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26

Well… your bullet doesn't have to be silver as long as you hit a vital spot. Sadly, there isn't one. There's an awful lot of people who are unable to visualize design (thankfully, otherwise we'd all be wearing foam hot-dog suits for a living), which is why they come to us. A few points you should try to make: 1) "I'm the expert, and you would be wasting ...


25

I point out to clients that large logos are the equivalent to SCREAMING at customers. When you walk into a store, do you want the sales rep to come up to you and scream, "HI! WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU TODAY?!" or would you rather have the rep walk up and quietly ask, "Hi, what can I help you with today?" (It carries more weight when spoken :) ) I ask them to ...


24

Depends on your contract. In general, absolutely, yes. You did the work, you provided it to the client, now their job is to pay you. I would not offer a discount (seriously, 50 variations?) but would keep it in mind for negotiation if needed. Given that you did so many variations, I would probably offer a 20% discount at most, but only if they were ...


21

I personally would let it slide since they are a regular client. It sounds as if it was a communication issue, so you may want to let them know somehow, "Hey we removed this item from the invoice due to a misunderstanding, but please note that our design fee is XXX for furture reference." That way they are aware, and you look like the "good guy" to a ...


19

Stefan has several excellent points, which I'll echo and expand upon: Write up a contract. You don't start anything without a contract. It took me over a week to write my first contract, but that baby is as detailed and iron-clad as I could make it, and now I can slice-and-dice and adapt it to future jobs. The AIGA has a ridiculously detailed sample ...


15

Not to detract from lawndartcatcher's excellent answer, there are some additional pointers that might help: Don't ever make the client wrong, especially when they are. Clients are human (for the most part, anyway), and if there's one thing a human can't stomach it's being wrong. This is so much the case that proving to someone that they're wrong absolutely ...


15

As in my comment, I do not think I entirely understand you Q, but what you are after are names for fictional companies that have a strong visual impact. Strong relation between the fictional name and logo? That is what logo design is for; the company name is not chosen as such. The all-time classic fictional company is Acme Corporation. Cinema and ...


12

Don't resent your client for wanting more, but educate them. The original editable files are your blueprint by which you create their design, but the design is what they buy, not the blueprint. Try a comparison, like: If you get a tailor made suit, you don't ask the tailor for the pattern and a pair of scissors afterwards, just in case you'd want to make ...


11

A good analogy I heard regarding this problem that you can use on the client is this: take a look at how a Wal-Mart is laid out versus how a high end retailer like Nordstrom's or Von Maur is laid out. The Wal-Mart is cluttered and stacked wall to wall with as much stuff as they can fit in there while the high end stores have their product displayed with ...


11

You need a Creative Brief. The graphic designer you approach should have one to give to you. Here are a number of topics to consider, though this is for large projects and some of the subjects may not apply for you: Project Background Who are you and what do we need to know about you? Give some background information on how this project came about. ...


10

The Wikipedia Article "Placeholder Name" has a section for "Companies and organisations", which includes the following: "Ace" and "Acme" were popular in company names as positioning words in alphabetical directories. They were generic, laudatory of whatever products they were used to promote and appeared at the beginning of most alpha-sorted lists. The ...


10

This was going to be a comment turned out to be quite long, so here it goes: I don't want to sound rude, really. But how do you expect people to believe in something YOU don't believe in? You are going to be designing, how are you going to make the design decisions about something looking this or that way? There is a theory behind our options when creating ...


10

It's probably time to hang up a shingle and promote yourself as a freelancer, at least for the time being. Acquent is one good place to start. Make yourself a fantastic-looking business card, carry everywhere and give out freely. Although you can always poke around for pro bono work for local charitable or religious organizations, these aren't the best for ...


10

Well, your contract should have stated that you are only creating a design (or print job, website, whatever) for the client, and that you explicitly are not surrendering source files. If it didn't... Then you tell the client that while it's physically possible to give them a clean PSD (IL, INDD, etc.) eventually, right now the file is a mess. Or it's ...


10

Well, it is hard to say specifically, because such conditions need to be negotiated before the work, not after project dismissed or finished. But, for sure, you can protect all intellectual property you did and client can't use any of your ideas or sketches without payment. So, you can try to negotiate sell of your concepts, otherwise notify to complete ...


10

Consider exploring their reasons for a larger logo, and trying to fix the underlying problem, or suggesting that the website isn't the best place to fix it. For instance, some simply have an aversion to white space. You'll need to help them understand good layout practices, and that appropriately used whitespace will highlight their logo better than making ...


9

Yes, I would line-item a rush fee to make it very clear that they are asking for something above-and-beyond the norm. And if you want to let them negotiate it, that's certainly up to you.


9

To give some sort of an answer for you: Sales figures on similar branding update data would be one very good approach. Just make sure it relates and had a similar reason. A racist logo from the 1920s updating to not be racist is different then not liking the color choice or something. Data from one would have very little meaning on the other. If the new ...


9

I would first ask myself, why is the client picking typefaces at all? Are there brand standards in place I have not been made aware of? For the record, there's nothing which states two or three or fifteen typefaces are too many for a logo. If designed well the quantity of typeface variation is irrelevant. If you can pull off a great logotype with six fonts ...


9

Some clients you have to be brutally honest with and flat out tell them to pick a direction because otherwise he/she is merely wasting your time. You have to often treat these types of clients as children. Allow them to make choices but specifically engineer the choices they have -- "Do you want A or do you want B?" NOT "What do you want?" If ...


8

Round 1: Hey John Doe, I need some (object) made by (date). Its to promote (product, event or service). I can offer (dollars). Are you interested? Or you might wait to see if they're interested and then negotiate that last point but it still belongs in Round 1. Round 2: Great! Here's my (logo / branding) and the (copy). As you see in the branding we ...


8

A rush fee is a premium. You are telling your client that you do not normally turn a project around this quickly, and the client is paying you to put aside other work and prioritize this project. I would have no problem putting that into the quote and calling it what it is: PROJECT ESTIMATE: $X,000 RUSH FEE: YY% or $YYY TOTAL PROJECT ESTIMATE FOR ...


7

"F*ck you, pay me." Maybe not quite in those words in all possible situations, but you need to always make sure you are in a position where if you had to, you could say exactly that, and back it up. The quote comes from the title line of a presentation given by Mike Monteiro, which EVERY independent contractor should see: ...


7

Welcome to the World of Graphic Design... lol.. you see their mind is growing with ideas because now it's trial and error to them. You give them a time limit. You know the job takes you 10 hours to do. You tell them how long it takes without revisions, offer 2 revisions then tell them to pay per revision there after. You shouldn't have to explain why, just ...


7

Try to make a working timeline and specify price for every step your design goes through: sketching process, variations, meetings, discussions, final design. So the client can follow the process. Vnovak gave the most efficient answer for now. Also respect for your clients is the basement for success. Your main purpose is to understand their desires and as a ...


7

In your case, this CAN be two separate things. Your work for a client and work in your portfolio. Let me explain: I have tons of work that I've done for certain clients that I hate because of their feedback. I still have to deliver the product, so I sucked it up and completed according to their specifications. BUT I also save the version that I liked. This ...


7

I have worked with PowerPoint files as well, but I have also prepared just backgrounds when requested, so it really depends on what they asked and what you agreed on. Perhaps something in between would be ideal, YOU create the backgrounds, but YOU also add them to a PP file along the styles for titles, lists and so on. Regarding the contract, a question ...


6

There is no silver bullet. As you know, part of being a designer is about being a salesman. The sales process does not stop when you land the gig. You have to sell every idea you have, and time and time again convince your client that your idea is better, or else risk being seen as their monkey who is simply responsible for taking what is in their head and ...


6

I find that if you dig deep enough there's usually a nugget of sense in even the craziest client requests. The words they use to express what they want are usually wrapped up in a hodge-podge of what they've seen and what they think is normal - but every profession has its own flavour of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". It could be worse, we could ...


6

Good question. I've never done web design in multiple languages. Well, not manually. I've used some multi-language CMS template packs like Smarty. I honestly don't know how well they work though. And it ultimately wasn't any concern. I've never had a client specifically ask for web design in a language other than English. However...... I have done print ...



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