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Logo concepts for free?

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by devolutiondesigns, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Once or twice now i have had new clients approach me for logo design work and ask me to come up with concept s for free.

    It really winds me up.

    They have asked me to do some designs and then if they like them then they will pay for the work

    I am very busy as a designer and my working practice loosely revolves around 50% up front and the rest upon completion. I dont have time to work for nothing on the chance that if they like them they will then pay for the full work.

    This presents 2 big risks.. one being they dont like the designs and the work you have done you dont get paid for. The second is that they take the concepts and go recreate them and finish them somewhere else, again you dont get paid.

    What are other peoples views on that? Would you ever create come concepts for free?

    I might occasionally pitch for large jobs but for logo designs my general attitude is that if you want a sheet of ideas from me for free .. jog on!

  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    This kind of request swings on the hope that you're NOT busy and basically gagging for the work so it's an easy one to field. You might want to find out what they do as a business and ask them if they'll do a bunch of it for free in return for a promise of payment if you like it.
  3. They are a new techno club night. not really a fan of techno unfortunately.
  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    See if you can get some mates in their club and explain that they'll pay when they leave, but only if they have had a good night. See if they buy that.

    Genuinely, walk away from jobs like this. If they like enough in your portfolio to approach you then at least a non-refundable deposit for the concepts should not be a problem. Otherwise, as you rightly say, jog on! :icon_tongue_smilie:
  5. Exactly!

    Maybe when i was starting out 5 years ago i would have done it.., Infact i did. But now its a case of just being too busy to do it. If i had a massive client come along then yeah it would be worth it but otherwise no way!

    I think my reply was along the lines of 'jog on'

  6. He just emailed me to say he found a company to do it for free .. hmm ok.
  7. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    There's only two types of art you get for free in this world... 'clip' and 'word'. :icon_wink: Dodged a bullet there I reckon.
  8. And he wrote his emails with no capital letters or punctuation.
    Text book case of 'AVOID'.
  9. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member


    VLAHAKISA Member

    Getting Paid

    I would never create concepts for free. EVER.

    No designer should. 50% up front and the rest on completion. Make sure your terms and conditions are water tight and if they don't pay the rest chase them for the fee using The Thomas Higgins Partnership | Business Debt Collection Solicitors

    They will pay, believe me.

    I found out about Thomas Higgins via this forum by the way. I've used them once, they are great :)

  11. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah they are really good if people owe you money.
  12. band-merchandise

    band-merchandise New Member

    the only time I would ask someone to do some work for free, is if I was unsure of the quality of their work, if you have a website showing your previous work I think its a bit of a cheek to ask for free prospecting work
  13. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    I wouldn't do anything like this for free unless its a mate and I would maybe discuss some ideas with him / her rather than showing or giving any visual creative work. It would have to be clear by this point that I have 'got the job' and agreed some kind of costs.
  14. eonic

    eonic New Member

    It is a bit silly - so many people do that they don't understand the complications of digital designs and expect you to work for free. Where as a company like ours struggles to find a good designer to come and work for us as they already have enough on....

  15. Brilliant link!
    I have a need for that every now and then.

    I always get a contract signd and 50% upfront.

    There was a case recently where a client didnt like the logo designs and she refused to pay. It was 2 days work. the little...'*7&!2%%! She was based in Russia unfortunately.

    It was amazing i had such an email argument with her. Basically it go to a stage where i sadi she would was racking up quite a large bill due to all the brief changes along the way. Her argument was that she shouldnt have to pay for me to do good work. It should be a flat rate.I was trying to explain to her that in fact its not the quality of work you are paying more for but the time taken to produce loads of different ideas.

    She went from liking some to hating everything.
  16. dot design

    dot design Member

    I'm with Amanda on this, you're just undervaluing what you do if you do this and design is taking a pounding as it is!

    I know it can be tempting in the beginning as you think this will attract clients, but it usually only attracts those that don't value what you do and just want to tick the 'Design' box on their business 'to do' list.
  17. Labanbrown

    Labanbrown New Member

    Steer clear of free stuff. There will always be someone who'll do it for nothing of course but that does the industry no good.

    If you're good then your work will help generate a good return on their investment so there shouldn't be any question.

  18. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    People in general fail to realise that the majority of the work you do as a designer is based on having ideas others don't, particularly when working on an identity. Why the hell would anyone give away their ideas for free? There's a reason I don't like people looking through my sketchbook you know!

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    The only free work I do is for charities. I've recently done a load of stuff for Cancer Research, and Help For Heroes. Got no problem with that. They then passed on my details to a bunch of businesses who they also work with. Now I've gained some clients whilst helping a good cause. I'm happy with that.
  20. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    That's a good approach Arrivals. I like that idea. I'd of thought places like Cancer Research would of had all their own designers/in house team, or do they just issue out a style guide and let you 'get on with it'?

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