Logo Design – You often get what you pay for

The title is not entirely accurate, but for the purposes of this post it serves a use. This post is to  draw attention to a very common situation faced by designers, a client preempting project negotiations by saying “we don’t have much money”. However, I must also say this, regardless of the budget, if a designer chooses to take on a lower paid job, that designer needs to treat that job as they would a more lucrative project.

To clarify

The logo design, the visual identity, it’s the one thing that represents who or what the business stands for. Of course it’s not the only thing and is dependent on so much more, but it’s a solid start.

The logo is the one constant in the marketing and advertising armory.

It will be around when the last brochure becomes out of date, when the business moves location, when the website is due for a system wide redesign, when the CEO or MD retires, when staff come and go, when clients come and go, when the Conservatives get back in power…

Yet when it comes to the crunch, the logo design often gets the lowest priority when it comes to the allocation of these critical advertising and marketing expenses. It’s easier to part with the business cash when it’s about how you are perceived as a person rather than the business.

Some generalities

Let’s conveniently and naively forget that the logo represents your company for one moment. Now lets get on board with the true western affliction, lets prioritize on the material things that seem a much better use of the companies coffers opposed to inanimate objects like a logo: the company car you drive, the clothes you wear to work, where you take your own clients out for lunch, corporate outings, the latest leather briefcase and stupidly expensive fountain pen. But it’s not just material things is it, the need to be liked and viewed by the community as an outstanding and caring business: sponsoring the local rugby team or ensuring the company name is planted in pretty flowers on that large sponsored roundabout on the edge of town.

And the esteemed logo designer is faced with, “well, the client has a low budget for this.”


So here is something to bear in mind, and sorry if this sounds at all patronizing. If the first thing you say when you approach a designer is along the lines of “we don’t have much money”, you are hinting that you don’t value what you are asking them to do for you.

Instead, see if there is another way you can express to the designer, the financial limitations you might have. Not making it sound like a preempted attack to cut costs at all costs is the key focus here. Just being aware of this will help in negotiations, without running the risk of really alienating yourself with the designer from the outset.

The generalised examples and hot air mentioned above are just the varied thoughts that bump around in my head on an ongoing basis.


Written by Graham Smith: The Logo Smith| First Posted on: 2010/02/22 & Post Updated on: 2010/02/23 Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Opinion

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