How To Avoid Getting Burned By Customers: Stop, Drop and Roll

I was asked these questions “Should I have asked for a down payment? If so what is a reasonable price for logo design?” by a fellow graphic designer. Here is my answer to the questions asked in hopes that it can also help someone else with a similar issue(s) whether you’re a graphic designer or just in the business world.

“Well from my experience (both good and bad) it’s always in your best interest especially, as well as your client’s interest to ask for a 50% deposit as a ‘Retainer Fee’. In the past I’ve had clients ‘change their minds’ mid project and at the end of the project and you end up getting burned. That’s your time and creativity down the drain. Always protect you time as that’s your most valuable asset. You can even develop your own ‘payment procedure’; like ‘50% deposit as a retainer fee. At least 3 designs will be developed. Select the top one or two designs. Make changes and present final design. 50% final payment upon submission of final design files.’

Always put a watermark with your name/logo and copyright over your design so it prevents them from being able to use it upon presentation.

As for a fee, there are no set rates. Every graphic designer measures his or her own worth and time and there’s economies of scale; so the price that is good for me may not be good for you. My advice would be to create a time log in Microsoft Excel and record the time you spend on any design. You can probably come up with a number on how much an hour of your time is worth to you.

On the contrary, you could also just do a flat rate which I think is best because sometimes ideas come in a second and you’re through with the design in a few days. Other times inspiration can take you into 14 days worth of work before you’re done. I currently charge around $219 US for logo designs for a start-up/small business.

Look online, and see what logo designers charge. Don’t sell yourself short though. A logo design should last 10 years so let the client know that it’s an ‘investment’. When they look at it from that standpoint, they’re often times more than willing to pay the price you’ve quoted.

I hope that helps.”

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