With repetition comes process. With process comes efficiency and drama-free projects.

 

Our Design & Build Process

Our Process has been praised, it has been presented publicly, and it has helped us create some wonderful results. Our Process allows us to be creative yet establish and meet specific goals.

00. INITIAL CONSULTATION

A freebie, ideally in person, which lasts about an hour. We dig deeper into your reasons for contacting us, what your business goals are, what opportunities you have and what challenges you need to address. Based on relevant experiences, we try to provide an estimate on the spot. If that estimate is in the ballpark for your budget, we create a written Proposal and set a date with you to review the Proposal.

01. STRATEGY AND TACTICS REVIEW

Before you dive into creative work, best practice is to identify your audience and how your features translate into benefits for them. After we know the benefits, building materials to address your audience becomes that much more effective. For help nailing down that message, we use our Positioning Framework. This is best done prior to the next step, Design & Build Kickoff.

02. DESIGN & BUILD KICKOFF

Your team and ours. We cover a lot of territory. A typical agenda includes:

  • Introducing each of our team members and their roles
  • Reiterating your goals for the project
  • Determining how you’re unique and how we can articulate that
  • Reviewing your creative preferences in terms of likes and dislikes
  • Discussing the next few steps of the creative / production cycle
  • Planning the next few milestones and the timeline for completion

03. CREATIVE

We review notes from our Initial Consultation and Kickoff Meeting and break down the project into tasks with micro-estimates so that we can manage the budget we’ve agreed to. For corporate identity projects, we start with the most fundamental visual elements of an identity to create standards-compliant visuals, whether they are modern, classical or something completely different. For web development projects, we look at your aesthetic and functional/workflow needs to address the project from two different directions. For graphic design projects, we consider physical constraints such as paper size, folds, binding formats, distribution methods and reproduction. Sometimes, what seems like a constraint is actually a seed of inspiration as we find unique ways to address your individual needs.

04. PRESENTATION, FEEDBACK AND REVISIONS

We have built our creative and programming process as an iterative one to let you see our work at various stages of development. Each visit we have with you is an opportunity for you to see how the work is progressing, to put a finer point on your needs and to provide us with valuable feedback. Presentation and Feedback meetings are typically scheduled at one- or two-week intervals.

05A. WEB DEVELOPMENT

While our in-house designers are solving visual and information design challenges, they lean heavily on our in-house programming team to ensure that the solutions they propose won’t cause undue technical expense or maintenance. We combine open source software and custom web programming to provide both cost-effective solutions and custom-made web programming to exactly fit your stated goals.

05B. PRINT PRODUCTION

Once the design portion of the project is complete, we handle print management for our clients. It is not required but we do this for about 95% of our clients. It includes selecting a printer, getting pricing, reviewing printer proofs and reviewing the completed job to ensure that quality has been maintained throughout the manufacturing process.

06. WRAP-UP

At the end of the project, we archive our working files for future retrieval. Upon request, we provide you with digital files, login credentials, training, and follow up maintenance as necessary.

 

Our Packages

 

Web

Web Branding

With everything going digital, a majority of the world focuses their initial branding efforts on the logo, basic printed pieces and a simple website. This is our most popular package and hits all of those points. We do the necessary research and provide solutions that are targeted and unique. You get a custom brand and website based on your audience’s preferences. Extend your brand to the web or update your current website and you can expect noticeable results!

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• Logo design
• Business cards, letterhead, envelope design
• 5-page website design and programming
• Web traffic analytics tool
• Branding guide to instruct future usage
• 1-year warranty on website code

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Web Publishing

How often do you need to update your website content? This package is for clients who want to have frequent updates to text and images (not a shopping cart or gallery, though). Authorized staff can make more frequent content updates in a news magazine, a blog or a very large website. Allow subscribers to follow your RSS feed, blogs and comments. We make it easier than it seems.

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• Customized content management system design and installation
• Live training in how to manage your content
• Web traffic analytics tool
• 1-year warranty on website code

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Starter Website

This project typically ranges from $2K to 20K depending on the amount of research, insight and customization you need, and how much content you have.

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E-commerce Website

Selling your wares online gets both easier and more complicated every year. Birch Studio is expert in building out shopping carts, adding features and customizing them all to meet your exact needs. Typical pricing ranges from $5K to $50K.

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Portfolio Website

This package is ideal for showing off your portfolio on a platform that lets your work speak for itself. If you have twenty images or 100, the Portfolio Website is expandable and easy to update. Image galleries focused on your work create a beautiful balance between design and function. This package is useful for artists, builders, landscape architects and more.

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• Image gallery page
• 3 additional content pages
• Web traffic analytics tool
• 1 year warranty on website code
• OPTIONAL: additional content pages or galleries

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Web Optimization

Once your site is built, there are numerous ways to test and improve upon what has been done. From basic text updates to testing various values for their effectiveness in moving traffic through the site, we continuously improve your website with techniques to boost your search rankings and support for your current e-marketing efforts.

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• 4 hours/month of general updates & tweaking
• Search engine optimization for your text and web pages
• Monthly analytical traffic reports
• Traffic goal setting and conversion tracking

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Print

Print Branding

A staple of promotional collateral, this print branding package includes everything you need to start a boots-on-the-ground campaign. The logo is designed with the brochure in mind but can be used in any application from door signs to billboards and everything in between. Whether you hand out brochures at conferences, at a retail counter or you drop them in the mail, you have options with this package. The package is backed up by custom logo design and a stationery suite – business card, letterhead and envelope – so you can be sure you enter the world well-dressed.

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• Logo design
• Business cards, letterhead, envelope design
• Standard 3-panel or oversized 2-panel brochure design
• Copywriting for brochure
• Branding guide to instruct future usage

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Ad Campaign

If you’re going to run a print ad, you want one that nails your message, makes your brand shine and grabs your audience. We create that ad for you. Five of them, actually. All with a common theme. That complement your brand. Or your marketing mission. Or something else. We do our homework to zero in on your most compelling features and then create, design and build your ad campaign. Our creative ads are original, eye-catching and specifically targeted to your audience.

Includes:

• Research, interview & recommendations
• Ad concept
• Initial ad design
• Design and copywriting of four additional ads in the same theme
• Five press-ready ad files

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Annual Reports

Annual Reports use data, images and stories to reflect the value your organization brings to your stakeholders. Annual reports can be multi-page, book-like documents or abbreviated editions in digest form, which only show the highlights. We design annual reports for print and web publication.

Includes:

• Content review and organization
• Design styling
• Design of key data (data viz)
• Image processing
• Print management
• Digital publishing

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Miscellaneous

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Logos, brochures, annual reports, booth graphics, stationery suites, ad campaigns, sales materials, packaging, folders and direct mail campaigns are the raw materials we build brands from. But it’s strategy and execution that takes your efforts to the next level.

WEB DESIGN

Web sites, HTML emails, e-commerce and web applications all resonate with our knowledge of the habits, perceptions and expectations of the end user. The interactivity and feedback mechanisms of the web give us a richer canvas on which to carry out your mission.

WEB DEVELOPMENT

This is where form meets function and gives birth to interactivity. Our programming team is fluent in the web-programming languages of HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript and then some. We have two sets of users — you and your customers. So we program for both. Intuitive web forms and processes and stable data management packages help you get the most out of your web presence. Web development projects we’ve completed include: financial transaction management tools, database-driven websites, dynamically generated PDFs, archiving systems compliant with Federal regulations, calculators and custom programmed web-based tools.



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