FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Brand Identity, Naming and Logo Design

These frequently asked questions address many of the initial topics design clients want to know more about. If your question is not answered, or you would like to chat further, please let me know by using the form here.

Regarding idApostle:

Who is idApostle, and how long have you been designing?

idApostle is Steve Zelle, a graphic designer with 25 years experience specializing in brand identity, and logo design. Located in Ottawa Canada, the studio works with global clients looking to improve brand perception and engagement. back to top

How can you help me?

If it involves influencing how an audience perceives your company/product/service, I can likely help. Get in touch with your situation, and we can chat about it. back to top

How many people work at idApostle, and do you outsource design work?

idApostle is one person—Steve Zelle. While I don’t work with other designers, I do work with photographers, writers, illustrators, etc. when required. Its important to note that all of the design work shown in my portfolio was completed by me, the same person that would be collaborating with you on your project.  back to top

Do you only design logos?

No. I can help with every brand identity touchpoint between a client and their audience. This may include company or product naming, logo design, advertising, web design, signage, and apparel. View a more extensive list of deliverables. back to top

Where are you located, and do you work with clients in different cities or countries?

I am located in Ottawa, Canada. Past projects have included clients from the United States, Spain, and India so being in the same city is definitely not a requirement. back to top

Has your work been published or won any awards?

Yes, I have listed a few accolades here. back to top

Regarding Working Together:

I am interested in working with you, how do we get started?

Great. Complete this initial form, and I will be in touch so we can sort out the next steps. back to top

Why should I choose to work with idApostle?

For over 25 years I have been collaborating with companies to develop award-winning and effective branding. As a small one person studio, I would be your single point of contact reducing communication issues. I offer a compelling alternative to agencies burdened with large overhead while providing a more focused offering than many small graphic design studios. back to top

Why should I consider working with a small studio rather than a large agency?

Direct contact with the one person working on your project makes communication much easier and efficient. You have an excellent idea of what I am capable of, and what to expect by looking at my portfolio. At larger studios and agencies the work in their portfolio is not necessarily done by any of the folks that would be working on your project. Finally, while I am not inexpensive, I do charge significantly less than large agencies as I do not share their overhead. back to top

Can you help me determine what I need?

If you are not sure what you need, that’s okay. I enjoy collaborating with clients to determine what is required to help them achieve their goals. I do this by gaining a clear understanding of your situation and budget, and by having you complete Armed with Purpose, a brand discovery workbook. back to top

What type of clients do you work with?

People that value what I can bring to the table, and want to be an active part of their project. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or if I have worked with a similar client before—the goal is about communicating what makes you unique regardless of your offering. You could be a rock star or a law firm. back to top

I already have a logo—can you still help me with my brand?

Yes. Let me know about your situation and what you are looking to accomplish and then we can chat. I have taken on similar projects for companies like Evidence Partners. back to top

When can you start, and how long will it take?

I can usually start on the research phase of projects quickly. All projects are different but many last about six weeks—this is flexible and is largely dependent on a client’s availability throughout the process. See a rough project schedule. back to top

Do you take on small projects?

Yes. Alongside the larger projects, I also love working with smaller startups that are excited about what they are doing, understand that design is more than making something pretty, and are willing to invest an appropriate budget. For both large and small projects, the ideal situation is to have an ongoing relationship where I can have a more substantial impact on the brand over time. back to top

When/at what point should I engage with a designer?

As soon as possible. The earlier you speak to a designer about your logo or branding, the more value they can provide. If you are a start-up just getting your business plan together, or an established company considering rebranding, please get in touch. Involving me at this point is often no more expensive than waiting, and I can advise you regarding what you need to be considering at this early stage. back to top

What do I need to do to be prepared before contacting you?

The earlier you involve a designer, the better. There is nothing you ‘must’ have before reaching out. A clear explanation of your current situation, even a vague idea of what you want to accomplish, and your budget and deadline always make for a helpful start. After that, discussions and Armed with Purpose, a discovery workbook I developed will help to gather information and get everyone facing in the same direction to define the next steps. back to top

Can we talk on the phone or meet in person?

Yes. Get in touch, and we can arrange a time to chat. If you are located in Ottawa, we can meet up for coffee. back to top

Can you help with company or product naming and tagline development?

Yes. I have worked with a number of companies to develop unique and compelling names and taglines. back to top

Can you help with web development?

Yes, many of the projects I take on include web design. I design exclusively for the WordPress platform for several important reasons. back to top

Do you provide web hosting?

No, but I can recommend a host for you. back to top

Can you help with suppliers and manage the printing?

I can recommend the best printing process based on project requirements and budgets, and help provide specifications for quotes including stock choices. I will advise you on online printing options, and if you are in Ottawa, a local printer. I will deliver press-ready files based on the specifications of the selected printer. I will also look at any proofs your printer provides. I do not, however, handle the actual printing–this saves you money as I also do not mark it up. back to top

Can you copy/make us look like another brand or logo?

No. Why would you want to look like someone else anyway? back to top

Will you use clipart for our logo?

No, but this is an issue to be aware of should you choose to work with logo warehouses. back to top

Regarding the Creative Process:

What is your creative process?

The goal of a creative process is to channel time, energy and creativity in a direction that is in line with a particular project’s needs. By its nature, creativity can be hard to harness into a predictable and linear set of stages, but it is of enormous value to do so when possible. A good creative process significantly improves the opportunity for a successful outcome in a reasonable time frame. It defines and controls costs, time, effort, direction, responsibility, expectations, conversation, collaboration, and goals. Learn more about the creative process I use. back to top

What is Armed With Purpose?

Information is the most valuable source of inspiration and strategic direction for every branding project. The client is in the best position to provide much of this information enabling me to gain understanding and context. Armed With Purpose is an interactive PDF brand discovery tool that streamlines this process and is part of most projects. Learn more about Armed With Purpose. back to top

How do you present concepts to clients?

All projects involve at least one presentation deck that demonstrates the proposed design in real life examples, providing context, and significantly increasing everyone’s ability to see how the branding works. View a select number of sample presentation decks. back to top

Do you offer unlimited revisions?

No. My time (and yours) is limited, and I believe that a responsible process narrows focus and helps us to avoid pursuing dead-end concepts and ongoing changes. Typical projects go through one or two rounds of fairly minor revisions because of this process. back to top

What files will I receive at the end of my project?

Logo files are typically delivered in a number of layouts (vertical, horizontal, stacked, symbol only) in black as well as color. Files are provided in EPS (vector), JPG and GIF formats. For other deliverables, the final files will depend on what you or the manufacturer requires. back to top

Regarding Pricing and Contracts:

Can you reduce your prices?

No, my prices are fair, and my clients receive excellent value for their investment. back to top

But we are a non-profit. Are you sure you can’t reduce your prices?

Possibly. Please reach out and let me know about your organization and what you are looking to achieve. If you are raising funds or connected with CHEO or another children’s hospital, I would love to help if I have available time. back to top

Do we have to share our budget with you for a quotation?

No, but it certainly helps avoid wasted time by putting us in a position where I can let you know what I can or can’t do for you. back to top

What are your payment terms?

A 50% deposit is due after a contract is signed, and before the project commences. The remaining balance is due at project completion. More details will be provided in the project’s contract. back to top

Do you use a contract with clients?

Yes. I will provide a contract detailing the deliverables, timeframe, cost and terms and conditions once I know more about your project. A contract helps to clarify responsibilities, set expectations, and reduce miscommunication. back to top

Who owns the final artwork?

You do. Unless there are separate contracts with third parties such as illustrators, writers or photographers that state otherwise, all rights to the final artwork (this does not include any unused concepts) transfer to you once your project is paid in full. I reserve the right to use the work in my portfolio and for self-promotional purposes. Details will be in the project contract. back to top

Is your question not answered here? Whether you’re interested in working on a project together or just have a comment, use the form here, and we’ll chat soon.

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