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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I hire Alpha21?
What area do you serve?
What experience do you have?
What types of projects do you accept?
How do I go about starting a project?
What's involved in developing my project?
How much will my project cost?
How fast will the work be completed?
How will my files be delivered?

What's your specialty?
   

Will you take care of the printing?
Who owns the copyright to my work?
What are the payment terms?
What's with all the frogs?

What makes a good website?

What is marketing?
What is graphic design?
What's a good design anyway?
What's an 'Alpha'?
What is an R.G.D.?

Why should I hire Alpha21?
Apart from the fact that we have extensive experience when it comes to design and marketing, we're also very quick! Alpha21 is a small studio, which means that we don't have a lot of 'red tape' to go through when undertaking a job. We get to work faster than most other design and marketing firms, and we're more available to you than larger companies. When you send us a job, you'll work with us directly rather than with account managers or junior designers. You'll also get the benefit of lower costs!

What area do you serve?
Based in Cambridge, we serve Kitchener, Guelph, Waterloo, Milton, Toronto, as well as many other clients around the globe. The electronic age makes working with clients at a distance effortless and efficient.


What experience do you have?

Alpha21 has more than 13 years of professional and practical experience in graphic design. Educated in the field of design itself, Beatrice maintains aprofessional affiliations in order to stay current with the latest trends in the industry. Please see the About Us page for more details.


What types of projects do you accept?
All kinds! If your job is something that can be printed – no matter how big or small –, then we can produce it for you. From packaging to business cards to trade show booth graphics, we're happy to undertake any print job. When it comes to web site design, there are many more factors to take into account. You'll want a full consult (and so will we!) in order to get accurate estimates for your job. Please get in touch with us for a more detailed explanation.


How do I go about starting a project?
The initial project evaluation will be discussed via e-mail or with a telephone conference. If an on-site consultation is required, additional fees may apply depending on the length and scope of the project.

What's involved in developing my project?
Stage 1, Evaluation: There will be a preliminary consultation via telephone or e-mail, discussing the requirements of the project as well as any creative direction that you feel is appropriate.
Stage 2, Quotation:
Alpha21 will provide a written estimate of costs and a projected time-table based on the initial evaluation. After a confirmed acceptance of the estimate, a 20-50% deposit may be required depending on the scope of the project.
Stage 3, Preparation:
The client will provide all information and elements pertinent to the project such as goals, general concepts, any graphics or photographs necessary to complete the job, in addition to electronic copy (text).
Stage 4, Design process
: Alpha21 will create layout concept(s) and provide electronic files to you for general approval or discussion.This make take several rounds of revisions. Once editing is complete, the design is finalized and sent back to you for final sign-off.
Stage 5, Completion:
Print-ready files will be send either on CD, by FTP or e-mail, at which time an invoice will be issued. Final payment is expected to be made within 30 days. In the case of jobs which require printing, additional steps will be taken on your behalf in order to secure a printer and ensure that your final printed piece matches your expectations.

How much will my project cost?
Pricing is based on the time involved in creating the project, right from the initial evaluation and through to completion. Alpha21's affordable pricing is competitive with other graphic design studios. If you'd like an estimate, please contact us.

How fast will the work be completed?
The length of time it will take to finish your job depends on the size and scope of the project. Most projects take between one week and one month to complete. Time frames can be very sensitive! The viability of a projected schedule depends largely on how quickly we receive the necessary materials for completion of the project, as well as how many changes/revisions are requested.

What is your specialty?
Although we try not to limit our designs to one particular area of expertise, we do have a great deal of experience working with clients in the medical field, new businesses, as well as with non-profits. If you have a particular concern about your business' unique requirements, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Will you take care of the printing?
Yes, we can take care of all of your printing needs, including negotiating printing costs, choosing paper stock, coordinating files and getting the final printed piece(s) to you. The only thing we'll ask of you is that you provide approvals on printed proofs.

How will my files be delivered?
Files that require proofing are sent to you in pdf format. Final files can be saved as many different standard print- or web-ready formats including pdf, eps, jpg, tiff, gif, ai, etc. Print-ready files can be sent on CD, by FTP or e-mail. Additional charges may apply for shipping.

Who owns the copyright to my work?
Unless purchased as a separate entity to the work created, all copyright remains the property of Alpha21. As a client, you own the rights to reproduction when designs are purchased, which means you can re-print the work as much as may be required. You cannot, however, extensively or in part change the design without prior consent from Alpha21. This is standard copyright law in Canada and the U.S.A.

What are the payment terms?
We accept cash and cheques.

What's with all the frogs?
We like frogs. A lot. We just can't help but love the Red-eyed tree frog, which is so colourful and small. We've chosen him as the Alpha21 mascot because he sticks to things, is stealthy, shows off some gorgeous colours and sometimes eats the competition.

Tree Frog Our frog is the Red-eyed tree frog: Found in the tropical rainforests of Central America, the Red Eyed Tree Frog is arboreal and excels at jumping. This species of frog moves in a very stealthy yet deliberate manner. Its average size is no more than three inches. Red-eyed Tree Frogs are carnivores and their diet consists of any animal that will fit in their mouths, even other frogs!

What makes a good website?
1. Purpose:

A websites is a tool to help sell your product or service.
2. Message:
Content is key. Every page needs to have a goal. The message means understanding your target audience and what they want.
3. Good design:
The elements of design are space, shape, form, mass, line, texture, pattern, time, light, and colour. These are the basic visual components of any composition. Simply put, a website that's well designed is one which is not only attractive, but conveys a message accurately, succinctly, and quickly. Today's savvy web users won't linger on a site that's not designed to be intuitive (or user-friendly).
4. User-friendly Navigation:
Good navigation is critical to a website's success. Remember the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid! Users want to navigate your site quickly and with the least amount of effort. If a visitor has to think too hard about how to get around your site, they're more likely to leave than stay.
5. Marketing:
Understanding your target audience is paramount. Your website needs to be able to attract your audience, maintain their interest, and keep them wanting more.

What is marketing?
Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

Marketing 101: The four P’s of marketing are the most common base for all marketing activities: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

What is graphic design?
The practice or profession of designing print or electronic forms of visual information, such as an advertisement, publication, or website.

What's a good design anyway?
While the answer to this question is subjective, it can also be answered with the following statement: good design communicates an intended message effectively. Good design also tends to evoke a specific response, such as an emotional reaction. Responses to design can include making a decision to purchase a product or service, or recognizing a specific brand. Good design usually elicits an emotional response – for instance, laughter or shock – and can also raise awareness of important social issues.

What's an 'Alpha'?
1. A value representing a pixel's degree of transparency.
2. The first testing stage of a new program.
3. The brain wave frequency range from 8 – 14 Hz. in which there is focus and the beginnings of a state of balance.
4. The first letter of the Greek alphabet.
5. The first one; the beginning.
6. In chemistry, the first position from a designated carbon atom in an organic molecule at which an atom or radical may be substituted.
7. In astronomy, the brightest or main star in a constellation.
8. The mathematical estimate of the return on a security when the return on the market as a whole is zero.
9. Being the highest ranked or most dominant individual of one's gender, especially as regards social animals.

What is an R.G.D.?
R.G.D. stands for Registered Graphic Designer. From the RGD Ontario web site: "RGD Ontario was created by an Act (Bill Pr56) of the Ontario Legislature in 1996 to grant graphic designers who qualify the right to use the designation Registered Graphic Designer (R.G.D.). RGD Ontario is the only graphic design association in North America to have this kind of legislation." (http://www.rgdontario.com/aboutUs/default.asp)

An RGD designation is a client's assurance of professional qualifications in tandem with a high standard of design skills. Moreover, RGDs are committed to fair and ethical business practices, as well as competitive pricing.

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