13 responded to this post

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 Freddy said on January 3rd, 2006

Nice one Kenny.

I agree that there is a problem with these template logos/websites/brochures etc. as well.

You have to stand out as a company, and this can’t be accomplished when you start to look the same as your competition.

Designers can usually tell is somethins is made from a template, most of the designs start to look very generic. It takes away creativity, and that’s one huge component.

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 Deth said on January 3rd, 2006

I’m not a graphic designer, but I like this post. You made an important point about this business that folks in advertising can relate to.

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 Hugh said on January 3rd, 2006

“But one thing is for sure, if you sit around and do nothing, then the design community may soon experience what the printing industry has gone through and knows all too well.”

I think your arguments could have been made twenty years ago when the LaserWriter and PageMaker came out. Back then suddenly anyone who had a mac and pagemaker was a designer and could charge very low. It became worse when Microsoft shipped Publisher. Did they dilute the market? Yes, but this has been going on for at least twenty years and isn’t some new development caused by “cheaplogos.com.”

Cheap designers are learning how to market themselves in a new powerful way, it’s called google adwords.

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 Michael said on January 4th, 2006

Okay, you don’t agree with designers charging upwards to $150/hour for their time. That’s fine. But with that in mind, let me throw this out for some thought.

What if IBM, Sony. Nike, or another large corporate entity came knocking on your door requesting a logo design? Considering the importance branding plays in the marketing of their products and services, would you still consider $150/hour a high amount to charge?

I think a factor to consider before finalizing on a project fee, is usage. The more a client uses your work – local, regional, national, globally — the more it’s worth to them and the price should reflect that usage. This isn’t a new idea, illustrators and photographers have based their fees on this premise for many, many years.

Without going into detail about how to establish an hourly rate – there have too many excellent articles written on this already — it is important for a designer to establish a set hourly fee. This not only imperative from a business perspective so you don’t go broke from under-charging, but it also helps set your own personal standard for what you think your work is worth. Once you’ve determined a base rate, the usage factor should come into play. Now, is $150/hour a fair amount to charge Ma & Pa PetStore, probably not? But I’d have a hard time thinking that designers such as David Carson, Neville Brody, Paul Rand, or George Louis would charge Coca Cola $45/hour to designer their logo.

As for the automatic sites that produce generic logos for $35, I say good for them for two reasons. First, because they’re filling a niche – business start-ups who either don’t have the funds for a great logo design based on strategy, just need “something” to get them started, or simply don’t understand the importance a logo plays in establishing their brand. Either way, it allows them to get a logo – albeit generic – that’s a thousand times better than what they tried to create themselves in some defunct graphics program. Secondly, the beauty of software is that once it’s created, there’s very little further development costs. Which means that their automated logo design software is, more than likely, generating them more than $150/hour.

The point to remember is the $35 logo is focused on a very specific clientele. Many of which, once their business has grown to the point that they actually have a budget to work with, end up contacting a professional to design a ‘real’ logo for their business.

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 jean-pierre said on January 4th, 2006

The $35 logo reminds me of the early nineties. Bosses were saying, “why should we hire a designer. my secretary can design our logo in microsoft word.”

How do these logo sites satisfy customers? For start-ups I will often charge a flat rate and work for them as long as it takes to make them happy (hoping for future work). For $35 you’d have to hand it to them and walk away. What about copyright? Do the $35 designers own the design or do they give that away too?

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 Kenny Bania - The Freshmaker said on January 4th, 2006

i think some of you are missing the point.

first of all, i realize that this isn’t anything new. and secondly, yeah there are some designers who are worth more than $150/hour. they make up about 0.01% of the design community. i was referring more to the small design shops that charge that amount for local clients.

what i was trying to get at was that the more designers low-ball their services, the less value clients are going to perceive said services. so if the prices continue to get ridiculously low, then so will the perceived value over time.

in the 80′s and 90′s, a large majority of print shops had to close down because they couldn’t afford to stay in business. this was because only a small amount of companies were willing to pay for the prices (companies like nike or sony or ibm). this left a lot of skilled print professionals unemployed and having to find different occupations.

the point i was trying to make was that soon, the same will be for designers. you will still have that small percentage of designers earning $150 or more per hour, working on clients like nike. you always will. but what will happen to the other 99% of designers?

it just seems to me that there is a huge disconnect in the design community. it seems like more designers care more about themselves than they do about the industry. it seems they care more about today than tomorrow.

i don’t know.

but you guys made some excellent points. keep ‘em coming.

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 Hugh said on January 5th, 2006

“It seems like more designers care more about themselves than they do about the industry. it seems they care more about today than tomorrow.”

This isn’t just designers it is our society as a whole.

Made in china and outsourced to india.

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 big_tex said on January 6th, 2006

There will always be a market for quality.

Smart businesses know what happens when they get branding on the cheap. Template based systems are for those “clients” you don’t want anyways, like those in-laws or church jobs who keep bugging you for a logo.

If i can’t out design mylowlowlogoprices.com I should be doing ceramics or something.

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 Jose Nieto said on January 7th, 2006

I would check out this link before forming an opinion (or being ambivalent) about these logo services.

Also, I am absolutely certain that there are many designers in the Toronto area who charge less than $150.00/hr. To suggest that an overpriced consultant is the only option to a logo service is silly. In my view, identities produced without a strategy, without an implementation plan, and without ethics are not even worth $35.00.

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 dotone said on January 7th, 2006

You won’t believe if I tell you many advertising and design agencies in my region (Middle East) even outsource the design of corporate identities. How could a person off-shore design something that expresses a message? I call that cheap and undirected-art.

I was so pissed off at their dirt-cheap prices so wrote this piece to calm myself down.

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 Anonymous said on January 8th, 2006

“I would check out this link before forming an opinion (or being ambivalent) about these logo services.”

And if it really peo’s you off then dig it so more people are aware.

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 Audrey Daniels said on September 14th, 2007

As a business woman with a new start up, to pay someone upwards of $150 + is out of my financial range. I just got started in business and other needs come before my logo needs. Sure, the IBM’s and Nike’s of the world can afford those prices and I have nothing against them for it, but don’t shoot a hole in our bucket because we can’t. As I said, I just got started…

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 Tim Oliver said on January 18th, 2009

I worked for a large online “mass production” logo designer and about half paid the $300 “start my logo” fee and never came back, after they received the first logo concepts from up to 5-8 designers. Maybe they realized how hard it is to “get it right” for that kind of money.

Logo design is a tricky business. Yes, the $8 an hour secretary may be able to do your accounting and logo design to save you some money, but what are the risks?

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