Disclaimers and Frequently Asked Questions
No matter what, you're dealing with a reasonable person who works very hard every day and is doing his best to make you happy. Proceed accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Sinister Visions do?
A LOT of things! Graphic design for print (posters, t-shirts, banners, billboards, tickets, coupons, flyers, etc.), website design and creation, logo/branding design, illustration, spooky artwork, original fonts and, on occasion, soundscape creation. You can see samples of all of these things on this website - the links above and to the right will give you samples and details.
Sinister Visions also sponsors numerous spooky events, conventions and trade shows, and Chad Savage is heavily involved in the dark art community, managing the Art Show for the World Horror Convention, participating in gallery shows in LA, Chicago and New York, and generally living an awesomely creepy life.
How long has Sinister Visions been doing this?
For a while! Chad Savage started using the name "Sinister Visions" for his freelance design work in 1991. He's been designing for other people since Junior High School in the 1980's on a freelance basis. He designed his first website in 1996. In 2002, Sinister Visions became his full-time job, and became Sinister Visions inc. shortly thereafter.
How many people work for Sinister Visions?
Primarily, Sinister Visions is Chad Savage - it's his full-time job. Occasionally, he works with additional service providers who specialize in things outside of Sinister Visions' service scope, but mostly, it's just him.
What's the best way to contact Sinister Visions?
Email is best for non-emergencies; if it's really important, CALL! Facebook and other social media are not as reliable.
If I hire Sinister Visions, how long will it take to complete my project?
Because each project is tailored to the individual client, there's no single answer for this question. You can, however, expedite your project's completion date by remembering the following:
- Chad isn't psychic. If you don't tell him something, he's not going to know it.
- It's better to ask 50 questions up front than make one (wrong) assumption.
- The more specific you are (about anything and everything), the fewer questions Chad will have to ask you.
- If you say things like "I trust your judgment" or "You're the designer - do what you think is best", you'd better mean it! :)
I've sent in updates for my website - how long will it take for them to be implemented?
Updates can take a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on the complexity of what's been requested and the time of year the request is sent. Typically updates are made on a first-come, first-served basis, but occasionally a judgment call must be made with regard to urgency - for instance, a haunted house website needing schedule changes in October will take precedence over another haunted house site that wants to add photos from last year.
Can I expect same-day (or next-day) turnaround on my website updates?
Unless you've specifically arranged something to that effect, it's unlikely (though not impossible). Immediate execution of requested updates is not a reasonable expectation of any designer unless you're paying for that privilege.
I've hired Sinister Visions - when is the best time to tell you what I want to see?
NOW! RIGHT NOW! Do NOT wait until proofs have been delivered to describe what you want to see - you'll only be wasting your own time. The more explicit and specific you can be in your descriptions, the better chance that you'll get back a design proof that's to your liking right away.
Does Sinister Visions use templates or pre-fab themes for the websites & graphics you create?
Nope! Each project is custom-created for the client. Some stylistic similarities may be observed between projects - this is to be expected of any artist/designers' work. Further, some website elements are implemented on all websites because they're tested, tried & true, and add value to every website they appear on.
My website just went live, but it's not showing up on Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. Why not?
A new website doesn't get indexed immediately by search engines; in fact, it can take weeks for a new site to show up on search engines. You can manually submit it to them using their various tools and pages for that purpose. It's also a good idea to submit your site to specialized directory websites that list websites similiar to yours (for instance, if you have a haunted house, you should submit it to HauntedHouse.com and similar listing sites). Websites linking back to yours is one of the ways search engines find you in the first place, and factors into how they rank you.
I can see the background graphics of my website on my friend's computer monitor, but they're cut off on the edges of mine. Why is that?
At this point, there are too many different monitor sizes to easily count, but most have a minimum width of around 1000 pixels. Sinister Visions designs websites so that the primary content area fits onto the smallest screens, while the background graphic elements are wide enough to fill larger screens (so you don't wind up with a huge blank area on the edges of the site on large monitors). How much of the background image is visible entirely depends on the size of the monitor you're viewing.
What the heck is a pixel?
Your computer screen is composed of hundreds of little dots of light - get up real close and look. Those dots are called pixels.
Can you send me the artwork you did for my website so I can put it on a t-shirt (or poster or billboard or whatever)?
Graphics created for a website were created for the screen at an image resolution of 72 dpi, or Dots Per Inch. In other words, your screen uses 72 dots (pixels) per inch of screen space to display images. For print, you need a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (printing uses dots too, just a lot more of them). So taking a 72 dpi image and blowing it up to 300 dpi is going to give you one of those weird, pixelly, blocky-looking images you've seen before - you know, the one that was clearly blown up from a crappy web image? It just doesn't work.
This is why Sinister Visions recommends having your graphic components developed at high resolution first. You can always size down; you can't always size up.
Graphics created for a website can be re-created at a higher resolution, but there's an associated fee.
I sent you a Friend Request on Facebook, but you haven't accepted it. What gives, man?
I try to limit my personal Facebook account to people I've actually met and spent time with in real life. If that's not you, please connect with me on the SVi Fan Page - I check it all the time. If you feel that I've dismissed your Friend Request in error, message me and remind me how we know each other, because my memory is just awful.
Design Terms Defined (Logo, Marketing Art, Signature Character, Etc.)
For the difference between a logo, marketing artwork, signature character, etc., please go HERE.
Sinister Visions is a visual design company. As such, it is up to the client to provide any text content for their site exactly as it should appear. SVi does not proofread or edit client text content - that's the client's job, and one that should be done prior to sending it for inclusion in the site (not after it's already live). Please make sure that what's being sent is right the first time.
File Delivery & Storage
Sinister Visions will deliver files to each client via online download. It is the client's responsibility to download and save them for future use*, and to request additional file types, if needed, at project completion. Sinister Visions will archive all files at no charge as a courtesy; if a client's files ever go corrupt or are lost, Sinister Visions should be able to replace them. Clients should not, however, rely on this as a primary means of backup, and Sinister Visions archives are not guaranteed.
Once a client's graphics files (logo, marketing art, character art, etc.) have been delivered, it is then the client's responsibility to provide them to third parties - vendors, printers, other designers, whomever might need them. Please do not count on the download link originally provided to last indefinitely*. The link may be forwarded to other people within 30 days of receiving it, but it's not guaranteed to work longer than that.
After files have been delivered, Sinister Visions can upload them one more time for free as a courtesy. After that, there's a $50 surcharge to cover the time required to locate files in archive, pull them out, transfer them to the computer and upload them.
*If you'd like your files to stay up online and share-able indefinitely, Sinister Visions can upload them to Dropbox.com for you. Accounts for storage up to 2Gb are free. If you'd like to pursue that option, either sign up for a free account and let Sinister Visions know the email address you used for it, or if you already have an account, create a folder with your business or attraction's name and share it with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Resolution refers to the quality of an image file. Low Resolution (Low Res) files are typically only suitable for screen usage on computers, TVs, tablets and other screens. High Resolution (Hi Res or High Res) images are suitable for print purposes.
- The standard resolution for screen usage is 72 dpi (Dots Per Inch). The standard resolution for print is 300 dpi.
- .JPG and .GIF file formats are typically best for screen usage and are rarely suitable for print.
- .TIF and .PSD file formats, assuming a 300 dpi resolution and significant height/width, are best for print purposes.
- .PDF and .PNG files run the gamut between screen and print depending on how they are output.
- .EPS and .AI files are typically suited for any purpose, assuming they are true vector art and not housing a low res placed image.
Seem complicated? Don't worry - it is, if you're not used to it. Mostly this information is here to explain why Sinister Visions can't effectively turn your web banner into a billboard!
Sinister Visions is a full-service, full-time studio with multiple clients and multiple projects at any given time. While every effort is made on a daily basis to address each and every phone call, email, Facebook message, etc. as they come in, it's important to maintain a realistic expectation with regard to response times, especially in the months leading up to Halloween. Every client is valued and will receive a response as soon as possible, but sometimes it may take a couple of days.
When a defined project moves beyond the scope of what was originally requested (and quoted, and paid for), it's called Scope Creep, and will usually require additional billing. The best way a client can avoid Scope Creep is to have a solid idea of what needs to be done before requesting a quote. However, should Scope Creep occur on a client's project, it will be brought to the client's attention before additional costs are incurred, and the client will be required to approve the addtional cost associated with the additional work that they've requested.