Commissioning a map
Commissioning any project can at times feel daunting. When working with a good cartographer the costs of your project should be clearly laid out to make sure you’re getting the best value for your project.
Caroline thought it would be useful to provide a detailed outline of our design process and how this affects your budget.
Starting the project process
Prior to commencing a project we need to gather data to establish the scope of a project. What area will the map cover? How much material has already been gathered? How much interpretation is involved? What is the preferred style for the map? What techniques do we need to employ to match our clients expectations?
It may seem like a lot of information, but it really helps us to establish if the project fits into our common design stages and the price structure for the project.
We use a project management system to collect all the project information in one place, this ensures the project runs smoothly. This includes keeping a record of all the feedback and that the duration of the project matches the original budget. This means we can quote accurately and meet our clients expectations.
If you request multiple maps for your organisation we can provide you with a customised request form to speed up the quotation process.
Our most common method for creating a map is detailed in our Frequently Asked questions (FAQs – 4. Project process). We have three feedback loops at each of the design stages (draft, concept and design) to ensure clients are happy with the creative direction of the artwork. These projects have a fixed price and we can estimate the time taken and a breakdown of the tasks to do them accurately.
Extended design stages
On rare occasions extended design stages may need to be incorporated. This could be the result of various factors beyond both of our control. For instance, the scope of the work may have gone beyond the original brief detailed in the quote or new information may have been introduced to the project. The feedback loops may have to be extended beyond the three outlined in the quote. We establish in writing at the design stage how your budget is being allocated and whether this is likely to incur additional tasks / costs for a more flexible method of pricing.
Phases for larger projects
There is a different method of pricing for larger projects that can take from three to twelve months. As well as writing a quote, we also create a Statement of Works (SoWs) which describes the project in more detail. Each phase may have one set of design processes or multiple design processes happening at the same time. For example, Phase 1 is the Research Phase. Phase 2 is the Development Phase. Phase 3 is the Draft Phase. Each Phase may have many detailed tasks described within them.
The phases are detailed in the Statement of Works, showing a gantt chart or timeline for expected deadlines. We describe the phases and breakdown the tasks in to a timeline.
We ensure the end goal is met by the final deadline by incorporating feedback loops that are integral to the progress of the project. We prefer to meet our clients in-person at the start of a project, we can work remotely from there on. All elements in the Statement of Works are open for discussion so we can establish a work pattern that best meets the end goal in the most effificent manner.
The pricing structure for larger projects are variable. Payments are usually made monthly throughout the project or by meeting key delivery points during the project.
The end result
The above processes help us get the results our clients are looking for when commissioning us for a project. Each map receives the care and attention required to ensure the final product is of the highest quality. We strive to meet and exceed our clients expectations whilst incorporating our sustainable ethos.