Category Archives: Freelancing

Brandstack Closes

It’s unfortunate. BrandStack.com offered an innovative and good service. Logo designers could sell their pre-designed logos, just like on LogoGround, but with the twist added that they could also invent company names to go with the logo and bundle the logo with a domain name.

BrandStack owner Wes Wilson published a statement citing credit card fraud as the reason for the closure.

All the best Wes. Thanks for BrandStack. I wish it worked.

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Any User Feedback is Good Feedback

Don’t be so touchy. Complaints qualify as feedback, just more spirited. More valuable as well, because complaints are like giant signposts pointing to the areas of your business where there is room for improvement. It surprises me how often designers will attempt to strike back when anyone has the nerve to complain. Even when the client is wrong, a complaint indicates that we need to communicate/educate better to avoid misunderstandings.

By the way, we all have clients who complain all the time. Those may be ignored.

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Where Do I Order?

No really, where?

Where is the order page? Should I contact you to place an order? If I want to buy right now, will you make me wait until you’ve read my email and prepared a quote?

I realize that web and graphic designers like to see the design spec first, then quote, but that way of doing business is quickly going out of fashion. People accessing your web site are different from people walking into your shop. They have different expectations and are far less likely to be patient.

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Money-Back Guarantees in Logo Design (2)

I made the change to our money-back guarantee that I ranted about last time. Now the Biz-Logo service is not quite as great as it used to be.

Dishonesty really pisses me off.

Because a small(ish) percentage of people see a money-back guarantee as a loophole, businesses can’t offer great money-back guarantees. I like having a great money-back guarantee. I like giving honest people their money back, FFS. It means that the vast majority of people that don’t ask for their money back are truly delighted with our work. It’s a pat on the back each time we wrap up a design.

Now Biz-Logo is just another logo design company with a “pretty good” money-back guarantee. At least we can still aim for “great” in our designs.

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Money-Back Guarantees in Logo Design

A million years ago, when I started Biz-Logo, I decided to offer a full, unconditional, 30 day money-back guarantee. I was worried that people might take advantage of it, but they didn’t. We did issue refunds from time to time, but they were “honest” refunds – where our style simply didn’t match what the client wanted.

Over the past year or so that seems to have changed. We issue more refunds now. We produce far better logos than we did when we started and our commitment to client service has not changed. Turnaround is still the same too. We simply have more clients who see the refund option as a way to get a logo designer to work for free for 30 days. They don’t get a logo at the end of course, but they can tap into a designer’s creativity and walk away with great ideas for their logo – and somehow not feel bad about it.

A change to our refund policy is inevitable. No refunds if we continue past the first set of designs or something along those lines. I really don’t want to change it – I like the goodwill approach we use now – but we can’t work for free.

This post has a part 2.

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A New Copyright

I predict that a new type of copyright or a new approach to copyright is in our future.

I uploaded a new logo on LogoGround last week and this weekend I found my logo duplicated on someone else’s web site. The thing is though that the “copied logo” was older than mine, so mine is the copy. I didn’t copy it of course, I created something from scratch that happened to match an existing logo. I didn’t want to, but I deleted it from LogoGround.

Something even worse is happening in crowdsourcing. Clients actually ask designers to borderline infringe on existing copyrights. Some designers refuse, but there seems to be no shortage of designers who are willing to do what it takes to win a contest.

We will have to rethink copyright. The only alternative is a massive, visual database where designers (and their clients) can quickly check their designs against every other logo in the world. If you know how to build such a thing, get started. There’s a need.

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LogoGround

It’s finished.

LogoGround.com

Well, “finished” is relative. It’s live. Launched. Shipped, as Seth Godin would say. Like any web site, it will never be completely finished.

We have been getting many requests at Biz-Logo from designers wanting to sell their pre-designed logos there. I didn’t want to bite. Biz-Logo has always showcased our own pre-designed logos exclusively. The logical progression was to create a service specifically for crowdsourced pre-designed logos. Anyone can sign up and upload logos, but each logo will be approved individually before it’s available for sale on LogoGround. At the time of writing, LogoGround takes a 15% cut, the rest belongs to the designer.

Pre-designed logos crowdsourcing-style have been attempted before, but not very successfully. Biz-Logo’s 8 years experience selling pre-designed logos puts us in a good position. We understand and love the concept of pre-designed logos. LogoGround was built on that experience – as our idea of the perfect pre-designed logo world.

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The Boss is Never Done

I’ve been super busy this past week, trying to get my own work done while also doing the work of one of my designers who was on leave. Sometimes it sucks being the boss. When there is more work than people to do it, the excess work always ends up on the boss’ desk. This isn’t news, just something that most people/freelancers do not realize when they go into business for themselves. Would I change it? Back to 40 hour weeks? Not for the world.

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Designers As Managers

The problem with us designers is that we tend to be scatterbrains. Most of us zoom in on one problem, then jump from problem to problem as priorities dictate. A good manager on the other hand can zoom out, consider the bigger picture and facilitate (rather than find) solutions. Making the switch from a designer mindset to a manager mindset is, for me anyway, one of the biggest challenges of running a design firm. But it’s crucial. We have to acknowledge that we are not born managers. Fortunately you don’t have to be a born manager to be good at it, you just need to work at it. Management is a skill like any other.

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