Category Archives: General Graphic Design

Mediocrity

One of the many changes that the Internet brought to our profession, to graphic design, is that it exposed us to brilliant design. The designer who used to be something special in school, who shined in college, now comes face to face with her worst enemy: A better designer.

There are three possible responses to this realization:

1. Deny it. Believe that your designs rank with the best in the world. If only people understood you.

2. Accept mediocrity. Wear it every day and get on with making a living in spite of it.

3. Acknowledge brilliance, accept that you are not there yet and work harder to get there.

All three are valid responses. The only wrong choice would be to waste years on the fence. Which one are you? Choose. Focus.

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100% Commission on Logo Sales

Well, it had to happen. When I launched LogoGround as a logos for sale site in 2011, I offered designers 85% commission on their logo sales. That’s in comparison with sites like 99designs that pay 30% to 50% commission on logo sales.

But it’s not good enough, is it? If the designer does 100% of the work, should she be paid 30%, 50% or even 85% of the money? Unless logo companies start helping the designers with the design work, paying your starving designer 100% commission seems like the only honorable thing to do.

How do we make money then?

We have a few ideas on that, but I am not too worried about it yet. We use LogoGround ourselves, selling the logos that my team and I create. For now we make more than enough from those sales to maintain the site.

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Free Logos (2)

Time for an update on our free logos experiment at LogoLogo.com.

As we expected, traffic to the site increased quickly. Everybody loves free. Google does not seem to love the site though and traffic has levelled off at around 600 visits per day. Adding more logos more often would be one way to increase traffic flow, but I’m eager to break the correlation between the number of logos and the number of visits.

Also as expected, the site has made very little money so far. The target audience for this site is not the average logo shopper. Our typical visitor is looking for free so the conversion to non-free logos has been low.

A few new experiments rolled out on the site this week. I’ll update you on that as the data comes in.

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Plagiarism

Why? I don’t get it.

For every four hundred or so honest designers signing up at LogoGround, we get one crook posing as a designer. This is the nut job who blatantly copies a logo and uploads it as an original work. My question: What is the point? If you know what to look for, spotting a copied logo is easy. If you know what to search for, finding the original is easy too.

If you are going to go through all the trouble of copying a logo, why not rather invest that time in making a brand new one? Note the use of the word “invest”. That’s what you’re doing. You are investing in your future. If you make an awesome, original logo and post it on LogoGround, it WILL sell. Perhaps not right away. Perhaps not within the first year. But it will sell.

Invest a little time every day and watch LogoGround turn it into money for you. Or copy logos. Your choice.

(If you choose the latter, uploading them at LogoGround would be a waste of your time.)

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Care

Two things happen when you care.

1. You enjoy work.

2. Your clients love you.

In a world filled to the brim with mediocre designers offering mediocre client service, try really caring about your clients and their particular needs. Consistently over-deliver. It will make you happier and richer.

(It’s not something you can fake.)

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Money-Back Guarantees in Logo Design (4)

A money-back guarantee works both ways.

It’s more than an agreement. It’s a promise that we will part friends – either we make you a kick-ass logo or it’s free.

When either party uses it to screw the other, it becomes pointless.

My issue is with clients who view money-back guarantees as a ticket to hire several logo designers for the same project, then select a winner and demand refunds from the rest. These folks are a very small minority of course, but they appear on my radar occasionally. It gets my blood boiling each time. If you want free logos, go to logologo.com. If you prefer hiring a logo designer, paying him/her for their time is the right thing to do!

As a designer, I think the best strategy is to issue the refund and politely thank them for trying your service. Then vent on your blog and move on.

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Logo Popularity

My company created a web site called LogoLogo.com which I reported on a few months back. Quite simply it’s template logos given away for free.

One of the metrics available to us, and to you, is the number of times each logo is downloaded. Couple that with the ability to arrange logos by popularity and you have a machine for determining what logo shoppers want.

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Logo Production

It is relatively easy to talk about logos, to look at logos, to evaluate logos and to criticize. Creating logos is harder. It takes more time, skill, blood and sweat than any other logo-related activity. That’s why there is money in logo design once you decide to put your back into it.

Edit:
Re-reading this after posting, I realized that I’m not making my point clear. A designer asked me for a job the other day. I’m not hiring, so I directed her to places online where designers can sell logos and I advised her to upload 10 good logos a day for the next 6 months. Every day. That will take her to about 1,800 logos for sale. By then she will be making more money from logo sales than the best salary I could offer her. The only question is: Can you create and upload 10 good logos a day, every day, for 6 months?

Stop looking for work, logo designer. There is plenty for those willing to really work.

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Free Logos

Perhaps the time has come.

LogoLogo.com is a new site we’ve started through an affiliated company of ours. Free logos. Really free. We’ll see how it goes. For now there isn’t a concrete monetization plan. Many ideas, but nothing implemented or even decided yet. We will let the site build a little momentum and come back to ways to make money off free logos.

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Scarcity

I am sometimes jealous of those who sell domain names. There’s only one “example.com”. Scarcity is built in.

With logos, not so much. But scarcity is built into every endeavour where creativity is required. There is only one of you, right?

In art this is more pronounced. There is only one Dali. Only one Duchamp. Only one Matisse. No reason why this can’t be true in design. There is only one [_insert your name here_] and when you get to the point where people insist that YOU and no-one else create their logo, you can start charging what you are worth.

How do you get there?

I’m still working on it, but differentiation is 90% of the recipe. Balls make up most of the remaining 10%.

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