Client Q&A and Client FAQPure Storage Logo Design Grid and Construction-designed by The Logo Smith

Client Q&A & Client FAQ


Here are a handful of common Client FAQs & Client Q&A, and not so common, questions that you might have with regards to working with The Logo Smith, and/or my creative process in general.

 

If you have any other questions that aren’t addressed in the following Client FAQs & Client Q&A, then please don’t hesitate to reach out:

 

write: hello@smith.gl
speak: +44 (0) 7816 527 462
tweet: @thelogosmith

How much does a Logo Design cost?

I don’t generally have a fixed price list, as every single Logo Design Project is unique, and therefore the way it is developed will also vary from logo to logo.

 

Much depends on the Design Brief or Detailed Design Brief  and the clients specific needs and requirements.

 

Do you want it quickly, or do you want me to spend some quality time researching and brainstorming ideas and directions?

 

Some clients are prepared to pay over the odds because they want me to provide them with multiple logo ideas and directions, whereas some clients just want me to focus on several possible ideas, so the time I spend will vary, and so then how much I need to charge.

 

However, as a general guide, the ‘average’ logo design seems to fall between the £750 – £2,000 price range. This allows me approximately 4-6 weeks of work to complete the logo, which is about right when it comes to chargeable time.

Who's been your biggest Client?

The client that has had the biggest impact on my career as a Freelance Logo & Brand Identity Designer is Pure Storage. The Logo Mark I developed for them back in 2011 its till in use today, and is being utilised in ways I’d never have imagined.

I think for many of us Freelancers, to get a client like Pure Storage is a dream away… I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had this come into my life. Don’t think it will ever be topped.

How long does it take to design a Logo?

Similar to How Much Does a Logo Design Cost, giving time-frames is tricky.

 

I like to allow about 4 weeks for a typical project, where the budget is around £750 – £2000. Sometimes I’ll get it done in 2 weeks, and other times it’s a challenging project, and it goes on past 6 weeks.

 

Sometimes I’ve thought of an idea practically overnight, and other times it’s just been a really challenging project which seems to take forever.

 

If the the work is a larger Brand Identity project, then this will always take much longer than just a logo design. Usually at least 2 months work for a decent size Logo and Brand Identity Project: Logo Design, Stationery Design, Brand Guidelines, Website Design etc.

 

It’s also highly dependant on how many times a client says, “No, I don’t like that idea.” If each idea I present is met with this, then clearly it’s going to take longer than if a client likes an idea earlier on in the project. This is somewhat out of my control.

 

I NEVER promise that a logo will be finished by a certain date, but I will always try my best to complete a project as soon as is feasibly possible, if it is urgent.

 

It’s just not possible to pre determine when you will discover the idea that the client will like, so to promise a complete date to a client is pretty irresponsible.

How many Designers work at The Logo Smith?

On occasion I’ll get asked how many people work at The Logo Smith; it’s just me, Graham Smith.

 

It’s therefore mightily important for me to clarify: all the creative work you see on The Logo Smith website: Logo Portfolio, Monomarks, and The Gallery (Case Studies) have all been designed by Graham Smith AKA The Logo Smith.

 

When you speak to me, or communicate with me in some form, be confident that it’s also me working on your project, and it’s not me passing on your brief to a part-time designer I’ve only just hired.

Are you any good at making Logo Designs?

I’m the best. I really really am…

Do you have Ready Made Logo Designs for Sale?

Actually yes I do. Over the course of the decades, i’ve build up quite a library of unused logo ideas and concepts, and have started repurposing these to be Sold as Ready Made Logo Designs for Sale.

 

These will cost around £250, then there are some paid extras on top of that. Head over to Logo Designs for Sale for more info.

Do you take on Rush Jobs?

I have been known to take on Logo Design projects that were needed in 24 hours. 

 

Obviously this is far far far from ideal, but so long as the client has appropriate expectations, and I manage those expectations, then sometimes a little bit of magic can be made… very quickly.

 

Sometimes there’s a need to complete a Logo Design in a week. This seems to happen more than it really should, but if my schedule allows it, then I’ll gladly take the challenge on.

 

However, because of the necessity to work evenings, sometimes into the early hours and maybe the weekends, then I will always charge a little extra for this effort.

Can you make my Logo Bigger?

Yes I can.

What happens if I don't like the Logo?

Rest assured that you are never ever put in a position where you end up with a Logo Design you do not like.

 

My process is very organic and transparent, and as such, any ideas and directions that you don’t like the look of during the exploratory phase, can be put aside early on in the process.

 

This isn’t to say you’ll like every single idea I present you, but the process is such that even a No from the client is a positive step forward. This simply means we have eliminated a certain direction, and can focus on another, until you are happy.

 

Patience and trust in my process and abilities is absolutely paramount. Many projects can: hit snags, become a challenge, take a wrong turn, but I never give up until the client is happy.

Who owns the Copyright of the Logo Design?

I own the Copyright of all ideas shown to a client, until such time the client approves a final design, then pays the last Invoice.

 

When the client pays the last invoice, then I initiate a Transfer of Copyright from me to the client.

 

This Transfer of Copyright only covers the approved logo design idea, not the previous unused ideas; these remain under my ownership.

Do you have Business Indemnity Insurance?

Yes I most certainly do.

 

The Logo Smith has Full Business Indemnity Insurance (FCA Regulated).

Do you work with Clients all over the World?

Yes I most certainly do. Majority of my clients are overseas, with a high percentage being from America.

 

I am quite used to working around different time-zones, and shuffling my work schedules to suit.

Can you add more JPEG to my Logo?

I can add as much, or as little, JPEG as you like. 

Will you sign an NDA before I fill in your Creative Brief?

Absolutely yes. Client NDA’s are quite common, so just send me the paper work, and I’ll scribble my signature on it.

 

However, I always like to be able to show any finished work in my portfolio, once the project is completely finished. If the NDA prohibits me from displaying the work I’ve done for a client, for all eternity, then sometimes I’ll politely turn down the project.

 

My portfolio is my window front and the way I hook in new clients, so if I’m not able to show the world the one thing I’m very good at, then this isn’t good for my own business.

Will you Design me a Logo for Free?

F**k off.

Do I need to Pay you a Deposit?

Yes. Most projects require a minimum of a 50% deposit, sometimes that is increased to between 60% – 75% depending on the overall cost and scope of the project.

 

Most projects over £1000 will also then have a Secondary Deposit, which is typically paid approximately 1 Month in; with the Final Balance due on sign-off, and before Digital Files & Transfer of Copyright etc can be released.

 

Basically the Secondary Deposit ensures I have a monthly income, and this is essential for any projects that will likely take over 1 month to complete.

 

Additionally, I will reduce the initial Deposit for any budgets over £3,000 where I’ll typically ask around 35% – 40%. I’m flexible on this, so feel free to discuss this with me if you have any particular needs.

How can I Pay you?

Paypal, Bank Transfer, WeTransfer are all good. Also open to other payment methods if this helps, so please do ask.

Do you like Nickleback?

Actually yes I do.

Will anyone else be able to use the Logo I Hired you to Design?

Absolutely no! Assuming you have paid me in full, then you have sole ownership of that logo design. In other words, it’s exclusive to you.

 

No one else can use that design, unless you give them permission. However, this doesn’t stop some nasty people from stealing it, but that’s another story.

Will you send me a few Logo Design Ideas before I Hire you?

Yeah, no.

 

I’d rather listen to Donald Trump sing me a lullaby over having someone like you as a client.

My Agency needs you to do a Design Test to see if you're a good fit for us.

WTF

Will I have to sign a Contract?

I have been known to use Contracts on occasion, but tend to avoid them unless a client specifically asks for it.

 

 

In which case I’m completely happy to oblige, and happy to look over any Contract you would like me to sign.

Excedr Logo Deconstructed

Brief Overview of my Logo Design Process


A cursory walk-through on what a typical Logo Design Project might entail; not to be taken verbatim, as each project is so unique, and my process often needs to be routinely adjusted.

My Logo Design Process – which many of my previous clients, in their Testimonials, have commented very positively about–and general way of thinking is that there is often one ultimate solution to be unearthed, rather than a scatter gun approach of 3-5 weak logo design ideas.

 

Getting to-the-point of developing that ultimate Logo Design idea takes a mixtures of skills, and of course, a fair bit of time and experience, of which I have a fair bit of: over 27 years within the Graphic Design, Commercial Printing and Advertising & Marketing Industry.

Preliminary Steps


Budgets

BUDGETS: This is a really tricky question to answer, as so much depends on what the scope of the initial brief is, the clients own specific requirements, what the Logo Design is being used for: Personal Blog; Hobby Site; Online Store; Charity; Local, Nationwide or Global Business etc.

 

There’s no one size fits many when it comes to costs for a Logo Design, and I try hard to get the client to suggest an initial budget from which we’ll work to.

 

For example, most people know how much they can afford to spend on a: new car, holiday, a new house, etc, so much like these, the budget for a logo should ideally be considered in the same light.

 

Hiring a Logo Designer should not be reluctantly viewed as a hideous cost or expense; instead look at it as an investment that will itself bring positive returns.

 

If you really are stuck, and have absolutely no idea what a logo should cost (not everyone does, and really have no reason to either), then please do Contact me, and I’ll walk you through the process.

Timelines & Schedules

Thought I’d quickly cover this, as it’s a question that’s nearly always asked, but one that’s nearly always impossible to give an accurate reply.

 

There is no promised deadline guarantee I can/will give a client. However, I always try my best to keep some element of forward momentum going, on the project, for my clients.

 

Timelines vary due to: specific client needs, challenges, requirments and project scope.

 

Any kind of ‘implied’ deadline is also dependant on the client in many ways: if said client takes a dislike to a number of my logo ideas, or is not timely with return feedback, then I’m hard pushed to keep that forward momentum going.

 

A typical logo design project, on average, will take 4-6 weeks. 

 

However, if I find an idea early on, then the project could be completed more quickly than usual, say 1-2 weeks at the earliest; conversely, it can rumble on past 6 weeks, especially if the project is proving challenging in any number of ways.

Design Brief

The first real step for a client, and typically before actually Hiring Me, is to fill out the Logo Design Brief.

 

Without a Creative Brief there’s not an awful lot I can do, so it’s important that any potential clients do create a brief that is as detailed as possible.

 

Ultimately, the Detailed Brief will be needed to be filled in at some point, usually once a client is OK with the Proposal; the Basic Brief is good to get the initial ball rolling.

 

I’ll always forward a copy of the brief back to the client, so even if I’m not to be hired, the client has all that information to hand.

Preliminary Proposal

Once I have the Project Brief, and have soaked up all the information, I’ll work on a Preliminary Proposal.

 

This’ll outline the: project scope, budget break-down, deliverables (digital & physical assets), and any other pertinent information.

 

Once completed I’ll send this back to the client for approval, or changes if needed.

Contracts / NDA's

Assuming the client is happy with the Preliminary Proposal, I’ll often forward on a Contract. Not all clients require a Contract, so I’m happy to work with or without one.

This will have already been ‘digitally signed’ by myself, and thus only needs the client to accept and sign the Contract themselves.

Sometimes a client will have an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) for me to sign, so I’m always quite happy to do this.

The Creative Process


Research

Research is the key: A designers needs to spend adequate time getting to know and understand your client and their needs, as well as understanding what direct/indirect competitors my client might have.

 

If you don’t fully understand the clients’ competition, or even know what their collective brand logos’ look like, then you are not really designing for the client at all.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming unlocks the hidden, and often overlooked, “it’s right in front of you”, logo design solution.

 

Brainstorming often consists of: mind-maps, sketching in numerous scrappy note books, writing down what ever ideas and thoughts come to mind, furiously messing around on a huge 4000px x 4000px Adobe Illustrator page, and copious quantities of post-it notes.

 

You can view past and ongoing examples of my brainstorming process at: Ongoing Logo Design Case Studies

Where to Start?

1. Often, I’ll start a logo project by focusing on finding a selection of typefaces before thinking about any kind of logo mark, or symbol.

 

Why? Some brand names emit a strong emotion, so choosing the right font seems essential to help amplify that emotion, then I’ll work on developing the visual element further down the line. If indeed a logo mark is needed, as many logos end up being purely typographic in style

 

2. Alternatively, i’ll start the project by trying to develop the graphical component (logo mark, symbol, icon, brand mark, etc) of the project by sketching, and the above process of brainstorming.

 

3. There is a third direction: some logos need a solid and descriptive tag-line, so this will be developed first as this will create a form of narrative, that helps define the brand name. This narrative also then gives me a framework from which to base the visual part of the logo from.

 

There is no set process with the above, it just depends on the project, the client, and brief in question, and what ingredients I have to cook with. 

 

There really is not one size fits all approach, as each client and brief is so different.

Collaboration

There are several ways a logo design project unfolds, when it comes to how much client collaboration there is during the actual progress of a project.

 

Some clients like to be part of the brainstorming and overall creative process right from the very start; happy to see really rough sketches, and napkins doodles, as they occur.

 

Other clients find it hard to interpret these sketches, and struggle to visualise how a rough scribble could look all polished and gleaming.

 

Therefore, in these situations, a client would generally be happier seeing a more polished idea a bit further down the line.

 

I’m happy to accommodate both approaches.

Speed

I’ll be frank: I’m not always the quickest logo designer; I do like to think things through, ponder, deliberate, try this and try that, etc.

 

I don’t like to rush any logo project, as ideas have a habit of appearing when you least expect them, and often a small break from a project is when that idea will hit you.

 

If there isn’t a mad rush, then having time on side is very useful, and very valuable.

 

I can be quick when it’s needed, and I have done projects that were super urgent in 24 hours, but it’s far from ideal, obviously. Suitable expectations need to be set from the start for rush jobs…

Project Management

I currently use Dropbox Paper to: upload, and present all my ideas, sketches, digital mock-ups along with appended comments, to each project.

 

This is a super handy way for both client, and designer, to see progress at a glance, and refer back to other past ideas, comments etc. It’s super convenient as it works well on Desktop as well as mobile devices, and notifications of update etc are quick and easy to access.

 

With DropBox Paper, the client can also add notes to the screenshots, create tasks for me, and even download the various images.

 

It helps keeps everything neatly together, and provides for quick reference at any point in the process.

To Conclude

Ultimately, this was an attempt to give you an average idea of my overall logo design process, but please do bear in mind: it certainly will vary from client-to-client, and project-to-project.

Questions?

If you have any questions you like to ask me, then you can Contact me, or email me: hi@smith.gl or ping me on either Twitter or Facebook.