No, I couldn’t do a logo for $85 because this is what you get when you hire me

I recently read a post on DeviantART where someone offered “up to $85” for the creation of a logo design for his business. I had written back that $85 is not a lot and “you get what you pay for”. The poster said that he was trying to concentrate on the packaging and just wanted a “decent” logo. I had informed the poster of the following:

The problem is that the logo is probably the MOST important aspect of your business. When you are branding, you are using your logo and your company to produce a positive impact on the audience’s perception. If your logo doesn’t work, everything else is going to fall apart. Re-branding is an expensive process and is not always successful (Tropicana recently had to revert to their old packaging after thousands of complaints and a 20% downfall in profit) so what you choose needs to able to hold itself up for the long-term. When it comes to advertising, people will judge a “book” by its “cover”.

Get a loan, see if someone would be able to trade product for service, or do a payment plan. There are options out there.

Then the poster admitted that he was 16. There is a major issue here. As a 16 year old you can’t enter into a contract and having it be legally binding on its own. You would need a guardian (adult) to “co-sign” as a responsible party. Any business that this minor does, he could easily drop out of. When I posted this another designer (albeight one 2 years my senior) implied I wasn’t taking the poster seriously. How could I? The designer said she thought that $85 was very generous. I’m sorry but a professional designer does not do a couple quick designs on the computer and say “here you go that’s it.”
This is what you get with me: Someone who has over 6 years of professional experience plus a degree in design, the logo in color/bw, 3-6 concepts, ability for revision, final artwork, copyright transfer, EPS, TIFF, JPG, and transparent PNG. I also offer additional services such as a branding (style) guideline, stationary kits, applying the logo to other materials, etc at an additional cost.
I don’t know what clients this designer had been working with but obviously that didn’t take care in making sure they got something that wouldn’t need refinement or fixing in the future. I’ve done work with several design firms/printers and this is my full-time job. I do design for life. It’s not a hobby. I take it seriously which is why I want to inform people of the hazards involved. When you don’t have proper training or experience then you can easily fall into traps caused by naivety. The world is cut-throat. You have to watch who you deal with. If people aren’t sure of me there are plenty of references I can give. Don’t fall victim to what might seem an easy penny. It could be laced with poison.
On a side note, the designer condemned someone for offering to design a logo for $12-30. I had to be a smart butt and say “I would think that would be right in your range if you think that $85 is generous.”

Taking critiques to heart

I noticed a posting on the DDN site where someone had mentioned a headline that was deceiving. The headline in question was “Local chef wins first-ever Chef Quest Challenge”. The poster wrote

Headline is deceiving. It’s a local chef winning a LOCAL competition. While great and everything, if it were a competition outside the Miami Valley it might be more deserving of the “local chef wins”. That’s like saying “local man buys house” …in the area. Your point? There isn’t even a mention of where the other contestants are from to make being “local” more impressive.

There was another comment that reinforced that comment and then another that defended the article. The reinforcing comment was deleted. If you are reading comments that might be negative, perhaps you should take them to heart instead of deleting them. They are probably there for a good reason.

Radio ads – watch your scripts!

I was listening to the radio this morning and there was a public awareness “ad” on. It was a bit upsetting to say the least. There were sounds of laughter and cheering like in a basketball game and then a buzzer saying “time out, Amber Alert”. The idea was that people could get amber alerts on their cell phones. What I didn’t like about it was that it sounded as though it was a game (laughing and cheering) which was entirely NOT appropriate. If they want to grab attention, why don’t they do police/ambulance sirens? An Amber Alert is not a laughing or cheering matter. Be aware of your subject matter when writing scripts!

Adventures in Proofing

I was reading an article on the Indiana International Wine Competition and went to the competition website. I checked out the page labeled “2009 Wine Awards By Class” and noticed at the bottom of the page a major spelling error. In the footer it reads “2009 Indy International Wine Competition – Commeical Press Report”.

Not very comical. It’s also on EVERY page.

Why Twitter can be integral to your business

Let’s say you are using some web-based software and it’s not running right, you know the company that develops it has a twitter account so you tweet the issue using their name (with the @ so they see it in their twitter page). Within minutes you get a reply and within hours the issue is fixed. This is one of the reasons I love CurdBee (billing) so much, they actually list their twitter in customer support.

I noticed a bunch of people laughing at the Dayton Daily News for saying the Newport Aquarium was an attraction in Cincinnati. I figured I’d twitter that using both @daytondailynews and @newportaquarium. Sure enough, I get a reply two hours later from DDN thanking me for the catch and noting they will correct it shortly. I think it slightly comical however, that Newport has in their twitter the location listed as “Newport, Kentucky (Cincinnati)”
Just being on twitter to connect to clients or customers can be integral to your success. You can get instant feedback.