Frequently Asked Questions: Graphic Design

If you don't see your question answered below, please contact Barry Atwood barry.atwood@emory.edu.

Do you make signs?

The simple answer is that we are not a sign shop. We are designers and provide services from the inception to completion of your project and rely on local vendors to build, print, fabricate, produce, and install the solution. Occasionally, we'll perform minor installation services and we may also print certain types of sign inserts when it is appropriate.  Our service can include (at your discretion) complete coordination of the work.

How do I start?

Send an email or call to discuss your project so we may discuss options available to you short and long term.

Do you provide rush service?

Occasionally we can, but this depends on our workload at the moment. We can make suggestions to you in the event that we cannot provide immediate turnaround. Certain products require minimum production time that is outside our control and most things we design or have made require a digital layout be produced (by us) that will be used by the vendor to produce your end product.

We handle projects on a first-come first-served basis, and we constantly prioritize our work based on our customer's schedule. Realistically, some requests are simply handled and if we can complete your work immediately, we will do so.

Customers should expect that we'll begin your project within two weeks, although we are delighted to discuss your project immediately which will trigger our creative process to solve your assignment.

How much does your service cost?

Normally, the initial consultation with you is free of charge. We also can provide limited estimating services free of charge. In cases where something must be devised or designed in order to determine its cost, we may charge for the service. Design services are $65 to $75 per hour. We will estimate and cap fees at a maximum when the scope of work is fully known and agreed. We also provide some coordination services free of charge if we are able to schedule this at our convenience. We have limited administrative support services that are free of charge including the following: purchasing, Emory Express purchasing, delivery arrangement, set-up, coordination, on-site supervision, vendor coordination, checking installations, and minor changes to layouts.

How long will it take?

All projects vary in scope and duration. The more comprehensive the longer it will take to accomplish. If you need minor signs for an event, it could be only a few days time. Exhibition projects take several months to accomplish up to a year. Re-orders of previously designed items are the shortest turnaround in a week or two. For planning purposes, it is best to allow two weeks for minor requests (as a minimum).

Certain sign products have 6 to 8 week lead times for production. We can give you a better answer once we've discussed your request.

Are there standards (or standard designs) I can choose from?

Yes. In many cases, we've developed standards for signs. This aids uniformity but also reduces cost. Many projects call for custom solutions and we can address those effectively. We are shepherds of the Emory brand and abide by the Branding Guidelines for Emory, meaning that logos must be appropriate and approved, and colors and configurations are established parameters that we follow. See the standards listed in the QUICK LINKS to the right.

Will we be able to maintain our signs once installed? What about name inserts for office signs?

Yes and no is the most accurate answer. We've adopted sign products as standards to allow for user changes to inserts using paper with software to layout and print the inserts. We'll set this up for you once the project is installed. In terms of exterior or more permanent sign fixtures, we use vendors to make changes or revisions and we'll manage the process for you.

What is the approval process?

All projects will have a different approval process that we will articulate once we understand your request. All items installed permanently on campus grounds or on a building require numerous approvals from the University Administration. We will shepherd the project through these steps and inform you of expectations.

If you buy something for us is there a mark-up?

No. We charge your account only the direct cost to us. We also obtain bids on certain purchases in accordance with the University's guidelines for purchasing. We constantly strive for the best pricing from vendors and we balance that with the quality of service the vendor provides.

Do you offer turnkey service?

Yes, we can manage your project from inception to reality.  Furthermore, we can assist you in maintaining your project after installation.

Is your work guaranteed?

Yes. We will assist you to resolve any issue that arises as a result of our work. We work with you through a progressive design process where several stages of customer approval are often appropriate. This helps customers fully understand what to expect in the final installation. Alterations to projects previously approved are considered customer changes that might result in additional cost. We make revisions to projects during design phases in the normal course of work. Product failures or warranty issues are worked out with the manufacturer or installer and we assist in resolution. Usually, products have some limited warranty.

Why work with us?

We provide turn-key services.
We can illustrate concepts so there are no surprises.
We know Emory and the materials appropriate for use in Emory buildings and grounds.
We design to conform to your budget and are responsible stewards of Emory's funding sources.