not. While we are proudly a Durham-focused collaborative, we are happy to work with people who live in other great places as well. We will be sad to not be able to meet you in person, but we can talk via Google hangouts and conduct all of our business online.

Writing and editing questions

How can you write about an industry in which you are not an expert?

You’re in expert in ______ (You fill in the blank: Dress design? Personal fitness? Landscape architecture?). Great! Kate is an expert writer and researcher. Learning about a new industry and writing about it as an expert is what she loves most about this work.

What if I want to make changes to the content you write for my website?

Send it back with revisions noted! This is an expected and welcome part of the web content process. If it’s more comfortable for you, we can also meet in person to go over revisions.

Do you sign your name to your blogs?

No, the blogs are expertly written in your voice with your business in mind. We are fully behind-the-scenes.

Doesn’t Kate's bio mention that she writes fiction?

Yes! And it’s one of her greatest assets as a writer of web content. Writing fiction requires creativity with language, an understanding of voice, and a strong grasp of narrative structure – all invaluable in copywriting.

Website questions

What types of features are included in the websites you create?

All of our sites feature beautiful design, powerful images, and clear typography. In addition, we can include a blog, videos, forms, online payment options, image slideshows, social media links, and so much more. Truly, the sky is the limit. We will work with you to identify what makes the most sense for you and your business and then we will make it happen.

Why do you only develop on Squarespace?

We are biased toward Squarespace for several reasons. We love its clean and sharp look, its affordable pricing structure, and its built in features. In addition, all of our Squarespace sites will be mobile ready and have built in SEO. It's a platform that makes websites accessible to all. We have also found that clients are able to update their sites themselves after we have developed it, which cuts down on long-term costs and frustrations.

Will my website look like a template?

Absolutely not! We love customizing Squarespace sites to reflect your business goals and your unique personality. Squarespace templates are equipped with virtually endless possibilities for customization; add in our coding skills and there is nothing we can't create.

Do you address SEO?

Yes we do. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important component to any website and we absolute include this in our design. Squarespace has many SEO features built in, all of which we will fully utilize. We will also equip your site with Google Analytics so that you can understand your web traffic and what it means to you.

Hand lettering questions

What does the hand-lettering process look like from start to finish?

When you contact us about a project, we will discuss your vision and establish a timeline for completion. We will then send you two to three sketches of your design, and can guarantee a subsequent two rounds of edits before fine-tuning and "inking" the final artwork. Lastly, we will upload the design to create a high-resolution digital file for you. If more edits are needed, the agreed-upon timeline and cost may change. For jobs involving multiple products, like hand-addressed envelopes or place cards, you'll receive a photo of the initial product with up to two rounds of edits before we proceed with completing the lettering for the rest of the items.

What materials do you use?

For single hand-lettered designs, Mary begins with pencil sketches on mixed media paper and completes with an archival ink artist pen. For jobs involving multiple products, Mary can use an archival ink artist pen or a dip pen for a modern calligraphy look, with your choice of color ink in acrylic ink, India ink, or gouache (opaque watercolor).

Can I show you examples of designs that I like?

Absolutely! Your project will be one-of-a-kind, but it's very helpful for me to see examples of design and lettering styles that you are drawn to. Mary is inspired by existing artwork and font - including vintage text - to inform her lettering.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the type of job, we charge either an hourly or per-item fee. We ask that 50% be paid upfront with the remaining balance due upon completion. Mary's rate is competitive with other calligraphers and hand-lettering artists in the area and on Etsy.

Photography questions

Why hire a photographer instead of purchasing stock photos online?

For starters, good stock photography licensing is really expensive and, quite frankly, can be a little cheesy. Lis will get to know you and your needs and create photos with you that tell the story of your brand. Your customers want to see YOU!

So, how does it work? Do you have a studio or do you shoot at my business?

That all depends on your needs. We can easily rent a studio for the day if that’s what we need to get the perfect photograph. However, we have a mobile studio and would much prefer to come to you. We want our photos to be as authentic and unique as possible.

Can you provide me with prints?

Absolutely! Not only will Detail & Design coordinate all of your business printing needs, it’s not uncommon for customers to love their photos so much that they want to turn it into wall art for their home or business. Lis can walk you through that process and will order professional quality small prints or large-scale canvases to suit your needs.

Social media questions

Shouldn't I do my social media myself?

In an ideal world, it would be great if we could all strategize and run our own Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages (among others!). But in reality, there are so many other matters that you, the business owner, need to attend to that adding social media to the list can make your responsibilities unmanageable. In the end, you may end up with accounts that are updated only once in a blue moon, leaving your social media presence looking dull and inactive. It is much better to either forgo social media altogether, or to have a well-thought-out plan in place to deliver quality content on a regular basis.

How do I know that it will sound like me?

Our top priority is to communicate your story authentically. As the first step in our social media partnership, we begin with a consultation to get to know you, your values, and your voice. We check in again after the strategy is developed to further refine our goals and presentation to the world. From there, continuing check-ins and communication give you a chance to give Tiffany feedback on the direction and style of your social media presence and how you would like to see it develop in the future.

How do we measure success on social media?

We deliver reports every month to show you the impact of our social media efforts. These reports include percentage increase in followers, highlights of popular posts, and, most importantly, high-quality connections that were facilitated through social media.

Is your question not on the list?