I’ve experienced a number of logo projects stalling, some literally just put on indefinite hold, and others where the logo was completed, but the company itself never materialised after-the-fact.
As this has happened a number of times I thought I’d write a little post about it, so that other logo designers can at least see that it’s not that an unusual event.
A Recent Example of When Logo Projects Stall
A very recent logo project of mine has apparently just been left in limbo; with no word from the client.
This is really odd because the client was super keen, and pushed quite hard to get the project started, even as far as pushing for the £900 deposit invoice to be sent over, which was quickly paid.
I kept the client updated with emails during the week, I uploaded images of logo ideas and sketches to Dropbox Paper with plenty of annotations and descriptions, and probably spent 3 weeks continuing to work relentlessly on the project.
After 3 weeks of literally not hearing from the client at all, I had to assume that something bad must have happened to him, or simply has more pressing things to attend to than to provide me the courtesy of a reply.
I’m looking back on the project now, and there is nothing more I could have done to keep the client updated with progress.
Yet I’ve just been left hanging wondering if it was all for nothing, or if I’ll hear from him at some point in the future.
In this case, when 4 weeks rolled by, I just emailed him to explain the project has been put on hold due to zero communication; that I have schedules to keep in mind, and will be starting a new logo project in the meantime.
So ok, I have been paid £900 for close to 4 weeks work, but the bigger problem is that I rely on the entire budget of the project to keep my own finances in check, which now looks like I won’t be able to do.
There are other practical challenges that are the result of this complete radio silence, and it’s just a real shame.
As I mentioned earlier, I can only assume that maybe something bad has happened to him, why else would someone to eagerly pay £900 only to complete disappear for a month?
But not knowing is really bugging me.
I’ve tried reaching out via other communication channels that were provided to me, but nothing.
So another logo project bites the dust.
When it first happened to me many many years ago, I really took it hard. It felt that it was a real failure on my part that the client could no longer communicate, provide feedback or simply just disappear from the designer/client relationship.
There are only so many times that you can remind clients to look at the new project updates, or only so many times you can ask them to get back in touch so that you have some idea of why the project is not moving forward.
It’s now something I assume might happen, and have factored this into my budgets and deposit structure.
It really is soul crushing when you’ve first started a logo project with such enthusiasm and motivation; only to see it start to stutter and finally die, and you have literally no idea why.
Sometimes the client starts off enthusiastically, but over the coming weeks and/or months, you start to see a distinct lack of that initial enthusiasm, which eventually fizzles into complete radio silence.
So another project goes on hold.
The other scenario is not so much about the clients lack of input, but more about the company/business/brand that you designed the logo for.
The client could have been so thoroughly happy with the end result, and even you as a designer feel this is one of your greater achievements
It’s so good that you simply can’t wait to see the logo you designed used on clients new website, or where ever it is going to be used.
But over the coming months the keep going back to the new website URL, but only to see a generic holding page.
You go back 4-6 months later, and still see no sign of this new business that you created a logo for.
I feel really sad when this happens; feels like such a huge wasted opportunity.
Was my logo so awful that it caused the company to collapse before it was even built?
It’s hard not to take this sort of outcome very personally, and it’s hard not to feel that you are responsible, even though you don’t have any of the facts to make that assumption.
I’ll be honest: I’ve rarely been able to reach out to that client, and ask why the company they sought out a new logo for hasn’t yet materialised.
I’d rather be ignorant of the facts in these cases…
Yes, I’ve been paid; yes the client was happy, but something has happened that you have no control over, and that cool logo only now exists in your portfolio.
I’m a busy guy, juggling two jobs: logo designer and dog boarding company, as well as just living life.
I decided a few years ago that all I could do was my best, which is usually all the time.
I would continue to reach out to a client for a certain period of time, then if no replies are received I would simply shutter the project, and just quickly move on to the next project.
I’m not going to waste my time repeatedly trying to establish contact with a client who doesn’t want to be contacted.
Rinse and repeat.
A Word or Two of Warning
This is something I’ve experienced, and had to learn the hard way about the best way to deal with it.
On a few prior occasions of a client simply ‘ghosting’ me; not completing the project and thus not paying the full quoted price, I happened to just check up on their website 6-8 months later.
I was shocked to see that a few clients had decided to use one of the logo concepts that I had presented them, which coincided with them going silent on me.
It appeared that they felt they could get a logo for half price if they just waited a few months, and then felt free to use it at a massive discount.
Needless to say I approached them, and took this really rather seriously.
In each case I was able to either get them to remove the logo, or pay the remaining balance; in a few cases was easily upwards of £2k.
So this is something that I now do on a regular basis: check up on client websites where the client has ceased to reply to any of my correspondence, and hope that I don’t see any of my logo designs used!