Apocalypse Studios, as you may have guessed, specializes in Graphics Design for the WWW. Logo design is a big part of this, as well as transforming these logos, (or your existent logo), into a format suitable for placement on the web.

Since you're viewing these pages, I assume you have your own dial-up or direct connection the the Internet. That's a good thing, as Apocalypse Studios is not an Internet Service Provider, we are a content provider. We create the fancy interfaces and flashy buttons, commonly known as "eye candy". Simply creating the graphics is usually not enough, they have to go together in a cohesive way that's going to display your information in the best light.

Most pages are built first on a tiled background image. This can be an interesting texture, as in the "wheatBKG" texture on these pages, or it can be built out of low-contrast elements from your company logo. Tiled backgrounds are not necessary, you may want to simply choose a flat color scheme. The purpose of a background scheme is to give all of your pages a consistent look & feel, we want people visiting your site to *know* where they are.

Generally, 3D graphical elements like your buttons, bars, and header images will be "married" to your background, assuming they depend on transparent dropshadows. This does not always have to be the case, there are several ways to avoid this situation, and we know them all. However, starting with the background is a good way to get a feel for where your site is headed.

Since most of our clients are based in widely seperated geographic locations, most of our contact with you will be either electronically, or by telephone. A typical job starts with a telephone consultation. It's best if you've surfed around beforehand, and have an idea of what you like, and more importantly what you *don't* like. Depending on the nature of your organization, I'll have some advice for you as far as general directions we can go. Once I have a general idea of what's going to be involved, I'll build a quote for you based on my expected hours of work. All of our quotes will be *based* on an hourly rate, but will be made to you as flat rates. Assuming that the overall scope of the job doesn't grow beyond the what we've agreed upon, that is all you'll pay. We don't like surprises, and I imagine you do not either.

So how much does it cost? I'll bet you were wondering when I'd get to that! Here's how it works. I *base* all of my rates on an hourly fee of $60/hour. I then quote flat rates based on my anticipated working time. For example, a header graphic/logo will usually take between 2-6 hours, with an average cost of $300. Smaller variations of the same logo, for sub-pages, will take an additional hour, or $60. Custom backgrounds can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours, based on complexity. I create new ones whenever I get bored, so I have a huge library of backgrounds that have never seen the 'net. I'll sell these at a flat rate of $60. Directory buttons are one of my most frequently requested items, and I've worked out a pretty firm time estimate for them. The *first iteration* of a button will cost $120, and variations of the same piece will cost $36. A set of bullets and bars in the same style will cost another $60.

Perhaps the easiest way to get a feel for costs is to check out an example. Here's two sample pages I've created. They're very simple, but demonstrate some of the things you'll want to keep in mind.

Depending on your needs, a full site can run from a low end of perhaps $360, up to a several thousand dollars. If you are working on a budget, we can design around your specifications. A fully dressed, basic informational site, with 4-6 nodes can run between $600-800. The same site, with all the bells and whistles turned on, can cost 4 times that amount. Regardless of which price range you're in, each site will be treated as an individual work of art, something for us to brag about to our colleagues. Every site is, and should be, unique, and we treat them all that way. We offer no generic "specials". As far as we're concerned, there are no "generic" sites. (At least none that *we* visit!)

One of the metaphors for building a website that I've had a lot of success with lately is the "device" idea. That's one of them up top there, and I also have created variations of these for my personal site, and the prior incarnation of this site. The second one is rather interesting, as I was able to graft on a second top to the device. This way we were able to use it as both a dramatic header, and a streamlined version for the interior pages. Here's yet another variation on the 'device' theme. There are several benefits to this idea. First, you have a consistent navigation tool that you can use throughout your site. Since I build such devices in pieces, we can replace the 'button' elements, saving bandwidth, and providing a visual cue as to where you are in a site. Another benefit is that sites built on this model can actually be *cheaper* than sites built with a more conventional "button" mentality. If your site is going to require many individual buttons for the categories, the cost of a project can escalate quickly.

To give you an idea of the cost of something like this, let's look first at the over-blown interface I've created for this site. This is about as overboard as you'll want to go, with javascripted, variable state buttons, the whole nine yards. The time for this interface, and all the template pages for the internal nodes, was 30 hours, or $1800. This is about as high as these things will go. Figure $960 to $1200 to be about average for pieces like this. One of the other big advantages to these pieces is that you don't have to do everything at once. You can build a basic device, and then add in the variable state buttons later on, as your site starts generating more income.

WWW and Graphic Design copyright ©1996, 1997 by Apocalypse Studios
- Last updated 25 January 1997 -