User HR126 posed this question earlier:
I was contracted to do a logo design job for a company I signed to keep quite about while it is still building itself up. This was my first logo design job (typically I do painting) and the gentleman ended up using one of his own designs. I have another logo job prospect in the works and I have some questions because I feel as though I was stooped last time.
- Should I be copy writing or watermarking the designs I present? (sounds like a dumb question, but its serious)
- Should I be compensated for the time and designs that I did come up with even though they weren’t chosen? (I put a lot of time into them and have nothing to show for it!)
- I know how to factor pricing for my paintings, but I’m at a loss as how to price graphic work. Suggestions?
Here is my response:
I will bill regardless of my design being their final choice. Most clients we deal with in design industry aren’t art directors or designers themselves. Don’t feel rejected or put down when a Joe comes in and snuffs your hard work, they just don’t know the field. Ask a client about brand identity, target demographic, palette, etc. and chances are they’ll draw a blank.
- “Should I be copy writing or watermarking the designs I present?”
No need to watermark, but never send out vector or hi-res work without payment. Working out a budget before-hand and receiving a down payment will let the client see you are serious about the project.
- “Should I be compensated for the time and designs…”
You worked – you get paid, it’s how it goes. My down-payment ensure the meetings and prelim stages aren’t wasted on a client who doesn’t know what they want or need. If they bail we both walk away with something in our pockets.
- “I know how to factor pricing for my paintings, but I’m at a loss as how to price graphic work.”
Graphic work is billed by the hour for myself and most of my peers. Most of the early billable hours comes in on research and identity for your client. Depending on budget, one could spend hours upon hours fitting a logo’s lines to the perfect ratio, sit into a golden curve, or drip with double entendre. A logo isn’t about creating a nice looking design, it’s about capturing and showing that brand’s identity in one fell swoop – I’m working on this myself. A good logo requires great client cooperation without being overbearing.
As an aside; Asking a client about their business’ traits, goals, and target market will get you further than asking to see logos and color palettes they like.
http://www.thelogofactory.com/ has been cranking out logos for years, not all of them are great but the blog posts on the site are phenomenal. They will make you see the error of your ways pretty damn quickly