I need brand identity and strategy, how do I ask for that?
December 4, 2020 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I used to work for some of the largest ad agencies and I'm used to structuring large creative deals. Now I need a brand identity and a logo for my own company. I've engaged a couple of great people I know and trust but I'm clueless how to structure a contract so that I get what I want in the end (basically a logo, typography, variation on dark and white backgrounds) ... and that they get paid. Is the standard practice of give me three logos, etc. still how things work? Is there a better way to work so in the end I know I will have a deliverable.

So in large agency contracts we'd do stupid things to meet contract requirements or worse, wouldn't be able to do actual work because of SOW requirements. Then there was a zero dollar change order game to cover everyone's asses. This has literally been career for my life so I might be overthinking this.

In any case I have a couple people I'm soliciting bids from. Worst case scenario and the only reason that I'd like to have a "3 different logos" which I hate, is because I'm worried that we'll get to the end of a week in a T&M contract and I don't have the budget to pay for more logos. Or any of the reasons there's contracts with deliverables that exist. I'm not too worried about them coming back with a great logo and me making them produce two others to fulfill line items, at the same time as much as I'd like to I can't pay someone to just think about a logo.

Is there a way of going about this that works well for small engagements? Working for an ad agency I'd always tell people look this is one project we're doing for one client, but to this client we're 100% of their marketing budget. Well now that's me.

If you're a small creative what sort of arrangements worked best for you? I'm sure everyone wants the best outcome and the reason we had mood boarding sessions and all what seemed liked overhead was actually a long process to make sure both parties are happy. That works well when you have the marketing budget of Coca Cola, but that's not me.
posted by geoff. to Work & Money (1 answer total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Brand designer here. If I understand your ask correctly: you want a brand identity and logo, don't have the budget to pay and arm and a leg for endless revisions charged hourly, and want to go into the agreement knowing that everyone will emerge satisfied with the monies and designs exchanged in the end.

I'd guess what works best for you is a package pricing structure. This is pretty common at least in my neck of the design woods. It will keep you from having to fret about endless back and forth, if it comes to that.

If that sounds like a better fit for you than hourly contracts, I would take a few steps back and broaden your search to find a designer who not only is good at what they do, but also clearly states their general pricing structure on their site or in the initial consult (or at the very least, upon asking). Then evaluate if that pricing structure works for you. I would plan to pay $800-$2000 or more if you want a quality, customized logo package with all of the logo assets you'll need. You're not just paying for a designer's time, you're paying for their expertise. A designer who nails your logo on the first try might give you a much better, more informed product than one who spent 20 additional hours on revisions.

One other thing to look for: it's totally kosher to ask a designer how they'd launch the process of working with you. For instance, I send my clients a 1 page intake brand survey alongside the contract that the client is responsible for filling out before I start work (although since I'm moving away from hourly and toward package pricing, I'll likely do this information collection on combo of zoom call and worksheet moving forward). It provides a lot of the context that is really tailored to client's wants, needs, and collects any of their existing brand elements (fonts, colors, etc.) - so I'm not just plonking a design or 3 in front of them that I *think* might work, but something that's based on clearly stated information and expectations.

Finally, I would not pursue trying to structure the contract yourself. I've never known a contract to come from the client, always from the designer. TBH I would probably turn down any potential work that came from a client who wanted me to use their own contract - to me that would be a red flag that the client isn't going to trust my expertise. The American Institute of Graphic Artists has a standard template contract you can peruse if you're curious about specifics.

TL;DR: Look for designers who offer package pricing and inquire with them how their package is structured if it leaves any question marks for you. Once you've found the right fit for you, let them initiate the contract. (Of course, don't sign it if it doesn't work for you).
posted by seemoorglass at 3:05 PM on December 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

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