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Logo design

Just to throw this out there- how would you expect to make from a logo commission and what all would it entail? Maybe I'm being unreasonable...

I just had a very bad experience with someone calling herself "Kay" wanting a logo designed for CJKats business. Her email was ochem_tutor@yahoo.com.

During the entire time I advocated and supported my claims when she began questioning me about the "way way expensive" art I was telling her about.

My research has shown that most specialized commissions such as a business logo do run usually between $500-5,000. Sometimes (more often than not?) less if you're hiring students. But given all that goes into a logo, they should run more than your average drawing commission.

I think most people agree on that?

This research is easy to do- I did my own over google. So I told her to do the same, which she wouldn't do and just kept coming at me with "support your claims, support your claims!"

I told her I was asking $300 even though I did have commission experience and was no longer a student (of college, though I will always be one of art).

She, however, did not support any of her own claims. She bad mouthed me. She wouldn't provide PROOF when I provided her all the proof she wanted/questioned. She bragged about all the cheaper art she buys (that was the most maddening, just because she paid so-and-so $40 for a full colored image does NOT mean I should lower my own prices). She said several artist who "knew what they were doing" had contacted her with much cheaper prices- she never gave me links or emails to prove this though I asked countless times.

I saved emails. And I admit I got a little snotty with her but I was at my wits end the way she kept saying I wasn't supporting myself with proof. I was. With links and directions. What more did she want?

She wouldn't provide me with ANY physical proof of any of her own claims aside from her financial status. Which is much better off than my own and I once paid $400 for a piece of art I never recieved (Blaque Tygriss' legacy). So don't play the "I'm poor" bit with me. If art is important to you then you pay what it's worth to you.

She settled for a cheaper artist. Obviously. I feel sorry for the guy being ripped off.

Thanks for listening? And be careful- do your research.

EDIT: it's actually CJ Cats. Kay is the supposed daughter of the business owner, btw.
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( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)

There is no reason to ever pester an artist about their prices. Ever. If you don't like it, the solution is oh-so-simple- commission somebody else. I don't know why people feel the need to get uppity to commissioners about their prices- I can understand perhaps asking for a few dollars under if you're running low or just don't have much money, but there are SO MANY artists out there- you even said yourself that she eventually commissioned somebody else anyway. What was the point of wasting her time yelling at you for what you're charging?

Pet peeve. >>
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, there was no reason to harrass me over prices. When I first replied to her concerns about them I was trying to make her understand why they were so high. She proceeded to call me greedy and it went down hill from there.
(no subject) - bladespark - Jul. 13th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - majy_the_dragon - Sep. 26th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 12th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
You catered to her way too much and brought all this hassle upon yourself. The conversation should have gone like this:

You: My price is [this]
her: That's too high
You: Okay, goodbye.

As for the 'proper' price, that changes based upon the artist and their target market. And it's irrelevant. Your price is your price.
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Well said.
(no subject) - grygon - Jul. 12th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Jul. 13th, 2008 11:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
I totallly agree on your pricing and the results of your research. I've done a few logos for people, two for people I know personally and two for complete strangers. I did my research beforehand, even asking several instructors at my school who have done or do logo designs. $300 is REALLY cheap, even $500 is really cheap to be honest. It's because doing a logo involves giving away almost complete rights and agreeing never to use the image for any other client. Part of the deal with my logos is that I can put it in my portfolio, and maybe make prints of it to sell at conventions (since I've done only very illutrative logos, and the prints don't have the company name on them).

Now that I've done several logos, my policy is to start with a $500 deposit. I log my hours and keep track of all the changes in the design, and will charge more if the person goes back and forth a lot on the design. Because that means more work for me, to have to constantly change and redo an image for someone. The VERY first logo I did, I charged a flat rate and got ripped off. I did seven finished versions of their logo for $300, and my client treated me like crap.

There are plenty of people who will do logos for cheap because they really don't understand the value of usage rights. I was in the middle of doing my first logo at All Fur Fun 2007, and attempting to explain why the logo was so expensive to another con goer. He seemed to think I was cheating my client, and to said me art shouldn't be that expensive. Sadly many of our fellow artists don't undertand that...

So, I'm sorry you had this experience. =/ It really sucks to have your work undervalued, and then to be treated like shit when you stand up for the value of your time and skills.
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
It's because doing a logo involves giving away almost complete rights and agreeing never to use the image for any other client.

Those are almost the exact words I used with her to try and make her see my perspective on the issue! O.o

There are plenty of people who will do logos for cheap because they really don't understand the value of usage rights.

That's something else I tried to tell her, though not in those exact words. But close enough. She just called me greedy and then got real nasty about it.

(no subject) - cissa - Jul. 13th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
I know the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines has an industry standard SOMEWHERE for logo design, but for the life of me I can't find it in my copy. A price of $700 sticks in my head, though, so $300 is more than reasonable.
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
I was just looking at that site, and thinking about joining it to get that handbook.. how much are the fees, though? I'd hate to pay for something that I may never use often (though I HOPE I would use often).

Could have come in real handy now, citing an official source. Not to Kay, as she has steadfastly refused to listen. But to the others she is ripping off on the list I saw her ad posted.
(no subject) - kriscynical - Jul. 13th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rusti_knight - Jul. 14th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Stay with a recognized, reputable dealer. Works every tim.
Jul. 12th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry... you lost me?
(no subject) - dineegla - Jul. 13th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grygon - Jul. 13th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dineegla - Jul. 13th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grygon - Jul. 13th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 13th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
Never let anyone talk you down on your prices. They are what they are and if they want what they say they want then they'll find the money. When you back down it makes you look inexperienced and people will try to take advantage of you. In business the person who can't just walk away, loses and usually goes through very annoying situations like these. I've been there before. Don't worry I'm sure she would have been one of those "I want it cheap but want 8000 changes for the same price" types too.
Jul. 13th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Exactly. If you lower your prices for even ONE person, you'll become known as the artist who does stuff for cheap for EVERYBODY. It's a viscious cycle.
Jul. 13th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
I think your price is very reasonable. I have done a few logos for friends and some very nice folks who gave me no hasseling, all about $100 each. In those situations I was happy to be doing it for the price and I don't regret it.

HOWEVER, if I take on other projects with people I do not know, I usually charge more, and would especially do so with a logo. $300 is CHEAP! It seems like a lot, but artists almost always retain their rights to anything they make unless the rights are sold with the art. Denying an artist those profits, or paying an artist to up your business's profits is more than a simple $40 commission! And yeah, if someone is that big a dick, ignore them or block their email/IM name. They really aren't worth your time...
Jul. 13th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
I would have stopped replying to the emails the very first time she called you expensive.
She wasn't being professional at all, so I don't think I would take her or her business seriously at all. It's probably just some kid hoping to make some website to make a few bucks without really knowing what all it entails.
Jul. 13th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
at $300 for a business logo, you are robbing yourself. That's far too low. If she's trying to run a real business and is complaining about THAT price, she shouldn't be running a business at all. Period.

According to Graphic Artist's Guild Handguide, logo design professional pricing ranges from $3,000-$10,000, which INCLUDES both the cost of the logo itself, and signing over the rights for reproduction, which is actually more than the logo, which most artists don't bother with.

Honestly, if a company is going to use your logo to promote themselves and make money from it, either indirectly (I.E. advertizing and whatnot) or directly (printing it on sales items like t-shirts), you SHOULD be paid for their right to do that. Legally they can't do anything with it other than stare at it on a piece of paper otherwise.
Jul. 13th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC)

You should have told her that logo designs can run up to half a million pounds, in England the BBC logo redesign and the south Bedfordshire logo redesign did. There's no such thing as "too expensive" when dealing with logos.

Personally I refuse to even entertain someone who is trying to bully me/argue about my prices, if they don't want to pay the price, there are other artists out there. I'm a professional and I don't have time to mess around with unprofessional people who negotiate like two year olds. General negotiation isn't a bad thing but once they start being annoying, that's it, they can go find someone else instead of wasting my time.
Jul. 13th, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
"But given all that goes into a logo, they should run more than your average drawing commission."

It's not even the work that goes into the logo, but the company has to buy the rights to the logo so they're legally allowed to actually use it.

I wonder if the bint and the cheaper artist realize the whole rights issue.

Of course it would be fun if the artist drew her the logo, then when she actually wants to use it on her site and on letter heads and such that the artist goes "Oops, the rights will be additional 3000 dollars, pay up nao plz."

Odds are the undercutting artist is not nearly that cunning however.
Jul. 14th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
Apparently, her business is not worth $300 to her. A logo is (supposed to be) something that immediately identifies a package, label, any piece of correspondence, web page, product, with That Company. Ideally, when anyone sees that logo, the first thing they will think of is That Company, or if they never saw it before, bring immediate interest to what that company is.

There's a pest control company in Los Angeles, but I can't remember the name of it. Their logo is a seated cat in silhouette, with her tail dangling down. It's very distinctive and simple, and makes me happy when I see it. It's a good logo, because I know it's to that pest control company (which, I think, is called Cat Pest Control).

Domino's has a good logo. You see it, you think Domino's Pizza. Same with most of the major food franchises. You don't think they got their logos for $300, do you?

Jul. 15th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
Wow. If getting prices lowered was as easy as all that I would be bitching out the gasoline companies. :P

Good for you for holding your own. She sounds like a total nut job.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


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