The importance of logo identity

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Why is a logo identity so important? Because we mostly choose the products we buy based on their perceived value rather than their real value.

Logos are all around us. Think clothes labels, running shoes, TVs, smart phones, computers. From the moment we wake to the moment we sleep, they’re an ever-present part of our every day routine.

The average person sees 15,000 advertisements, logos, and labels in a day.

Don’t believe it?

To illustrate the constant presence of logos in our lives, I decided to spend the first few minutes of a typical working day looking at all logos on the products I interact with, beginning with my morning alarm. They ranged to Apple logo on my iPhone, Kellogs logo on my cereal box, Channel 9 logo on the TV show I was watching, Toyota logo on my car, school logo entrance at my sons’ school, a variety of logos on shop fronts as I drove to work.

All these logos in only 2 hours from me being up already, that’s just a glimpse into my day, which is not to say that there weren’t plenty of other logos around at the time — on other food products, books and newspapers, billboards and my clothing.

A logoless company is a like a person without a face.

For years, we have needed and desired social identification. Think of a farmer who brands his cattle to mark his ownership, or the stonemason who proudly chisels his trademark.

When you close your eyes and picture McDonald’s, what do you see? Golden arches? For those products and services that have a strong logo identity, it’s the identity that people often think of first, rather than the product itself. Think of Apple, Nike, Coke and BMW. Chances are good that without even showing you their logos, you’d have a fairly good idea how they look. But also be, a huge marketing budget is necessary to achieve the recognition rates of such organisations, but it’s important to “put on your best face.”

So you see logo identity is vital to any business that wishes to succeed and be remembered. Can you really out a price on that?

Call Spiros at DesignLab to discuss how we can help better your logo identity.

Pricing Logo Design

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Every graphic designer ask the age-old question…. “How much should I charge my clients for logo design?”. So if you don’t know what your skills are worth, rest assured you’re not alone. I still wonder whether we are doing ourselves justice with the rates we have set, and I’ve been in charge of my business for what seems like a very long time.

There is a great quote I use with new clients which reads ‘It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds’. This sums it all up so nicely. As an experienced designer you may be quick, but it has taken years of practice to get to that point.

You can’t be expected to price a design project without first understanding the needs of your client. I just don’t know how some designers can advertise a list of predetermined prices for x amount of concepts with x rounds of revisions, they are attempting to commoditize a profession that by definition can’t be commoditized.

Every client is different, so every design project will be also.
It makes no sense to me to pigeonhole your client into a specific price bracket. What works for one will not work for another, and your time profit a big hit when you limit yourself to a set range and attract clients on the basis of price alone.

The pricing formula

Pricing logo design is far from an exact science formula, and even when you think you’ve covered every  factor possible for determining your costs, another one will crop up and force you to recalculate. It’s important to consider what affects the amount you quote, and how you can ensure you actually make a profit.

Print costs

A logo design is likely to contain a range of print design, such as business cards, letterheads, or a  brochure, and it is difficult to determine how and what to charge your client for providing this service.

Designers normally charge a markup on the total print costs when they handle this service for the client. This is their way of recouping the time and effort spent liaising with the print company. There’s no industry standard percentage, but somewhere between a 15 and 20 percent markup is a good starting point.

My advice is to advise clients to deal directly with a printer locally. This helps clients in two ways: They save money that is otherwise spent on my markup, and they build a business relationship with someone local, which can save a significant amount of money on future print runs. And if your clients take the time to ask a printer how to make the most of the money they plan to spend on their printing project, they likely will be surprised at the advice and help the printer delivers.

Level of expertise

Only you know how much your skills are worth, and this value is the result of your experience in dealing with clients. I frequently ask myself if I’m charging too much or charging
too little, and I reckon every other designer does too. But the main goal is to make sure you’re compensated for the level of experience and education;  the overheads for your office space, equipment, electricity and heating, etc; and the expenses you will incur as a result of working through the design project with your client (travel costs, your time, etc).

Quick turnaround times

If a client is under pressure to have a job completed within a tight time frame, then you need to consider applying a “rush job” markup. Accepting the request means that you, too, will be under increased pressure to get the job done, and might result in a rescheduling of your existing projects. I recommend a markup of 20 percent to 50 percent, depending on the urgency of the deadline and the client.

Additional services

When a client needs a new website to go along with their logo, consider it a wonderful opportunity, even if such a service falls outside your skill set. It’s situations like these that allow you to provide that extra level of service and support that is most useful to your client.

Down payments

It is essential that you receive a down payment prior to commencing work—especially when dealing with a client with whom you have no prior relationship. If you don’t get one, it’s easy to be taken for a ride.

I made a mistake of falling into this trap in my early days of being in business. I once worked with a client with whom I had an understanding that full payment would be made after I sent final artwork. I supplied my client with the designs, but almost immediately after, my client contact evaporated, and I was left with nothing.

I would recommend at leat 25 – 50% deposit. This is not unreasonable to ask, and it quite common practice in business.

The money exchange

After having worked with overseas clients for some time, I began to wonder about fluctuations in exchange rates, and whether I should factor these into my initial quotes. It’s worth considering, because there might be a sudden dip in the exchange rate before you receive full payment, potentially leaving you out of pocket.

 

Why looks are important in branding

 

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Why is branding so important? Because we often choose products based on their perceived value rather than their actual value.

With the right branding and careful planning, businesses can increase their product’s perceived value, they can establish a relationship with their customers that can last forever.

It always helps to have a good story to tell. Your job as a designer is to find the story, and tell it wisely. The rest of this chapter shares a few examples of designers who got it just right.

A company without a logo is like person without a face

For along time now people need and desire social identification. Just like a farmer who brands his cows to mark his ownership.

When you close your eyes and picture McDonald’s, what do you see? …. Golden arches? For products and services that have a strong brand identity, it’s the identity that people always think of, rather than the product. Think of Apple, Nike, Coke, and Google. Chances are that without even showing you their logos, you will have a fairly good picture of how they look. Take into account they have a huge marketing budget to achieve the recognition rates of such organisations, but it’s important to “put on your best face.”

Symbols exceed boundaries

To sell a product around the world, your brand has to speak different languages. Luckily easy-to-identify symbols need no translation. Recognisable regardless of culture or language, symbols can enable a business to cross barriers, compete globally, and maintain brand consistency across a large range of media.

Rethinking the importance of a brand

We usually do judge books by their covers, whether it’s fair or not, it’s how we have been brought up. We live in a world that identifies success with image. And that’s why the perceived value of a service or product is greater than the real one. The same visual identity seen over and over again builds trust, and trust keeps your customers coming back for more.

It’s kind of like putting a face to a name— logos help people remember their experiences with businesses.