pass4itsure

As a graphic designer I am often asked various questions about what I do, how I go about it and what a job will involve from the client’s perspective.

Here you can see general answers to some of the most common questions I am asked.

How much does a logo cost?

I don’t like to respond with the cliché “how long is a piece of string” but it’s often tempting. The logos I design are bespoke; that is, they are completely custom built for the client’s needs and as such, each project can vary massively from the last. As such, a ‘standard price’ is difficult to give without an understanding of the brief involved.

I do tend to say, however, that my logo design prices start at around £500 for a very basic job. The chances are, however, that you are likely to be quoted in the region of £750 – £2,000, depending on the requirements and deliverables.

What can I get for £100?

When it comes to a logo, not a lot I’m afraid. Besides the fact that this sort of figure would allow approximately 2.5 hours of my time (far from enough time to complete any kind of research, ideas development or computer rendering), I find it concerning when someone is willing to give so little importance to their brand.

A logo is an investment into a company’s DNA and should be built to last and to grow with the company. A lot can hinge on it, so valuing it at the same price as a couple of new tyres for your car or a decent pair of shoes is a worrying sign. I wrote an article about the importance of investing in your brand here if you’d like to have a quick read!

Do you design websites?

Yes. My skill-set does not include web development or coding so I team up with trusted partners to fulfill that part of the job. The principles of layout and user experience, however, are important to me and I am always keen to see a good brand identity carried through creatively and consistently online. I can be as involved as you want me to be – from managing the project, the design and the third-party suppliers, to taking wireframes from a web developer and designing the look and feel to create assets ready to use.

I actually design other things too, if you’re interested. With a background in mainly print based design I can quote to design books, brochures, packaging, point of sale, exhibition displays, business stationery, advertising, posters, signage or a variety of other items. Please ask for more details.

Who have you worked for? Have you designed anything I’d know?

You’d recognise global names such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Citroën, Reef, Skoda, Wrigley and BP/Castrol from my CV, and if you’re in the UK you will probably know of St Austell Brewery, Thatchers Cider and the National Marine Aquarium too. The experience I have gained through working for clients like these stands me in good stead and has provided me with the experience to know how best to approach a job and, importantly, please busy customers.

However, many of my favourite jobs have been with smaller clients where I have been able to become more deeply involved in the process from start to finish, working closely with the clients and seeing them benefit from the investments they have made.

If I know what I want, can you just make it for me?

Sorry, that’s not really the way I work. I believe there’s a lot to be said for research and finding fresh angles to approach design. Just as you trust a mechanic to use their training and experience to fix your car, you should trust a designer to solve your design problems in the most suitable way possible.

That said, there is a lot to be said for collaboration and learning together as a project develops – I certainly wouldn’t want you to think you wouldn’t be involved in the process.

How do you design a logo?

I have developed a process that helps me to understand the objective of the brief concerned and effectively solve it. I’m a big believer in getting the foundations built properly so I always aim to incorporate suitable research and plenty of sketching into the job. As previously mentioned, each job is bespoke and different, so the process is flexible to cater for that, but you can see a detailed explanation of my process on this article.

Who owns the design rights?

Once the final bill is paid – you, the client, do. I retain the right to showcase the work online and in my portfolio for self-promotional purposes (unless negotiated otherwise) but you have the right to use the logo as you wish. I prefer that you don’t edit or customise it, or claim authorship of it, and I offer some basic guidelines to help keep it consistent, but at the end of the day, you’ve paid for it and it’s yours to do with what you like.

If you commission me to design a logo (or anything else, for that matter) you’ll be asked to sign a contract which includes some further details regarding copyright and ownership in the terms and conditions.

How long will it take to create my logo?

Again, each job is different but ideally I’d like to allow at least 4 weeks for a small to medium logo job, probably more like 6–8 weeks ideally. That is not to say I’ll be working exclusively on that particular job for the entire time (unless that is covered by the budget, of course!), it’s likely that I’ll be working on at least 2-3 jobs simultaneously.

It’s possible to work to shorter timescales for some jobs but rush fees may be applied. Likewise, a bigger project may require a timescale of several months depending on the amount of research and development required.

You’re in Plymouth, I’m in London/New York/Narnia… Will that be a problem?

No. The internet really does make the world a much smaller place! Using email, Skype and telephone (and magic wardrobes when required…) I am able to work remotely yet remain in almost constant contact.

How do I know you’ll design something I like? I’d prefer to wait until I see the designs before I commit to any costs.

Again, it comes down to trust. You can see the work in my portfolio and the testimonials my clients have gladly offered, all of which will hopefully be enough to convince you I’m able to solve your problem to your satisfaction. If not, I’m afraid I can’t commit to begin any work without a guarantee of full payment and, usually, a deposit up front.

When will you charge me and how?

Once you have approved my fee estimate in writing I will usually provide an invoice for a 25–50% deposit which we will have agreed on. Once that payment is received I can book the work into my schedule to be started.

The remainder will normally be due on completion (prior to any handover of agreed files) although in some instances we may have agreed an instalment plan to spread larger payments over several months. Very small jobs may require a payment of 100% in advance.

What do you need to know about my company before you start?

Quite a lot, actually! I like to know as much as I possibly can to give me the best possible insight into your requirements. I have a questionnaire that I send out to potential clients which asks a range of questions relating to their business, their target audience, their preferences etc.

Although this gives me a basic level of understanding, it may be that we need to meet and discuss the brief in more detail before I quote or start work. The questionnaire can be requested by email or phone and you can see an explanation of how to write a design brief HERE.

I’m a start-up company; I don’t have a budget to work with but I know a lot of people so you will get a lot of publicity from doing the work. Will you work for free?

Probably not, sorry. In some rare instances I have agreed to work for free or for substantially reduced fees but I place a high value on the work I do and as such these occasions are almost always restricted to family, close friends or the church in which I am involved.

I’m open to developing relationships with partners with whom I am able to reduce my rates in return for regular referrals or services but again, these situations are quite rare and at my own discretion.

If this article doesn't answer your questions and you want to find out more or ask something specific, please do get in touch.