A Good Businessman Would Accept Any Reasonable Offer.
When we started out we charged next to nothing for logos. For work in general. As our portfolio and reputation grew, we charged more.
With time, a logo cost 3, 4, or 5k without question. The reason it got more expensive, is because as we grew, we worked with bigger companies. These companies had bigger boards of directors, marketing panels, etc.
In short, they were harder to deal with because they could not make up their minds. Our strategy of “work till you are happy” didn’t scale to a group of people that by definition could not be totally happy.
The worst part is that we were pricing out our favorite client; the startup. Most startups don’t have a 5k budget for a logo. We want to ride on the coattails of the success that we create. We don’t mind working cheap on an idea that’s going places.
What to do?
So as we looked at a possibility of increasing costs as we worked with trouble clients with big budgets, and great clients with low budgets, we had a choice. Our choice was to dismantle our process. We would charge per concept we presented.
Fragmented clients could pay us for a dozen concepts. Startups could trust us for our first instinct. Our pricing didn’t change, but our barrier of entry did.
Cut to today
Our logos are inexpensive by most standards outside of “I’m working in my basement.” Totally approachable for the average startup.
And here, dear reader is out favorite email of the week (so far.) It is a response to our estimate request regarding our standard pricing for logos.
“That is absolutely ridiculous! I thought I was being generous offering to go as high as $250. It is a few minutes of creative art work, not a Picaso(sic)! Get real dude! What if I didn’t like what you produced? Would you still expect me to pay for it? I don’t think so. I can easily find someone to create a good logo for a lot less than what you ask. I still can’t believe how ridiculous your quote is. Would you rather earn nothing tomorrow? A good businessman would accept any reasonable offer.”
As Picasso (note the spelling) said when a woman said his drawing only took 2 minutes he replied “no Madam, it took me my whole life.” -Some minutes are not created equal.
We’re inexpensive, we’re not that cheap. Also please note that we use our logos as a loss leader. If we can get you in the door, we can keep you for a client for life based on our great customer service, and quality. So a “cheap” logo concept is probably 20-40 hours of work. Cheap indeed.
Should have saw it coming
Maybe the heads up should have been this line in the estimate request:
“We would like the colors to be cobalt blue and dark neon green. Please try to make the style a modern/classical look.”
That’s contrary to our process. We like to work from the client’s customer backwards. We don’t care so much if the client likes blue. We don’t care much if the client likes “modern” we want to know what the client’s customer likes. We’re not building monograms here. We’re making a brand that people can associate with as a pseudo human.
Writing the response to the email was an exercise in patience. In the end, despite a couple rewrites, here’s the final product.
“Best of luck on the project. Sorry it didn’t work out.”