Get What You Pay For

Craigslist post about clients who devalue design/marketing pros for cheap graphic labor.

from Craiglist "re: Graphics person able to bring my logo to life ($100)" I didn't write this, it's a reprint that someone emailed to me. It is not my purpose to bash the OP, or call them cheap or whatever. I realize that you might not have a large budget to get the type of work you need. Probably have no idea what the current rates are, and what goes into a logo package. I'm sure there's someone out there who will "bring your logo to life" for $100. That person is not me. That person isn't most designers with any real talent and skill. And this isn't just for you, Mr. do-my-logo-for-a-hundred-dollars, this is for everyone who devalues the work of good graphic designers. If only "designing" was my job, life would be so much easier. Here's why: When a potential client comes to me, basically asking the same thing you are, I tell them my price. Never less than $400. Of course, I get scoffed at, and am told any number of things including: My nephew/cousin/brother-in-law/friend, whoever, has Photoshop, and said they'd do it for $xx or free. Why should I pay so much for you to design something that I can't even touch? Well so-and-so over at logomilldotcom told me he can do it for much cheaper... the list goes on and on, and I won't bore you with it. Working designers know what I'm talking about. We deal with it every day. Now, I'm going to tell you why I would charge you $500 --at the least. When you hire me to make your logo, I not only have to come up with numerous ideas based on what you think you want, I also have to take into account where you'll be using it, and what for. I have to explain you out of many poor decisions based on your lack of understanding why your idea won't work. We LOVE it when you have a great idea, but it happens rarely. What kind of business are you in? Who are you marketing towards? What do you hope to do with the logo in the future? Is it a trendy look that will blend in and disappear? Is it too ambitious and full of unnecessary elements that take away from the message? Does it make any sense in any way? Am I taking someone else's work and digitizing it so you have a proper .eps file? Why didn't you have them do it in the first place? Was it because you got it for $50? I could spend hours rehashing the millions of questions I've come across, talking with potential clients. The last logo I did, I charged 1k. That 1k got my client almost 25 different ideas to choose from.(could've been more, ended up with the original idea -doesn't negate the hours I spent on other mock ups) It got him the proper colors that best suit his business and work well in print and on the web. It got him letterhead and business cards. It got him branding and marketing strategy. It got him the proper files so that he could send the logo out to be printed on everything he needed for his business. Ultimately, it got him more business. Now I design brochures for him and frequently update his website(that I also made)... because his business is growing, and the strategy worked. I get emails from him all the time, thanking me for everything. Why? because it was professional, and it was well thought out and it meant something. I didn't hand him a cd with a logo on it and say "good luck". That's what 100 bucks gets you. 100 dollars also ensures that no matter how bad your idea is, or how ridiculous you logo looks, the "designer" will keep their mouth shut and give you the exact crap you're asking for. Then you'll wonder why it isn't working, or why you have to keep getting it in different formats for different people. You feel robbed, and now think that, what designers do is bullshit. I can't tell you how much more than just designing, I do with my clients. I'm regularly walking them through everything. I'm dealing with teaching them how and where to use the files to accomplish their business plans. I'm always consulting them. I can be counted on for ideas and strategies to get their business seen, in a market that is flooded. If you can get all of that for $100... then you're a lucky man, and should never tell anyone about your guy -Of course, you will also in a way be putting him out of work, but that's ok, because you got your cheap logo. I will however apologize in advance if I misrepresented you in this post. More so than anything, it's what I want to tell every person who looks for low priced work. I know from years of experience and hand holding, everything that goes into designing your logo, and everything else I do in that process, is what the future of your business is hinging on. Stop thinking of designers as people who make pictures, or who do work that has no real value, because you're wrong. A good designer with any marketing savvy can take your shitty idea for a logo, and turn it into the centerpiece of your prosperous business. Great design is not stuffing 10 lbs of shit in a 5lb bag. And it's definitely not happening with $100. If you don't have the money, work out a deal, make payment, but please, stop undervaluing what we do. I swear, once you shop around and talk to some people, you'll see that if you care about the future of your business, it's money well spent.