Logos for less… You get what you pay for.

25 08 2011

I got turned down the other day.

Everybody gets turned down every now and then, but this one really burned me. I was working on a new logo. First round wasn’t quite there, but in the second round there were a few logos I really liked and I thought we were going to nail it. The client comes back to me and says that they like the logos but they want to change the name of the business as well as a few of the things that they do. They have decided to expand a bit, and the focus has changed. Okay. No problem. Before I could even say it, the client mentions that it’s okay if there is an extra cost, since we are going in a new direction. Great! This new direction sounds like a great plan for them. So I tell them the extra cost.

The client comes back to me and tells me that it’s too much money and they are going with a bidding website for a cheaper option.


But, you just said… You understood it would be more money… Did you think it would be, like, $10 more? I didn’t double the cost, I added about 50%. Not much considering we are starting all over again. What did they expect?

I encourage my clients to think everything out before I even begin. I have a questionnaire that everyone fills out prior to me even looking at the project. This forces each client to sit down and really think about what they need and how they want to be conveyed. This helps to weed out the people that aren’t serious, and make the ones that are, think about things before rushing into a design direction. It’s supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

How do you tell a client they are wrong? They are wrong for using a bidding site for their logo. They are wrong for saying yes to quantity and no to quality. They are wrong for assuming that just because they want a simple design means that they shouldn’t have to pay a professional designer to do it.

The best logos are the simplest. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time and skill to come up with it. It takes more skill and discipline to come up with a simple, well thought out design, than a busy design that has one of everything, and says nothing.

I’m not a fan of crowd sourcing, or spec work. I don’t do work with the hope that I am going to win and get paid. And neither should any other designer. Unfortunately, there will always be people that will ask you to do things for free, and for less than your worth. Maybe it’s friends and family, and you feel comfortable doing work for them for free, that’s fine. Maybe it’s an acquaintance that you haven’t seen in years and suddenly they ask you to make something for them. Because art is fun, and you just enjoy doing it, right? I do my own art for free because I enjoy it. I do other people’s art for money because it’s my job and I’m good at it. I love my job, but if I was an architect or an engineer would you ask me to work for free? No, that’s preposterous! As a designer, doing work on spec (with the hope of getting paid) is not good for our industry. It encourages others to think that what we do is a hobby, not to be taken seriously.

As a client, you never know what you are going to get. If you ask 20 people to throw together a design for you, you are going to get 20 half thought out designs. If you ask me to do a logo for you I will create 3-4 logos that are well designed and each with a different description and explanation as to why I did the things I did. We then move on and expand to grow your logo into a piece of art that will work small and large and in all different formats. You don’t get that from a bidding site. You get lots of people submitting whatever comes to mind, even if it’s not good.

This is my job. I do this for a living. I have a website and a blog where you can see current and past work that I’ve done. This is the style and type of work that I do. This is why you hire me. I require a deposit before I begin. Then I work really hard to make sure you are happy and we get the logo exactly the way you want it. That’s how I work. I work until you are happy.

If you think I charge too much, please read this article.




One response

24 01 2013
Jenn DesAutels Illustrator

Amen, sister!

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