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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard cranial-bore's Avatar
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    Logo failed to satisfy, still charge?

    Hi,
    First of all I know the answer to this question is "whatever was agreed with the client". Failing that I'm looking for opinions on what I probably should have agreed with the client.

    I'm doing a small web job, but before starting the need for a client logo became appararent. I have created about 10 logo concepts, in two batches for the business. Unfortunately none have really impressed them, and it's unlikely I'll be able to crank out any more concepts.

    My question is do you think it's reasonable to charge (either fully or partically) for the work I have done on the concepts? Though I haven't produced a usable logo, I have provided 10 examples of logos that won't work, which may be a helpful shortcut for another designer

    It's worth mentioning that our relationship is fine, I am still going ahead with the website. Similarly my concepts weren't "bad" they just weren't what the client was looking for. There is no bad blood at all.

    Your thoughts? Should there be No, Partial, or full charge for the work I have done?
    mikehealy.com.au
    diigital.com art, design . Latest WorkSaturday Morning

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Of course you should charge for the work you have done, why wouldn't you? I assume you first asked the client for a required specification and then proceeded to design the logo to that spec? If you've perfomed your job to the letter, then you deserve to get paid for all your effort.

    Clients have to accept that design is a subjective matter - as long as you stuck to the spec (e.g. 'we want a green icon with red writing underneath'), then how can there be an argument for non-payment if you designed 10 logos that fit that spec?

    Of course what you should do is first explain to the client your process - e.g. 'We create 3 logos, and 3 rounds of revision on the chosen logo for £XXXX - after that we bill £XXX per concept', or a simple 'we charge £XX per hour for logo design, you can have as many concepts until you are happy'. I'm sure that if your client is happy with you and there's no other problems with your relationship, you'll probably get away with being sloppy, but my advice is before you continue with this, let them know what the current bill is.

  3. #3
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    What you should have agreed on - One of three

    1. An hourly rate (in which case you would get paid for your concepts even if they weren't chosen for development

    2. A project price - left at your discretion whether or not to allow discounts on all or part of the project

    3. A flat fee for the entire project (in which case you would get paid for your efforts)

    Can't put this bold enough -- Get it in writing before you being work on the project
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  4. #4
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranial-bore
    My question is do you think it's reasonable to charge (either fully or partically) for the work I have done on the concepts? Though I haven't produced a usable logo, I have provided 10 examples of logos that won't work, which may be a helpful shortcut for another designer

    ...

    Your thoughts? Should there be No, Partial, or full charge for the work I have done?
    If you could go back in time (apparently) to when you negotiated out the project, I'd say full hourly for development and get the thing in writing. That you (apparently) didn't have it in writing and didn't get agreement to be paid for development probably contributed greatly to the client's indecision. You instead trained them to judge by first impression only, sending you back to come up with something new until it wows them - they had no motivation to do otherwise.

    I have a good friend who works as a freelance corporate designer. Logos are her main schtick. She'd say that 10 logo drafts is insane - instead, work up 2-4 very different drafts and triangulate a response. Tell the client that you don't expect any of the drafts to "wow" them; rather, you want to know what about each they like and hate. Then use that information to narrow the selection (and the client) into a final product. Also, interview extensively before drafting. Make sure that the client knows from the start that you're not a magician, that this is a process that very much requires their participation.

    Beyond that, Shadow and Shy are absolutely right. No spec work - bill every minute, get it in writing, make sure the client knows it from the start. If they don't like it, you don't need them as a client.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard cranial-bore's Avatar
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    Good responses.

    She'd say that 10 logo drafts is insane
    I agree with your friend, and I would not typically do that many (normally 3 initially, to get some feedback).
    The reason I did so many was because the direction I got was so vague. We want something "great", something that makes you say "wow" etc...

    Indeed I think the client misunderstands what a logo is. For now they are going with an old design someone else did. It has transparent effects, smoke, texture work and motion blurring. They will need to embroid, and print their logo with spot colours, so something like this is not practicle. However I know it's these visual effects that made them say "wow", which is why my embroidable, printable, vector designs haven't really blown them away.
    mikehealy.com.au
    diigital.com art, design . Latest WorkSaturday Morning

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    The reason I did so many was because the direction I got was so vague. We want something "great", something that makes you say "wow" etc...
    LOL - I've had that from clients before; when asked to write down what they wanted from a logo, the response was 'Oh something really respectable' or 'Something green'. In these instances, I just send them back their Needs Analysis form and tell them to fill it in again, but this time take longer than 3 minutes during their coffee break. What I wouldn't do is proceed with trying to create a logo from no spec whatsoever as you know the response to each concept will always be

    'Hmmm, it's not really what we're looking for'.

    'Well what ARE you looking for?!'

    'Hmm, don't really know, but it's not that'


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