About a Lady Named Marina
Driven. Entrepreneurial. Creative.
I do not have Idle Hands.
We were not created to merely do ONE thing for our entire life.
Creative passion comes in many forms.
WHERE TO FIND ME
MARINA DUQUE | This place will ALWAYS be my main hub.
THIS DESIGN GIRL | A place where I teach you what I know.
FLAT LAY STUDIO | SHOP | A place where you can find beautifully styled desktop photos and flat lays.
RENDERED SPACES | A place where I get to design beautifully rendered floor plans.
BABY BOOMBA | SHOP | A passion of mine where I get to create beautiful one of a kind baby pieces.
Q IDEAS INC. | A company that my husband and I started in 2007 and where I play the role of creative everything.
Here are my posts on how to paint a Romero Britto and a Roy Lichtenstein HERE and HERE.
See Happy People
Nothing makes me more happy than happy clients.
Marina and her team designed a stunning website for me in a quick, efficient manner that perfectly suited my style and needs. Attention to detail and communication were above par; I was well informed every step of the way and could not be more pleased with the finished design. Flawless!
Mary Kubica | Author
I hired Marina while I was working overseas for several months and all of our correspondence was remote via email, accommodating a 13 hour time difference and a pressing deadline. Marina was extremely professional, patient, helpful, and managed to make the experience kind of fun. She also offered guidance and training toward my future editing and updating. Working with Marina is a pleasure!
Gillian Margot | Singer Songwriter
Marina has an artist’s eye and the speed of a cheetah. She created my author website in two weeks flat and it is beautifully designed. Also, she’s a pleasure to work with.
Ann Walmsley | Author
Communication – Marina’s response time was amazing, and her ability to hone in on what I was looking for (via email, I might add) was impressive. Follow through – she delivered, faster than I expected, and did exactly what she said she was going to do. Final product – the site looks beautiful, does exactly what I need it to do, and I know she’s there whenever I need her!
Karma Brown | Author Writer
Just wanted to thank you for everything! Finding a website designer was a daunting task for me, but you came highly recommended and I’m glad we worked together. You provide outstanding service and have great product and process knowledge. Most importantly, I’m very happy with the end product! 10/10.
Brock Smith | TimberSmith WoodWorks | Williams Lake, British Columbia
Marina has been a true God-send to our company. Her attention to detail, creativity and efficiency is unparalleled. Beyond that, she is a pleasure to work with. I can confess that when it comes to techy stuff, I have no idea… no question is too small or dumb in Marina’s eyes. She was so patient throughout the entire process of putting our website together and encouraging. She goes way above and beyond in her dedication to making sure that the customer is happy and that your branding is consistent. I can’t say enough about her and her company.
Cheryl Boyce | Freedom Culture | Toronto
As someone with a graphic & web design background myself, it with head down, tail between my legs that I contacted Marina who had come highly recommended. It was SO worth it! She was able to fine tune the vision in my head and put it on the screen for me and was so amazing to deal with every step of the way. I loved that I never felt like a second thought – she responded to me promptly every time (even the silly questions) and met all the deadlines she set out. Amazing, amazing amazing. If you haven’t hired her yet, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.
Christine | Molly Cake | Burlington
What an amazing team to work with. They was professional, highly skilled and their customer service is unbeatable. I can’t get over how easy they made the process of setting up my new web site. They really listened to my wants and needs and created a site that exceeded my expectations. Every time I have a question or need additional web support they are always willing to help out and respond to my needs quickly. I would highly recommend them.
Shaindy Alexander | Ringley Natural Teething Toys | Toronto
We needed a new website and are some of the pickiest people we know. We need a high-quality and professional firm that met our ridiculous standards. We searched everywhere and found Marina and Cher, knowing immediately that we wanted to do business with them. They are not only a top-notch design team, but also highly responsive to feedback and cost-effective. They have exceeded every expectation we had and we love doing business with them.
Laura Miller and Ben Quirk | TempDev LLC | California
When we started our own business we wanted to have a website that caught our clients attention as soon as they arrived to our site. Marina’s professionalism and understanding of what we wanted was more then we expected. Her creativity brought life to our site. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Marina and I highly recommend her to any new business starting out or, an existing business looking to bring a new visual appetite to their site. Lets face it, you need a good website to survive in today’s high paced world and Marina know exactly what she is doing. Thanks from the entire team at Smart Home Choice.
Gary Hibbert | Smart Home Choice Inc. | Toronto
Marina is such an asset to our business! She effortlessly takes my idea, adds her creative touch and gives us a product that is exactly what I wanted but far better than I could have imagined. Combine that with fast and attentive service and she is truly remarkable!
Jessica Herberger | Experience Events | Saratoga Springs, NY
I feel I must share my deep respect and love for the work the multi-talented Marina Duque does. While she is already in demand and sharing the impact of her mad skills and creativity may mean my ‘lil empire can engage less of her time + expertise, I’m obliged to share she inspires me to stay on my creative edge. It’s her above + beyond service, and her thoughtful, intelligent, efficient, strategic nature…Marina can share my story and illustrate my message like no one else. Marina’s my #1 go to graphic designer that tops my list for clients + she’s the person I’ve referred consistently over the years. I’ve got mad respect and adore her. She’s been instrumental in helping me create my website.
Miranda Webb | British Columbia
It was an absolute pleasure working with you on this project. Your natural creativity, boundless knowledge and sharp troubleshooting skills made this whole process appear seamless. You had a solution for everything I threw at you. Your patience and ability to explain ideas/alternatives to a “non-techie” was key to making me gain a solid understanding to maintain/manage this website. If anyone is considering a website or any design work, I definitely encourage them to check you out first!
Jacquie Chang | Castlefield City Church | Toronto
I’m always impressed with the service when I interact with Marina. She listens carefully and “gets” what I wanted my website to feel like. Marina has a great response time to the many, many changes I asked of her. She is really easy to work with and appreciates her clients. In addition to my website, Marina has also completed a whole branding line including signage, banners, and business cards. I have recommended Marina, on many occasions and she has always impressed.
Darlene Hibbert | Smart Home Choice Inc. | Toronto
Cher and Marina are truly outstanding. Simply put, they deliver real results! They are always professional, creative to the max, focused on the goal and with super sonic speed, deliver creative solutions that ensure maximum impact and brand recognition. They are an invaluable extension of our Greystone team and their ability to deliver winning solutions is huge.
Georgia Mouka | Greystone Design + Communications | Toronto
Classic, clean design. Professional and so unbelievably easy to work with. Fast. What more could you ask for from a designer? I love working with Marina.
Kellylee Evans | Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter | Ottawa
Creative, efficient service. Recommended!
Neil Forsyth | Neil Forsyth | United Kingdom
Coming Soon. Yikes.
Huh? A Designer without a Portfolio?
After being in the industry for nearly 20 years, I feel the need to clean it up.
Things are a little outdated and I want my portfolio to reflect the now.
Oh the joys of being a perfectionist.
And this may take a while. You know, because kids.
So rather than having my entire website in a state of under construction for months,
I am taking the risk and putting my website live without a portfolio.
Oh the sheer horror!
If you really want to see my design style,
you are more than welcome to check out my other sites.
I love clean lines, simplicity, and minimalism.
Simple and efficient is a thing of beauty.
$80/hour. “Gasp! Why am I so much? That’s one month worth of lattes!” Yes you can get a design service done at $15 per hour, but aren’t you tired of asking your nephew? However, you will be glad to know that most of my services are priced per project. If your project goes beyond the allotted timeline or scope of the contract, my hourly fee will kick in. But don’t worry, I will be sure to let you know prior. And, I don’t like nickel and diming, and I promise your design will be pretty.
My minimum fee for any project $40. If your project is less than $250, I require full payment before I commence any work. This balance must be paid in full before I send over any final artwork or before your website goes live. Failure to pay the balance will incur interest charges of 2% per month. If your project is over $250, I require a non refundable 50% deposit before commencement of any work. Balance is to be paid upon project completion or within 45 days whichever comes first.
An invoice will be sent to you via email. You have the option to pay via:
Paypal or Credit Card
The invoice in the email will give you the option to pay directly online through Paypal or credit card.
Email Money Transfer
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I usually don’t like cheques, because it requires me to get out of my PJ’s and drive to the bank. And by that time, I usually end up doing some groceries and shopping and then my day is over and then your project will never get done!
I take pride in my work and will do my best to complete the design according to your specifications. By going through my design process, we should stay on track with the project. However, should there be any discrepancy, I will handle them on a case by case basis.
If you have selected a design concept that has been presented and agree to the next round of changes or revisions, refunds will not be given at any stage beyond this. Refunds will only be given before the project has commenced.
There will be no refunds on the 50% deposit. After this phase, I will handle refunds on a case by case basis.
When do you work?
Officially, Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm EST, however I would be lying. You can find me at anytime hunched over my computer anywhere between 4 am – midnight.
How to get started
Contrary to popular belief, designers cannot read minds. When presented with this statement of “I don’t know, you are the designer! Wow me!” My best advice for you is to do your own research. And I say this with the most heartfelt sincerity. Scope out your competition. What do you have to offer that they don’t? How can you make your product/service better? The more you can tell me about how you envision your brand, the better it will help me out in designing what you wish to achieve.
How long will my project take?
My fastest web project took 8 hours and my longest took 8 months. The 8 hour project had three times more content than the 8 month project. So, the answer is, the time is mostly controlled by you. I find that clients who have their stuff organized and put together get their projects completed faster. Those who are a little scattered, not so well. For example, if you are wanting to do a print ad, have all your final copy ready to go along with images and document specifications. If you have several files, naming them properly like girlwithbasket.jpg and not img_23$%4596940545.jpg will make you my favourite client. OCD can be a good trait if used properly.
But just to make a teeny disclaimer to cover my behind, note that web live dates/project completion dates are dependent on my / subcontractor’s current production schedule. Under normal circumstances, you can expect:
Print + Logo
Proof within 7-10 business days from signed contract (depending on scope of project)
4 weeks from date of signed contract (I will notify you if there is a delay in production)
How many designers will be involved?
If you are wanting a website, I work with an amazing gal name Cher over at Cher Fitchett, who does all the coding work that I don’t know or will ever know, how to do. She uses terminology that will never be in my vocab such as Databases, Bootstrap and CSS, and will ensure that your website is properly set up, backed up, and most importantly, that it’s responsive and mobile friendly.
Can I modify the design later?
If you are referring to Microsoft Word, then the answer is No. I use the Adobe Creative Suite for my designs. Unless you have this software, you won’t be able to edit any of the graphics that I created for you on your own.
For Web Design, we design using WordPress and this is 100% editable and can be maintained by you once we have built it. I will go over all of this with you when your project is finalized.
Photography and images are what make and break your design. I believe that a true authentic website features your own photos. And by that, I don’t mean a picture that you took with your Nikon Coolpix in the basement under horrendously low light with a flash. I’m talking about professional studio shots of your product / service.
The reason I say this is because I see the same stock photography everywhere I go. For example, there is nothing worse than going to a website and seeing the familiar shot of the woman on her laptop with raised arms, and thinking, “Hey, wasn’t that the same photo on www.xxx.com?” or walking into a store and seeing posters that screams “Hey! I am a stock photo!”.
Now I know that it may not be in your marketing budget to hire a professional photographer, so if you must, then do use royalty free stock photography but select them carefully. There are also sites that have free stock photos of high quality calibre like www.unsplash.com. Let me know if you need help in choosing them.
I also offer Flat Lay / Styled Stock Photos over at Flat Lay Studio (www.flatlaystudio.com) that is available for purchase.
The majority of my work comes through word of mouth. I kindly request that a small link to my website at Marina Duque appear at the bottom of each webpage and be displayed for as long as my design is publicly on the internet, regardless of where your site is hosted or maintained. Doing this will ensure that what my high school teacher once predicted about me will not come true!
Purchase your Service
I will send you a design brief. This will give me a better understanding of your design style and what types of web functionality you would like . Please provide as much information as you can. I will then send you over a Client Agreement which will clearly state what is expected from both parties.
Photos, Images, Copy
Please supply your logo (in vector format), photos (high res) and text copy (in a word document). I also encourage you to provide any sketches (even if you have to use a napkin), drawings, other samples to aid in the design process. I will require all of your images and copy before the start of your project.
Proofing + Changes
Once deposit has been received, I will send you a proof of the artwork at a specified time frame depending on your project (usually between 7-10 business days on regular projects). You are allowed 3 rounds of revisions for changes/modifications. This is why it is important to have all of your ducks in a row! If changes/modifications exceed 3 passes, my lovely hourly rate of $80 will be applied. Once the design has been finalized, remaining balance is due before I supply all final artwork. You will receive a project sign off form stating that the project is now closed.
Once deposit has been received, I will send you 2 logo concepts (depending on my current schedule, this can happen between 7-10 business days.) You are allowed 3 rounds of revisions for changes/modifications. I encourage you to mix and match any of the designs and tweak colours. If changes/modifications exceed 3 passes, my lovely hourly rate of $80 will be applied. Once the design has been finalized, remaining balance is due before I supply all final artwork. You will receive a project sign off form stating that the project is now closed.
Because of the intricacies of web design, I usually work on this on a case by case basis in terms of set up and design, however the same general rules apply. You are allowed 3 rounds of revisions for changes/modifications after web design is completed. If changes/modifications exceed 3 passes, my lovely hourly rate of $80 will be applied. Once the design has been finalized, remaining balance is due before the site is made live. You will receive a project sign off form stating that the project is now closed.
Marina Duque retains copyright of all design work until final payment is made after which the copyright will then belong to the client. If contract is terminated before work is completed, all design work will remain copyright of Marina Duque Design. Marina Duque Design and its subcontractors retain the right to display graphics and other design elements as samples of their work in their respective portfolios. A little blurb will appear on the footer of your website that will say “Designed by Marina Duque”, with a link back to www.marinaduque.com.
Goal. Inbox Zero.
Feel free to contact me.