A Process Unique To You

Is This Your First Time?

Once you've experienced quality design services rooted in a solution-focused process, you'll never settle for anything less. Whether this is your first time working with a design studio or you've worked with many, we believe the flexible strength of our process will leave you feeling confident and excited about working with us and the possibility of achieving dreams.

Phase 1


First, we’ll schedule an initial Discovery Call where we’ll define your project’s goals, create a list of deliverables, and set timelines. For more complex projects, we may engage in a series of discovery calls to flush out better solutions based on research or feedback from stakeholders. From there, North Star will prepare a detailed proposal outlining major project elements, terms/conditions and next steps.

phase 2


Once you’ve approved our proposal, your project will move into development where our creative team will dig in and do their thang! You can kick back and relax knowing that our team is working hard for you. Along the way, we'll be available to answer questions or help reconcile the project scope with new details that may have emerged. We'll reach out to schedule your Initial Design Review once it's ready (reviews are done via Zoom).

phase 3


Once your feedback is in, we’ll update relevant materials on our end, communicating with you throughout this process to ensure that we’re “hitting the nail on the head”! This will also be the window in which third party integrations and related stakeholders will fine tune relevant project elements and run beta testing as needed.

phase 4


Once you’ve given the green light on final drafts, our team will package and deliver project elements and/or deploy and publish them as outlined in the proposal.


Your Role

It's important that you be open, responsive, and available, during all stages of the process, especially the Discovery process. This phase often entails several consultation-like sessions where we’ll review new discoveries, opportunities and solutions. The more you put in here, the better your solution will be.

Our Role

While our primary role in any project is to be creative, transparent, and communicative, our #1 goal is to deliver solutions that exceed your expectations by creating growth opportunities and solving problems you may not have known existed. We do this by giving the process the time it needs and working to address pain-points on all sides of the equation.

Third-party Service Providers

It’s important that your relevant service providers (and possible future ones) be brought in on the project as early as possible. Looping them in early on creates opportunities to avoid roadblocks down the road and maximize their unique added-values in a way that allows us to deliver a better solution for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for working with a design studio?

Our process is simple and can be broken down into 4 basic steps: Discovery, Development, Refinement, and Delivery. Our Discovery phase is arguably the most important step in the entire creative process. It’s here that together we’ll define your project’s goals, create a list of deliverables, and set timelines. It's important that you be open, responsive, and available during all stages of the process. Once discovery is complete, we transition smoothly between the remaining 3 phases culminating in the flawless launch of your new website!

What should I prepare for my initial design consultation?

Below are some simple steps you can take to prepare for your initial design consultation.

  • Give real consideration to defining project goals, timelines and budgets. 
  • Find some samples of projects/designs/pieces you like (or don’t like… that can be very helpful too sometimes!)
  • Check out your competitions messaging, services, added value offers, and infrastructure
  •  Explore our portfolio, services, reviews, and social media profiles… see if you ‘like the cut of our jib!"
  • Be ready to collaborate… Successful design is achieved through solid communication!

How long will it take to get a new website?

On average, the discovery process on a website project without content optimization takes 1-2 weeks and then we shoot for a 3-week turnaround on the initial concept review.

From there, the website’s launch date is dependent on your availability, feedback and how soon other ‘players’ can ‘do their homework' (ex: third party service providers like marketing agencies which might be engaged by you on a project). 

More inclusive website development projects (with content optimization, keyword research and competitor analysis) will take longer. The functionality needs of a site may also play a role – more complex sites will take more time to develop. Domain, hosting, themes, plugins, widgets, email services, ect.

If you’re interested in knowing how long your website project might take, schedule your free, no-obligation discovery call here and find out!

Do we work in non WordPress platforms like WIX, Weebly or SquareSpace?

The North Star team primarily delivers WordPress Development services. Following consultation, most clients recognize the value/benefit of rebuilding their sites in WordPress which often include access to better features, improved optimization and more opportunity to leverage SEO techniques. 

How much does a new website cost?

Website Design costs are not a one-size-fits-all answer. The cost to build a website is dependent on several factors including the size of the site (how many pages and the type/volume of content), functionalities (forms, payment features, integrations) and the ‘logistics’ for deploying the site (ie: domain setup, email migration, online profile creations, etc.).

We develop custom websites specifically tailored to your business’ goals and needs, ideally integrating with your existing business infrastructure for payment processing, appointment scheduling and email automations. We’ll ask a lot of questions, assess your needs, and give you a quote based on that assessment. Most of our sites run in the $5,000 - $15,000 range +, but can be more or less depending on needs, functions, integrations and the platform. You can read more about how websites are priced here.

If you’re interested in knowing how much your website project might cost, schedule your free, no-obligation discovery call here and find out!

When and how do I pay?

Typically projects are billed in a split with the bulk of the project’s estimated cost being due upfront (70-80%) and the balance + any additional fees (stock photos, third party subscriptions, website add-ons) billable 45 days from when the project begins or prior to the website going live (whichever comes first). Invoices are sent from Intuit QuickBooks® and contain links for online payments (CC or DBT).

Is the artwork our property once it’s paid for?

Yes! Once the final payment is received you receive usage rights as outlined in your contract. NSDS simply reserves the right to use all designs for our own promotional/marketing purposes and to help share your story through our own professional networks!

How will I receive my artwork once the designs are finished/approved?

Final press files and in some cases the original working files will be made available to you once projects are approved and invoices are settled. Typically files are made available via a google drive and are available to be downloaded for 30 days. Clients are also CCd on files sent to the vendors direct on their behalf. 

Do you offer payment plans or discounted rates?

We offer 5% discounts to registered non-profits and tiered payment plans for start-ups and solopreneurs on a case-by-case scenario.

Do you have client testimonials?

Yes, we do! Our clients are the best and love sharing their success stories which we love to read. We’ve worked with dozens of business owners to develop custom websites, graphics and creative solutions to grow their businesses. You can read all our fan mail in the usual spots like Google and Facebook

Ready to get started?

The only time better than now, was yesterday. Let's get you on the right path by exploring game-changing solutions and opportunities.

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