You tell us a budget; we tell you what you can have for your budget. As simple as that. We also stick to it, unless you change the brief. We’re very transparent in our estimating, so you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
The cost estimate is approved and the Terms and Conditions have been read. Ink signatures are required at this stage. And then all the details are plugged into our project management system. Time, billings and invoicing are all managed through the one system to ensure efficiency in tracking and reporting.
Now it’s time for pen, paper, sticky notes and brainpower (with a few biscuits in-between). We’ll introduce you to your dedicated Firedog team, who will ask the questions and do plenty of listening. This is the most important stage of the project where we like to invest plenty of time and energy.
In every project we manage, there will be an element of strategic planning – whether it’s brand strategy (brand audit, positioning, mission and value statement workshops), or web strategy (digital brand positioning, site architecture, wireframes etc). We’re a ‘thinking agency’ – it’s in our blood.
All our findings will be collated into a detailed creative brief, which we will share for client sign off. This will act as the benchmark for the way forward. Additional research can be sourced at this stage (quantitative or qualitative) – online surveys, focus groups, telephone interviews or workshops.
We’ll double check your deadlines and ask about your holidays and significant launch dates. All of this will be detailed in the project critical path. Fluidity is the critical path’s best friend, but it’s good to schedule key dates to help us all keep on track.
The best designer (or designers) will be hand-picked for your project and thoroughly briefed. We scratch. We dig. We unearth. We go safe, we go left field… and try to always surprise you (in a good way) with exciting and unique ideas.
Planning doesn’t stop at the top. All designers are booked in with reviews to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently. Time is of the essence. We don’t allow ‘designer tangents’, which are a well known irritation in our industry.
Third party liaison will commence with our list of preferred suppliers; whether that’s a copywriter, printer, photographer or film team. We have on-going relationships with a list of professional suppliers and include them in the Firedog team, with the same quality of delivery. They all share the same values and work to a seamless creative experience.
We explore lateral design solutions that meet the brief and create visual identities representative of your core propositions and company personality. We consistently review work as a team (internally) so that we can measure the effectiveness of our design ideas, and we constantly challenge thinking. You don’t see anything until we’ve achieved the Firedog fire, on brief.
This is the exciting part! You get to see the best creative ideas and you get to feedback exactly what you think – face-to-face. We’re not precious, we listen hard, but if we don’t feel the direction you’re heading is right, we will be upfront and honest. We work together to make it right.
We provide at least two rounds of design amends within our costs, to make sure we get it right and your vision is met. If it takes an additional tweak, we won’t be asking you to get your cheque book out, but if through lack of planning large areas of the project change, we may need to sit down and discuss time and cost repercussions. However, we assure you that no work will be completed without informing you of costs upfront.
This is where your concept comes to life. The copy is laid out, the imagery is post produced and placed, the colour palette shines and your graphic language is vocalised. Whether your brand assets are being applied to a set of brand guidelines, or a marketing brochure, outdoor advertising or website – you can be assured that your visual identity will clearly demonstrate all the values, messaging and objectives identified at the briefing stage.
All we ask is for you to formally sign off your creative via email once you’re happy with it. This ensures there are no confusions regarding the final output of the project and what you see is what you actually get.
We dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Copy is proofread for a final time and the design files are checked for spacing, alignment and font styles. In digital, we create the build kits and the CSS files, with corresponding assets. The design product is polished and perfected ready for roll out.
You let us know what you need and we’ll handle the fuss of it all, whilst taking full responsibility for a seamless delivery. When it comes to production, we’re strong believers that designers are meant to work hand-in-hand with printers and other suppliers. It’s an age old partnership and we know how to get the best results from them.
This is where we call in our techy team to write the code which brings our digital design to life. They slice and dice the design PSDs, create the CSS and HTML and away they go, building functionality and integrating every hyperlink link, button, image and finite data.
Once your creative is in motion, all work will flow through Firedog’s quality assurance system to check actions have been completed, feedback has been addressed, copy has been proofed and budgets have been controlled. All digital work is delivered to WP3 standard, checked for accessibility and tested across the majority of browsers (PC – IE 7,8, Firefox 2, 3 & 4, & Chrome; Mac – Safari 3.1 and up, Firefox 2, 3 & Chrome). When it comes to branding and print roll out, all work is colour tested using scatterproofs or wet proofs.
After investing a lot of time and effort creating your brand, we want to make sure the brand assets are applied correctly once they are in the hands of your internal teams or other suppliers. A clear set of proprietary guidelines will be created to ensure brand consistency and clarity of messaging when launched in the public domain.
Once the artwork is signed-off, the ink is dry and the site is online, we like to crack open the bubbly and help you celebrate a job well done. This is also your opportunity to toast the good bits and tell us anything you think we can do better… in preparation for the next brief! We conduct a personal one to one survey with you, and measure your perception of the working experience – noting all your feedback and addressing the points at the highest level. Not only does this improve our abilities to service your account, but as we consistently measure our performance across all clients, you get the best service across the board. We believe this introspective obsession with performance is a unique and compelling offer.