About Shepard Art Studio

Summary

Shepard Art Studio brings together seasoned creatives with a passion for clean, simple and effective communication. Our little collaborative has been working together since 2008. And we bring a diverse set of skills to our work.

A team designed to fit you (...not the other way around)

Shepard Art Studio is an ODOT and MDOT (Maryland) DBE who specializes in non-profit and govermental clients. Most of us have over 20 years of industry experience in diverse media such as animation, graphic design, web design, web applications, and illustration—just to name a few. But best of all, our team will be transformed to fit your individual needs. Read our bios.

The chops to get it done (...and the war stories to prove it)

Because we work in a collaborative, virtual team, you may get more top-of-their-field professionals than if you go with a provider with a more traditional business model. Throughout this website you’ll see examples showcasing our successes. For example, we helped design and implement a communications program for Benefit Coordinators for the Maryland Supplemental Retirement Plans that resulted in a NAGDCA (National Association of Governmental Defined Contribution Administrators) award in 2014 and 2015. See the case study.

We work great together (...like peanut butter and jelly)

We’ve been working together since 2008. We recently collaborated on a large project for Save the Dream Ohio for the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) that will help thousands of Ohioans keep their homes. We connected the website tool found on savethedreamohio.gov to the back office at OHFA. Other clients we’ve collaborated with are: Children’s Hunger Alliance, Central Ohio Urology Group, Cristo Rey, Green Columbus, and Columbus City Schools. Read more about these projects in our work samples.

The backstory

Shepard Art Studio is a graphic design/creative direction business formed on September 11, 2008. After having the opportunity to manage the creative process at a Fortune 100 Company, Linda Shepard has developed and maintained numerous relationships with professionals in the field. Shepard Art Studio possesses solid real-world experience with the marketing and communications process from start to finish. As a small business entity, Shepard Art Studio often collaborates with other solopreneurs to provide marketing services in a virtual agency relationship.

Services

We can provide a consistent look and message in print and digital media.

Specifically, we can:

Specialties

Shepard Art Studio’s primary areas of specialization are graphic design/illustration for print, multimedia and the web. Content areas of expertise include financial services, insurance, retirement plans, libraries, real estate, governmental and non-profits.

Project Communications

We’ll provide weekly touch-base meetings via the telephone or in-person. These meetings will include planned activities for the following week, completed activities from the previous week and any issues or barriers with suggested contingency plans.

Content Management

Many of our clients have content management systems in place and we’re happy to plug into any existing platforms, systems or processes you have. If you don’t have a good system for managing your creative, we’ll provide an online project management website where you can review and comment on:

This website will be a one-stop repository for commentary, and historical and current versions of documents. Users of the site can subscribe to automatic email updates as changes occur. It features an automatic image preview of image files and allows for commentary on virtually any item from to-dos, to notes to documents. Best of all, the website is designed to be used without any training and includes online help.

Our Approach

Sample Project Life-cycles

Revisions to existing print pieces or existing web pages have a simplified project lifecycle compared to communications or campaigns that are brand new. Similarly, once a rhythm is established between client and designer, project lifecycles tend to be more streamlined and less formal.

Sample Print Life-cycle

Kick-off

  • Goals
  • Audience/quantity
  • Budget
  • Due date
  • Requirements
  • Preferences
  • Get print quotes if needed
  • Initiate project and supply written content in project management website

Draft/Review cycle (plan for 6 weeks)

  • First draft for review within 1 week
  • Multiple design options when appropriate
  • Revisions within 1-5 days depending on complexity/availability
  • *The most unpredictable step. Generally, the more reviewers, the longer the cycle.

Final Art (plan for 1 week)

  • Email client approval
  • Purchase final photos or artwork if needed
  • Package and transfer art to printer

Print/distribution (plan for 3 weeks)

  • Receive printer’s proof within 2 days
  • Client signs-off on proof
  • 1 week production after proof approval for most print jobs
  • Mailings require extra time

Evaluate

  • Send samples to designer and client for quality control.
  • This helps the designer see how the design looks in real life.
  • Source files archived in project management system where client can download.

Sample Web Life-cycle (re-design or micro-site)

Scope/requirements (plan for 3 weeks)

  • Initiate project in project management website
  • File scope/requirements document: platform, content management etc.
  • Identify team
  • Budget
  • Due date
  • Preferences

Recommendations (plan for 2 weeks)

  • Wireframe navigation diagrams
  • Suggested technology/development platform

Draft Designs (plan for 4 weeks)

  • Non-functional mock-up designs
  • Once approved, coding on a development server can begin
  • Purchase any resources needed (i.e. licenses, artwork, photography)

Coding, review, testing, bug fixes (plan for 6 weeks)

  • Review and revise working pages on a web development site
  • Check responsiveness and make adjustments
  • Add comments and fixes through online project management system

Install

  • Launch site or portions of the site to your URL
  • Train your staff to add/edit content on website if desired

Sample web lifecycle (edit content on existing site)

Initial Request

  • Add task to online project management website

Coding/review (plan for 1 week)

  • Changes made to existing content
  • Notify client that changes are ready for review

Update

  • For new content or pages, links or pages are activated on live website after approval
  • Text edits are active on the live site immediately after coding