I am sold on the services and unique approach of Christi Wiliford, founder of Elemental Studios.
I found Christi after someone handed me a business card that stopped me in my tracks. Every element of the card, from paper stock to color choice, from graphic motifs to font selection communicated clearly and hit the target dead center! That same attention to detail is paid to every project, including Web site design.
Before there is ever talk of a Web site or business cards or whatever, Christi puts her clients through a rigorous and valuable (and proprietary) brand process that yields her clients a "brand bible," everything a client needs to create a brand statement, business name and tag lines as well as visuals that will support the brand identity on line or in print. While some may think this is an unnecessary step, as someone who put the Web development cart before the brand identity horse once before, I could not disagree more.
Wiliford's proposals are thorough and comprehensive. She gives potential clients as much information as she can, up front.