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We are asked a lot of questions. Here are the answers to the most common ones.

What kind of software do you use?
We primarily use Adobe CC, which consists of Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and more.

So, you're a web design company?
Not exactly. Most of the work we do is for print, but we can also design web sites that support your company's visual identity and tie in with your overall marketing strategy. Viking Design provides professional, unified solutions for visual communication.

Can you make me a web site?
Yes, Viking Design can design web sites.

Are you a printer?
No. Viking Design designs for print, and sends press-ready files to trusted print service providers for production. And, for local projects, we'll work with the printer to manage the process all the way to your door, to ensure that the project goes smoothly and looks and feels as intended. If you're having trouble finding a suitable printer, Viking Design has relationships with a number of local printers and can provide cost estimates & lead times for any project.

A printer I know will design my project really cheap or free. Why not have them do it?
There is a reason it's so cheap. Many printers will offer a complimentary layout service so that they can offer printing to average folks, but they often do not have the time or resources to develop detailed projects for a business. Their complimentary services work well in many cases, but are not suited to creating or maintaining your company's visual identity.

So, you're artists?
No. Graphic designers tend to be artistic people by nature, but the profession calls for disciplined, focused use of visual principles to generate an intended audience response. "Design" is planning and execution with the intention of achieving desired goals; the solution to a puzzle - in this case, your company's visual communications.
(It's true, files are often referred to as "artwork," but it should be noted that brake pads are often referred to as "shoes," and solid petroleum products are often referred to as "plastic." And we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway...)

I know an artist who'll design my logo for fifty bucks.
We're sure you do, and the quality of the result will likely reflect that. If the core of your company's visual identity is only worth that much to you, then we recommend that you hire them.

But it will be fun for you. Shouldn't that make it cheaper?
Design is often fun - it's good to enjoy one's job. That doesn't affect the amount of work involved in delivering a well-researched and effective design.

Will you do mine for free? It'll look great in your portfolio.
There are many nice things in the portfolio already. But thank you anyway.

Can I have the files used to create my project?
Certain cases call for delivery of "native files," as they're called, to be negotiated into the contract, but normally they are not included. As is standard for the industry, most proposals are priced for delivery of a final product. A common example: when you order your kid's school photos, you're buying prints - not the photographer's negatives.

Can I see my design first, so I can decide if I think it's worth paying for?
The short answer is no. That is called "speculative work," and is considered unethical by the design community.
Here's the long answer:

  • It's unsafe. It is Viking Design's policy not to do speculative work. (For example, "Do a logo for me and I'll buy it if I like it," or "logo contest: winner gets $500!") Speculative projects require an investment of time and ideas, which are the essence of the service designers provide, without any guarantee of compensation. This kind of work is simply bad business practice.
  • It's uninformed. Viking Design is dedicated to providing a quality service to its clients, but speculative work from any designer is almost certain to be sub-par. Without establishing a relationship between client & designer, a visual solution will lack the necessary background and research to be effective.
  • It's unprofessional. Graphic design is a professional service. (You wouldn't ask an architect to design your house on speculation, would you?) The work shown in the Samples section of this site should give a sense of Viking Design's style and abilities. We'll be very happy to discuss your next project, and the exciting directions it might take, but we cannot commit to a project without a commitment from you as well.

For more about professional standards and speculative work, please visit www.no-spec.com or www.aiga.org/position-spec-work/.

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