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  1. #1
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Design pricing: food for thought...

    Note to mods: Not sure what the best place for this discussion is, so please move it accordingly if necessary.

    -----------

    Just a quick note about an article from PRINT magazine's Sept/Oct issue. This brought our Contests forum to mind, but the point of the article applies to all areas of design business.

    PRINT took gotlogos.com up on their $25 logo offer and ordered 4 logos for fictitous companies to see what $25 gets you. In a nutshell, they got 4 mediocre logos, non of which really met even the lowest of expectations. The company name is barely legible in one logo. Graphics get in the way of text in another. The "professional look and feel" promised by gotlogos.com? Non-existant. And in one case, the comical image of a cartoon-like starburst could be interpreted as insulting to the martial arts studio that the logo was designed for.

    With all the discussion about contest pricing and fair prices for design in general around here lately, I thought this just really says alot on the issue. You get what you pay for. But even more than that, it sort of made me proud of what SitePoint users do around here. For no guarantee of any compensation in the Contests, and even with mediocre rewards for those who do win contests, SitePoint users always step up to the plate and show more professionalism that these $25 hack logo companies. Go look at any logo contest currently going on. In many cases, before any attempt at a logo is even made, our designers do something these chop shops will never do: ask questions. A genuine interest is taken in what the company does and what the contest holder hopes to get out of their design. Afterall, this is a forum first, and discussion is what drew us all here in the first place. Sure you can get logos cheaper elsewhere. But show me another place where you can get two dozen different designers working on your project, and taking as much interest and care in it as they do, all for $50.

    If anything, I just think this shows the true value that clients get when they come to SitePoint with their design needs. The services provided are top-notch, and they're worth every penny and then some. I don't want to start another minimum pricing debate, but let me just say that $60 wasn't too much. $60 was a bargain. I won't even suggest that we should rally for a price increase, but I will say that I hope in the future, especially now that SP is turning a profit from the Marketplace, that they take into consideration the people that truly make the Marketplace so great.

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  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    I agree that $25 won't get you very far in logo terms. I would expect someone to pay far more for something that will hopefully become the symbol for their business. The hard part is convincing those doing the paying that they should spend more though

  3. #3
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    ...The hard part is convincing those doing the paying that they should spend more though
    All too true. And because it's so true, I don't expect to be able to change the minds of clients. The difference can be made in getting designers to understand the various factors that contribute to the final value of a product. As mentioned above, alot of designers around here exhibit the traits of a professionals. The thing is, I bet they don't even know that those traits add value to the product. They ask questions, engage the client in a dialogue in order to deliver high-quality personalized designs. All of which makes that final design more valuable... MUCH more valuable than $25.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    It can be tough to convince the client, especially because they view a logo as "just another graphic". The number of times I've had a client ask me to just throw them together a logo is unreal. I explain that there is a lot of work that should be put into a logo, something that is going to be their business IDENTITY. This is who you ARE. Every time someone sees your business card, advertisement, etc the logo is going to represent your business.

    I have a minimum for all logos (nowhere near $25) because of the process I will go through: Research > Brainstorming / Word Bubbles > Sketches > Digitize 3 Sketches in Black & White > Refine the Chosen Logo > Create Color Options > Produce Final Output Files.

    I guarantee most of those steps are skipped in the $25 logo process. Your first idea is almost never your best ... a low-cost logo is going to be a first idea. If you're content with settling for that level, go for it (just don't come to me with the request).

    Don't sell clients a logo graphic, you're selling a business identity. That's what you need to relay to the client. If they understand that, they'll understand why it costs more. If not, then move on to the next client.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Forget logo prices -- many of these cheap guys are STEALING logo designs. Take a look at this:

    http://www.baddesignkills.com/logoworks/

    I am extremely concerned when it comes to copyright online. I can always double check articles on google, but what if it came from a book? Artwork and designs? The only thing you have to go on is the artists own credibility.

    I ran a logo design site last year. I was definately selling my designs on the cheap end at $50. The reason why is I simply didn't understand how to sell.

  6. #6
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutter
    Forget logo prices -- many of these cheap guys are STEALING logo designs. Take a look at this:

    http://www.baddesignkills.com/logoworks/
    Holy crap! That's balls. They ripped off the Xerox logo?? Like no one would notice they were ripping off Xerox? It's one thing to think you'll get away with stealing a logo from a small unknown company, but Xerox?? That's just plain stupid.

  7. #7
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    From what I've learned in my time, offline clients are a lot easier to convince over those who are 'some-what' web-savvy (like webmasters, developers and such). Places like the MarketPlace here could well be the ones to blame. Specifically, it's the scavengers doing decent work for low prices, or those in other countries where a few bucks can last a week. While I can understand where they are coming from, it doesn't help the industry one bit.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by helix7
    Holy crap! That's balls. They ripped off the Xerox logo?? Like no one would notice they were ripping off Xerox? It's one thing to think you'll get away with stealing a logo from a small unknown company, but Xerox?? That's just plain stupid.
    One of my clients went to a local 'New Media' company to get a logo for their new wine ecommerce business. Somehow, even though my client had already paid me to design and develop the entire site, this media company convinced my client to pay them a rather extortionate amount of money to design the home page for them. I wasn't impressed.

    I was less impressed upon seeing their home page design. It was actually a screen print from the MarksandSpencer.com web site (the Wine Section) with my client's logo half-heartedly pasted on top, barely masking over the original M&S logo. My client hadn't noticed, I of course did and pointed it out to him at which point he contacted the Media company for their explanation.

    'Well, we have absolutely no qualms in doing this. If we see something we feel would suit one of our clients, we will happily steal it and use it. This is the way the design world works.'


    WTF? These guys charge 75 per hour for this toss. What I can't believe is that they admitted this, in writing. What's worse is that my client had already told them he wanted 'something classy the vein M&S web site'.

    Utter morons. Needless to say, we've not used their design.

  9. #9
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hack design studio
    'Well, we have absolutely no qualms in doing this. If we see something we feel would suit one of our clients, we will happily steal it and use it. This is the way the design world works.'
    The really scary thing is that there are alot of people who subscribe to this very same idea, and think there is nothing wrong with it. There is a large demographic on the internet who feel that if it is online, it's free for all to use. They have no concept of intellectual property, copyrights, etc., nor do they care to abide by such things. Worse yet, they actually feel that the entire industry opperates on a "steal or be stolen" idealogy. Everyone does it, so we should too! It's really sad.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot chihpih's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox

    'Well, we have absolutely no qualms in doing this. If we see something we feel would suit one of our clients, we will happily steal it and use it. This is the way the design world works.'

    Just way too funny. We dont have any design skills ourselves so we will charge you for X amount of hours to rip someone elses design and paste your logo.
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  11. #11
    Resident Grump BillyParadise's Avatar
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    And then of course, you run a $50 logo contest, start to get some good designs, and some guy PMs you to say he can do it cheaper.

    Some would bite. Me, I told him to stop undercutting and focus on quality not price.

    I wont delude myself to think I'm spending big money with a $50 design. If someone wants less, great. But from my perspective I'm getting a great deal at $50.

    I for one wont pay less!

    BP

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
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    GotLogos.com weighs in...

    Quote Originally Posted by helix7
    Just a quick note about an article from PRINT magazine's Sept/Oct issue. This brought our Contests forum to mind, but the point of the article applies to all areas of design business.

    PRINT took gotlogos.com up on their $25 logo offer and ordered 4 logos for fictitious companies to see what $25 gets you. In a nutshell, they got 4 mediocre logos, non of which really met even the lowest of expectations. The company name is barely legible in one logo. Graphics get in the way of text in another. The "professional look and feel" promised by gotlogos.com? Non-existant. And in one case, the comical image of a cartoon-like starburst could be interpreted as insulting to the martial arts studio that the logo was designed for....-----------
    I found this discussion through a Google Alert we subscribe to through Google.com.

    On the contrary, you really have to see the article in question. Mark Frauenfelder did not denigrate our service and fairly presented, in a very subtle way, the debate that sometimes foments when speaking of a low-cost design service like ours (Gotlogos.com) and the critiques such service gets from the design establishment.

    Our designs were run past some of the biggest names in the design and multimedia business. The format of the article wasn't to heap praise on GotLogos.com and advertise for us - it lent itself to the very subjective criticism that design (especially from 'hack' companies such as Gotlogos.com inherently lends itself. Designers are tough, it is in their nature to pick things apart (see how several critiquers took after the Sprint logo on a preceding page), but I dare say if any of these companies were real they would have been thrilled at what was produced for them for 25 bucks.

    We are in the heart of Texas and do not outsource to designers in Russia or India. We are a family run business and all of our designs are original, like them or not (much unlike the possible LogoWorks palgiaristic espose going on here and elsewhere).

    We are always proud of what we do and if you don't like one design we can afford you another look for just another $25 expenditure or offer you a revision for $10. Either way we are not a stressful purchasing decision, you don't have alot to lose, much to gain.

    For those who do not get Print magazine and would like to see a scan of the article, I can possibly post that scan as long as I can be assured I am within fair use provisions and protection.

    thanks for the debate,

    Daniel
    Owner, GotLogos.com

    By the way, here is an email I sent to the author of the article:

    "Hi Mark,

    We appreciate the fair treatment you gave GotLogos.com in your recent F.O.B.
    Investigative section of the September/October 2005 issue of Print magazine.

    You ran the designs through an impressive list of design 'heavyweights',
    some of which we were very familiar. We feel their remarks were fair yet
    possibly colored by the fact that they felt they might have been compelled
    to 'pick' apart the designs to protect the design establishment. We often
    see that. If you had said these designs cost $500.00 or more I think they
    would have inherently gotten a little more respect (a little, design is
    extremely subjective and everybody has one...an opinion that is, for
    instance I simply love the new Sprint logo but many opinionated folk took
    issue with it on a previous page in the same issue's F.O.B. section .

    Yet we valued their comments greatly.

    You were very fair in your editorial content. You rightly stated that
    "...you get what you pay for..." (we feel yes, what you pay for and _much_
    more; original designs like this, not out of a LogoMatic(sic) robot, are
    indeed remarkable at our price) when quoting a certain designer and yet you
    brilliantly signed his statement with a 'sniff'. 'Nuf said, and it presented
    the debate rather well.

    If you have any more questions about our process, policies and design
    philosophy (as it works with a populist low-cost approach) please let me
    know. In brief all of our designs are created by a family-run business in
    the heart of Texas, not being outsourced.

    thanks,
    Daniel
    Owner, GotLogos.com"


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