I Need a Logo Designed for Free Please, thanks Buddy.

There is, in every industry, the unavoidable anally sore fact that what you do to earn a living, will be cheapened by anyone given half the chance. There will be the “I only have £75, can you do a great logo for that?” and the many variations on that theme.

Work swaps, freebies, favours, friends and family, guilt trips, you name it, some potential clients will try it on. It’s how we are wired when we don’t fully understand someone elses area of expertise.

We allow our naivety to be an excuse in these situations.

Don’t you just push a button and press print?

But hey you, Design Person!

But that doesn’t mean that ‘us’, or yes ‘you’, the designer are guilt free. Far from it. We can shove our knecks so far down the collective sand pits that we fail to see that we are in fact failing the very people we are cursing for asking for that free logo. We curse them till the purple cows come home for taking the proverbial piss.

How dare they ask for a job skill swapsies session. Do they have no bumbling idea of how much time my bit would take over theirs? Why don’t they know? Why?

So ‘they’, really have no idea of what you charge, how good you are pound for pound, dollar for dollar.They just see you, one amongst many.

The answer

Simply put. We clearly did not do a good enough job of marketing and branding our own worth on our website or through appropriate social media channels. We have not associated ourselves with quality and professional work with the ‘cost and value factor’.

We have not aligned our skill set with the financial aspect. We haven’t associated any value to what we do in the market place. Ok, sure. You may have a handy memorised price list, but that’s not very helpful.


Is it not down to you, me, them, all the collective Designers on this fragile planet to make sure that we foresee and prepare for any and all likely piss taking requests by providing the most basic of information?

You need to start showing things called numbers alongside your glorious portfolio.

It’s all very well having an award winning portfolio, if you don’t give any idea whatsoever about how that award winning portfolio equates to some loose change.

No wonder people try it on. No prices or ball park quote figures, what the hell are people to expect? Well, it seems no prices means you do it for free. Not a wild leap to make. Give them, the non designer folks some idea of the value you place on your own work and don’t hide it out of sight. Don’t be arrogant, but be confident.

If the amount of these naive requests drop, then you know that you are starting to market yourself correctly. You are not hiding the very details that would make said previous trickster think twice about trying it on.

This is the first step to increasing your overall perceived value. Once this gets a grip, then you keep that momentum going. By doing this you are also doing all other designers a favour, by helping raise the overall perceived awareness of value rather than bitching about another free logo request.

Yes, I am Preaching

I have not always done this myself. I got so fed up with the amount of ridiculous requests, that I thought it was actually my responsibly to put right.

  1. First step was the online quote form.
  2. Second step was outlining some basic price structures.
  3. Third step was then outlining details like timings/schedules and budget expectations.

Since this has evolved, the number of ‘silly’ requests and dropped dramatically. Saving me time and numerous pulsating stress headaches.

Plus the bonus that I am now associating my work, via my portfolio with a perceived value. And the added benefit of helping create a universally higher perceived value to all other logo designers.


Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2009/04/14 & Post Updated: 2010/05/29
Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Opinion, Portfolio

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