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Graphic Design now sold on Ebay

While leisurely browsing ebay this morning, an ad popped up on my screen screaming “NEW ON EBAY—GRAPHIC DESIGN AND LOGO DESIGN AUCTIONS.” I immediately clicked on the ad and came upon listings upon listings of auctions for graphic design services of all kinds. This is a sampling of one of the best entries:

Description: Have you ever wanted an attractive logo for your company for an extremely good price? Well if you did, then you have came to the right auction. Why are we offering our services for such a low price? Because we are just starting the business and we need to build a good reputation. I assure you that we are better then all the others out there.

What you will get for this auction:

1. A professional, sleek, attractive logo.

2. Unlimited revisions. If you are not happy with our design, we will do it over until you are satisfied!

3. We will send you the logo via e-mail or you may download off of our servers if you wish. We will provide the logo in any format (.jpg .gif .pcx .tiff .bmp .png) or all the formats and also any size/dimension you want.

For anyone that shops on ebay, you are familiar with the feedback system; wherein both parties in any transaction “rate” each other on whether or not the transaction was a positive one. Well, our designer-entrepreneur on ebay has 100% positive feedback for his other design auctions, wherein he has sold other logos for fees including $21.00 and $5.50. (His opening bids start at $5).

So now on ebay you can buy a house, a car, a nifty Hermes bag, a Barbie Doll and…graphic design. What do you think?

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PUBLISHED ON Jul.19.2003 BY debbie millman
jonsel’s comment is:

I could get as worked up as Armin would over this, but I just can't. We've bitched and moaned about $25 logos with unlimited revisions before. I'm a defeatist and a realist about this. There are places and businesses that just won't place a strong value on design and just want to "get something done." As far as I'm concerned, they don't get it, so they don't deserve it.

Now, if the AIGA or some other design organization wants to take this on, go for it. The design field could use a "Got Milk?"-type of campaign. Perhaps a theme of "What has design done for you?" could showcase how design really does infect (is that really the right term here?) almost every decision we make, from buying a house to choosing our toothpaste to opening up a bank account to, duh, voting.

But me, the individual? I can educate people I pitch, and try to convince them why spending more money with me will get them a far more effective identity than $20 on eBay. But the masses will just have to remain, um, asses.

On Jul.19.2003 at 10:46 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

By the way, Debbie, what did you buy?? I've had my ebay shopping curtailed, so I must live vicariously through others' bidding.

On Jul.19.2003 at 10:48 AM
felix’s comment is:

Thats one helluva mark. 15.00? he deserves at least 20.00 plus an additional 5.00 handling fee.

its a little similar to this one Tom and i did for TNN last year:

I believe we got 35.00. We're that good.

On Jul.19.2003 at 10:50 AM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Hey Jon. I didn't buy anything--I got so distracted and worked up about logos being sold on ebay, I ended up going straight to Speak Up. But I love love love your "Got milk/What has design done for you?" idea! As my nearly 13 year old god-daughter would say: brill. (Short for brilliant, how cool is that?)

On Jul.19.2003 at 10:54 AM
felix’s comment is:

Speaking of whoredom and identity, did you know CSA has (or has had at one time or another) at least 14 interns with clipart books scanning, tracing and archiving for his/our use? what, did you think chuck scanned those images? (he has no shame, thats why hes rich and famous as hell)

Ironically, I competed with CSA on the above logo. Who knows, next time TNN may be dialing ebay for competitive rates.

On Jul.19.2003 at 11:11 AM
pk’s comment is:

this phenomenon still sort of freaks me out, but i can't really get that bent out of shape about it any more. the folsk who are willing to pay my day rate or job fees (depending on their finances) are fully aware of the difference between well-crafted, well-serviced work and the crap you can get from Art Explosion or whatever...so i'm not too worried about it any more.

at first i was wildly upset, but the divisions became clear pretty rapidly.

On Jul.19.2003 at 04:45 PM
Sam’s comment is:

did you think chuck scanned those images?

WHAT? You mean he doesn't DRAW that stuff himself? My world is shattered! I'm shocked, shocked to hear that whoring is going on in graphic design!

Oh lookit that, $15.00 for unlimited revisions. And no EPS version...

On Jul.19.2003 at 07:14 PM
Noodlem’s comment is:

I bet you my bottom dollar that enterprising ebay graphic designer is probably using this tool:


On Jul.19.2003 at 11:41 PM
david e.’s comment is:

this doesnt surpirse me...a week ago i was watching a co-worker of mine get all worked up over a posting on craig's list where someone wanted a logo designed for $75 (big bucks compared to this, i guess!). So he was sending emails back and forth with the guy, finally calling him a jackass.

The thing is, there have always been $75 (and $5) logos. There's a local chain of taco stands with a cartoon drawing of a guy in a sombrero eating a taco. They've had this logo for 20 years at least. Most likely it was drawn by the owner (i kind of like it, in fact). So what? This stuff has been around forever—long before the internet or computers.

On Jul.20.2003 at 01:25 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

I wonder if Frank Gehry gets upset over interstate office parks like we tend to over low-end graphic work.

What is surprising me the most about this discussion is that nobody is bent out of shape, myself included.

On Jul.20.2003 at 10:17 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Well the out-of-shape-bending is only likely to happen if one feels threatened by this kind of work. That is, if one's competing for the same $15. But these people, I hope, are only nominally in the same business as me, and certainly most of the rest of us. Debbie, it must seem like awfully small potatoes from the Sterling point of view. Then again, what if Dunkin Donuts gets their next logo from these guys? IT WOULD STILL BE AN IMPROVEMENT. That's right, I said it, by jickity!

On Jul.20.2003 at 01:23 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

>Debbie, it must seem like awfully small potatoes from the Sterling point of view.

Sam Sam Sam Sam Sam.

By jickity.

The Sterling point of view? We won't do speculative work. We will not do work for free, unless it is pro-bono for a cause we believe in. We try to get fair fees for our work. We will not put our services on ebay. You know what I personally think, and it is this:

Design is an art and a science. It is a discipline that you work long and hard to master, if indeed you ever do. Really great design is a combination of cultural anthropology, art, marketing and psychology. (Haven't we had this discussion before?). It should be approached with honesty, integrity and balls...er, I mean courage. Do not ever, ever give it away "on spec" and do not ever, ever charge so little that you undermine the skills, heart, passion and business of decent, hard-working designers everywhere.

And as far as no one getting that worked up about it, I actually am pretty worked up. I get worked up when people undermine what we do by giving away endless revisions for free, as if it is our responsibility to read a clients mind right off of the bat. I get worked up when someone is supposeably "trying to make a name for themselves" and gives away work for free or $5. This undermines all of us, everywhere, whether you work for yourself, Landor, Sterling, Futurebrand, Tomato, Norman, Grip, or Sam Potts. Let's put it another way, since this one is easy: How about I go to Target and pick something out to take home, but refuse to pay for the merchandise til I have actually worn it, made sure it fits right and gotten compliments on it? If I don't get compliments I don't have to pay at all, and if I don't like the way it looks on me, I don't have to pay either. I can bring it back anytime I want and I only have to pay if I actually want to. How long do you think that Target is going to stay in business with this type of policy?

Exactly. What scares me more than designers giving their work away for free or for $5 on ebay is that they are doing this outside of ebay as well.

Here is a good spec story for anyone who is thinking about giving their work away for free. 15 years ago I was working at a design firm that was trying to get work from MTV. We got involved in a speculative pitch for some of their business along with about 5 or 6 other firms, including Frankfurt Balkind. At the time the agency I was at was young and fiesty and a bit anxious for clients, especially MTV. So we did the spec work they were asking for. In fact, all the firms did the work EXCEPT Frankfurt Balkind, who said they do not do spec work and needed a better brief and a better type of partnership from their clients. Well guess who got the business? All the other firms who submitted spec work did work that MTV didn't love and they ultimately hired Frankfurt Balkind to do the project for them for big bucks.

I never did spec work again.

On Jul.20.2003 at 02:23 PM
Damien’s comment is:

I do a lot of work for free. In fact, I enjoy it. I also do logo work for next to nothing and build web sites to go with them, and often throw in collateral and other bits and pieces. Though if it's for free, its always for people I like, who will appreciate it and will use it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with pricing your services as low or inexpensively as you want. If eBay guy wants to sell shit in that manner, the firm or organization that buys it deserves it.

At first the concept of doing free work (not spec) annoyed the shit out of me. And as Debbie said - charging so little (or nothing) sort of undermined the position of other designers. It also seemed irresponsible, I'd been doing web design for about nine years (admittedly very badly in the beginning) and other sorts of design for longer, and doing it for free isn't really going to put me in the market for buying one of Felix's posters - or paying my bills for that matter.

But after working for some of the larger firms where work was constantly over priced and for clients who weren't really that appreciative or nice - it was refreshing to work side by side with a ceramicist to build a web site. Additionally, the times we live in currently, pit me against someone who is probably undercutting me even further so I prefer to work/keep busy than not and keep my fees intact.

I think there is a difference between doing the work for free and doing the thinking for free. I have no problem designing for free - drawing, laying out and creating a style of sorts. But I charge 2k a day to teach a firm how to use it. And it is the application of the design, the strategy behind the way the firm behaves with the storyline behind it, that I won't give away for free. This additional part - as Jonsel says, can be discussed with the client in person and is part of that education.

Ultimately I will judge the work by project, and prefer to work on interesting projects that will expose me to new and challenging problems, rather than look for the opportunities to simply charge my daily fees. Most of the time the people I meet who would pay my project fees, have very dull design problems - like the ones I repeatedly worked on in larger companies. It is often (but yes - not always the case) the small business and smaller projects that have so much more ambition and more to do, which can make the projects exciting.

Personally - I'd rather more people I work for would consider paying profit share based on the success of the design and strategy. I would feel much better about the process and confident about claiming it could actually improve business. But it is rare to find someone who is willing to detail out the parameters and pay the extra legal fees to draw up such contracts. But in some way, I feel we must become a little more responsible about what we sell, if for any reason but to highlight the designers who sell design as a product or commodity.

On Jul.20.2003 at 04:47 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

I have no problem designing for free - drawing, laying out and creating a style of sorts. But I charge 2k a day to teach a firm how to use it.

Ok, there are a number of items in this post, Damien, that have me confused, but I'm too tired, so I'll just focus on this particular statement for now. Please explain the above quote further. I'm not sure I understand how you could design for free without the thinking being evident. I guess it does emphasize to the potential client that design is thinking, unless, of course, you're using The Logo Creator software.

On Jul.20.2003 at 06:45 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Hmm...this is great! I can now bid at my regular rate and just farm everything out to these guys. Profit margins are looking good!

On Jul.20.2003 at 09:46 PM
damien’s comment is:

Please explain the above quote further. I'm not sure I understand how you could design for free without the thinking being evident. I guess it does emphasize to the potential client that design is thinking, unless, of course, you're using The Logo Creator software.

I'm sorry you're too tired jonsel - but perhaps its better for me that you are, and you can't shred my post to pieces.

Too many people design without thinking, or begin the process without thinking - and simply offer logos and identities without any forethought, consideration for the use, purpose or ambitions. I experienced this at well known brand and design firms as well as outside of them. So I don't see that thinking is always applied to design, unfortunately.

Some firms however want to change their whole behaviour, in perhaps repositioning themselves and for that much more research and strategy is needed. For which they are often prepared to pay. Others want to know how to integrate new programs or systems into all of their business functions.

A lot of the time I can collaborate with someone and prepare very 'nice' looking design work which they simply want to function in the most elemental way and so doesn't require a whole lot of thinking. The difficulty is that hacks also do this - and apply this across everything they do, misinforming the client on the way design can be done. Whilst also imposing their 'style' and misinterpretation of the problem at hand. Perhaps what I do is put a lot more thought and consideration than I might consciously be aware of - but redesigning a newsletter, 'freshning up' an identity are not always taxing problems.

On Jul.20.2003 at 10:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>I could get as worked up as Armin would over this, but I just can't.

Ha! Nobody can rant on stuff like this like I do. I have tons of stuff to catch up to this morning so I won't be able to delve very deeply. I think this eBay logo is so laughable I can't even get all worked up. I know I am not competing for those 15 dollars and that they fill a niche and whathaveyou, it's just plain depressing. By jickity.

On Jul.21.2003 at 08:49 AM
Sam’s comment is:

But Debbie, you wouldn't say that Subway sandwiches and Gramercy Tavern are really in the same business, would you? (That's a 3-star restaurant, folks, and they also serve sandwiches, but with real lobster in em.) That's what I mean about only nominally being in the same business. And I'd add: instead of taking the view that these$15 logo people are undermining what we do (again, does Subway undermine Gramercy Tavern? no), why not look at it that we are raising the level of what graphic design is? (I hasten to say that include myself only because I aspire to do this, not at all because I'm in the big leagues yet or anything.) It's not simply a semantic difference--it's a matter of what force you're trying to exert (ie, a force for quality) against the general tide of things (in my view, that tide tends toward the banal, the average, and the mediocre in design as well as politics, big budget movies, and many other things). I don't see it as an issue of spec work--it's an issue of what type of design to practice and thus how one practices it. If there are crap designers out there, what can you do about it? Answer: don't be one.

On Jul.21.2003 at 09:11 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Oh and one important point: the problem with these $15 logo places, and with spec work, is very often the client. If a client is willing to pay $15 for a logo and has no interest in the value that design can bring to their business, what can you do? If a client asks for spec work for a pitch for whatever reason (they can't decide without an example, they're manipulative, they're trying to get free work, they don't understand the process, etc), then that tells you something you need to know about working with this client.

Is there anything you can do about the clients--and I mean all of them basically-- out there willing to pay for crap? I think only Sisyphus would say yes.

On Jul.21.2003 at 09:18 AM
David E.’s comment is:

I think Debbie's example about doing spec work for MTV actually proves that there is nothing to get worked up over here. In fact, this is what's bound to happen now that non-designers are able speak design lingo and actually create work what somewhat resembles the work of graphic designers.

But does this really undermine the design profession? Just because some kid with an i-mac has access to the same typefaces designers do, and the ability to quickly draw a swoosh in illustrator (sounds like this guy doesnt even use a vector program, since he doesnt offer eps files) doesn't exactly mean that the design profession is in jeapordy.

Of course he claims to be a young designer "trying to make a name for himself", but do you really believe this? Any graduate of any design education program that I know of would know better than to take this approach to selling design.

In Debbie's example, confidence and professionalism won out. I tend to think that's something that will never change.

On Jul.21.2003 at 11:44 AM
Justin’s comment is:

I'm going to play the devil's advocate and say that no one should really care how this "ebay guy" makes a buck. The job market, for anybody's career, is terrible right now and I commend anyone for doing something for money as opposed to doing nothing for money (abusing welfaring, unemployment, etc.). I agree that the company who buys "crap" deserves "crap"; however, I'm almost positive that the "ebay guy" doesn't believe that he's selling crap and neither do the companies that buy from him. Hence, the eye for design being a subjective one indeed. We'd all like to believe that the AOL's and GE's of the world know the market for professional design and it's powerful ability but then again don't we all cut coupons?

On Jul.21.2003 at 12:04 PM
Michael’s comment is:

The eBay logo auction doesn't concern me quite as much as this: www.LogoWorks.com.

Maybe the only thing scarier than a designer selling a logo for $20 is a designer selling a logo for $200. (Oh, excuse me... $245). Sure, I guess you get what you pay for, but how can this not de-value what we do?

On Jul.21.2003 at 12:19 PM
David E.’s comment is:

Rather than get mad about the people who are doing this, shouldn't the blame be placed on legitimate designers who sell their clients work that is no better than what LogoWorks.com does (like, ummm, the recent one for that parcel delivery company, for example)?

I'm a firm believer in capitalism. I think that the value of something is determined by what the market will bear. Now, we all know that you can't do all the work that's involved in creating a good logo and charge $200. But if the clients don't know that, then whose fault is it? It's up to designers to educate clients.

On Jul.21.2003 at 12:51 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Sure, I guess you get what you pay for, but how can this not de-value what we do?

It does...Just like Wal-Mart devalues the retail experience...NAFTA devalues locally produced goods...sweatshops devalue the clothing industry...etc...etc...that's how things work in our capitalistic free-market society.

LogoWorks is making a profit selling design services in a way that apparently keeps them in business and serves a need. I probably wouldn't shop at LogoWorks, and I avoide Wal-Mart when I can, but really, that's how our system works. (I do find the copywriting on LogoWorks fairly laughable, but that's another topic!)

Since there is really nothing to do to protest this, I say (as other's have) don't sweat it. Stick to your own professional values and keep doing good work.

I'm a firm believer in capitalism.

I'd love to debate thism, but this probably isn't the appropriate forum ;o) You do have valid points, though, David.

On Jul.21.2003 at 01:03 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Logoworks isn't just making a profit, they're building a freaking empire! Look at their headquarters:


On Jul.21.2003 at 01:09 PM
David E.’s comment is:

My conversation with "Betty", chat operator on the LogoWorks site:

Betty:Hi, how can I help you?

you:Actually, I was wondering how many of the logo designs shown on your site are for companies that actually exist. Also, is the photo on right of this window actually a picture of you?

Betty:No that isn't a picture of me however, all of the logos we have done are for real companies. They may no longer be in business though.

you:How long has LogoWorks been in business?

Betty:over 2 years

you:If you're charging $245 for a logo design, how much is each designer working on the project paid?

Betty:I'm sorry we don't give out that kind of information

you:I understand. Do you have any photos posted of your office, just so I can see all the designers at work on various projects?

Betty:We have 9 designers posted in the team section

you:Yes, I saw them. But I just wanted to see the creative envirnonment that they work in.

Betty:I'm sorry but we don't have any pictures like that

you:Ok. Well, thank you Betty. You've been very helpful.

On Jul.21.2003 at 02:07 PM
Sam’s comment is:

Er, did anyone else remark on the CONFLICT OF INTEREST that not one but two Speak Up authors are in fact LogoWorks designers?

Shame on you both. Shame, shame, shame.

On Jul.21.2003 at 02:49 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I have no witty comeback. That is just too good to counter.

On Jul.21.2003 at 03:15 PM
Tracy’s comment is:


On Jul.21.2003 at 03:18 PM
Armin’s comment is:

You could have picked a better photograph though. I look like a drunken out-of-town designer at 2:00 am... wait, yeah, that's an accurate photo then.

On Jul.21.2003 at 03:32 PM
Sam’s comment is:

It seemed to fit the LogoWorks house style. Also, credit where credit's due: it was Jonsel's idea and ericlarsen took the photos. I'm just the Photoshop monkey with too much time to waste.

On Jul.21.2003 at 03:34 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

I'm just the Photoshop monkey with too much time to waste.

And some web space to host. Though do not despair. I have officially purchased a web domain. You may now tremble in fear.

On Jul.21.2003 at 03:58 PM
Eric’s comment is:

Dear Mr. Sam,

i believe most of those photos passed into the public domain around 2:05, by Armin's watch.

There are still photos of you and princess that won't make the rounds - barring threat to my person or livelihood.

On Jul.21.2003 at 04:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>There are still photos of you and princess

Princess? Eric, you are one weird man.

I think we should get back to the original discussion. It's getting kind of cliquish in here. But fun as always!

On Jul.21.2003 at 04:11 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

Snap! Back on thread.

Too many people design without thinking, or begin the process without thinking

Damien, I agree completely with you here. Too many designers let the computer do the work for them, and this is often the case with the low-end studios. It simply passes off design as mere surface coating. Maybe I was just misinterpreting your earlier comment (I was tired, after all), but you seemed to suggest that you could separate your design and thinking and offer it as two separate services. That just seemed weird! As far as I'm concerned, my clients aren't offered one or the other. If they merely want me to typeset something for $50 or "just photoshop something together", I generally send them to Kinko's. Because even if I'm doing something as banal as a flyer, there needs to be thought in the process, and I'm nearly incapable of letting go of that.

On Jul.21.2003 at 06:03 PM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

Hey all -- long time listener, first time poster (no relation to Sam). I saw comments about Logoworks, and just had to make a confession. I, too, am one of those designers; however, I'm nowhere near special enough to have my photo on the site (nor am I anywhere close to the corporate office).

I think the thing to point out would be that many of the Logoworks designers have real careers, as well. Logoworks is a convenient method to build our portfolios, and (all ass-kissing aside!) one of my better employers.

That being said, Logoworks is not your competition, and is just filling a niche market. There are definitely some talented people producing work for them, which is perhaps a symptom of today's economy, not mindset.

Hopefully, I'll be posting a bit more about other things... I so dislike validating my career choices.

On Jul.22.2003 at 08:19 AM
Mike’s comment is:

Is this the place where you get $5 logos? I want to get a couple of good ones for me and my friend. We have a web business ! We are going to be huge so this could be a good opportunity for you to get your work seen. Oh, and I want fries with mine and he wants the onion rings. We both want medium Mtn. Dews.

On Jul.22.2003 at 09:30 AM
Sam’s comment is:

Sam, thanks for writing in from what many might consider the Dark Side. Before everyone goes nuts, maybe you could describe the design process from your end? What strikes me as wrongheaded and undermining-to-the-larger-design-community (see above) is the LogoWorks process. Do you just get an email saying "We need 3 logos for a shirt company. Make two of them blue"?

On Jul.22.2003 at 09:57 AM
Noodlem’s comment is:

This is the first time i've actually heard of and come across this Logoworks.Com and, for the record, i think it is quite a brilliant business venture (not for me though). There is a market for such amongst small-time businesses and these usuallly are one-man-shows funded from hard-earned savings. They don't have budgets to engage more established designers but this should not disqualify them from having a emblem/logo that represents their entrepreneurial aspirations. The fact that they are engaging appropriate skillsets to develop one is to me, a step in the right direction (as opposed to putting something together themselves in word or powerpoint). I'd be worried though if the bigger boys(and there are it seems) look to Logoworks for services. It's all relative.

I don't know much about Logoworks but on first impressions... they seem to have a sound business model and seem quite professional and assuring in their service offerings (although, not many of us would agree with them). Their rates range from 200+ to 600+ i think... and that's quite a step up from the $25 dollar ebay designer (but that's another market and story again)

Kudos to Logoworks if they do make a decent profit doing what they do.

Logoworks don't tread on my turf and i don't theirs. If a prospective client balks at the cost of my services... i would sincerely refer them to LogoWorks. Honestly.

There is a similar post in another forum and a post went a little something like this:

"How can you demand 20k from a client when he really has only 2k? Not that he devalues the effort and skills needed. He just don't have the dough. Politely decline and refer him to Logoworks if it is not your cuppa."

I have designed a thing or two for a friend for free or close to it. I knew they needed it but couldn't afford it. I do, however, drop a subtle hint as to how much it would have cost them if they were strangers.

Cheers Big Ears.

On Jul.22.2003 at 10:13 AM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Sam: you asked me: You wouldn't say that Subway sandwiches and Gramercy Tavern are really in the same business, would you?

My answer: Yes and no. Yes, they are both in the food service business. But, they cater to different tastes and the big difference for me is that one doesn't pretend to offer what the other offers. Subway would never say they can give you what the Gramercy Tavern delivers, and visa versa. Anyone educated in the food business, (and more importantly, those that are not) can see and taste the difference and know what the "promise" is for each experience. Not true with ebay, Logoworks, etc. They are positioning themselves as designers who can do any type of work and for those that "do not know any better" this can be dangerous territory. I do not worry that they will steal work from any of us, let them try, as far as I am concerned. I worry more that they undermine what the expectations and deliverables are for anyone that is looking for a genuine, thoughtful, meaningful experience with a skilled, educated practioner who is looking to elevate the image of a brand or client in an authentic, careful and innovative manner. These folks capitalize on those that don't know there is a difference and while they might deserve what they get, we don't deserve what they do to the business and our collective efforts as a community and as an industry.

On Jul.22.2003 at 10:42 AM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

Exactly -- as long as the designers are paid well and on time, I don't think Logoworks is a large burden on the industry as a whole.

Hmmm... I'll tell you what I can about the process, tho' this is a bit over-simplified.

A team of artists, ranging from novice to veteran (equally), signs up for a project with a certain due date. We are presented with a creative brief, which is more like an interview that you would initially give a client of your own (e.g. What they do, what they like, if they have anything particular in mind, etc). Briefs can be short, or can be extremely detailed, even with included files/graphics.

Said business then picks a design to continue with, and moves forward with that design in the revision stage. They provide revision briefs during this part, much like the initial interview.

All in all, there is a good deal of thought that goes into each piece, in relation to the time and money alotted. The community of designers itself is self-policing (in a manner), so those who produce crap designs generally get the boot.

Like I said, I don't believe I can give too much away -- but the above is what you would see if you were a paying customer, so there you have it. Behind the scenes, it's a bit more complicated, but you get the gist! I really enjoy the creative outlet, tho' I'd give my left arm to break into freelancing on a more permanent basis.

P.S. A good few Logoworks designers hang around YayHooray, including Dave.

On Jul.22.2003 at 10:49 AM
David E.’s comment is:

I agree with Debbie, but only up to a point. Logoworks are positioning themselves as a service that's as good as a legimate design firm, but I think that they're entitled to do so.

Earl Schieb claims to paint cars as well as anyone else for less money. If I needed my car painted, I wouldn't take it there. Why? Because like most people, I believe that you get what you pay for. I don't need to know much about auto painting to make this decision. Earl Schieb doesn't make me mad. However, if I paid more money somewhere else and got the same paint job I could have gotten there, I'd be REALLY mad. But it's unlikely that that would happen, since auto painters know they have to do a better job in order to charge more.

If companies like Logoworks have any effect on the design profession, it would most likely be to discourage mediocrity by making it impossible for design firms to compete with them without offering a service that's substantially better.

On Jul.22.2003 at 11:35 AM
Michael’s comment is:

There's no denying that LogoWorks is an enterprising concept and one that I find fascinating. Sure they've cheapened the product, but they've also de-mystified it and made it accessible to anyone. This is the SuperCuts of graphic design.

Should we feel threatened by LogoWorks? Probably not, and as Debbie and others have pointed out, they're not really our competition. At least not at the core level. Basic web searches reveal that LogoWorks' primary marketing channel is quick printers who are encouraged to "private-label" the LogoWorks products. I guess that means these are wholesale prices, right?

Nevertheless, I do see this as part of a larger trend. LogoWorks will have no effect on the profession at the highest level, but in the space between CS Anderson and the eBay autioneer, the demand for template-driven services and software solutions signals an attitude shift that will, over time, thin our ranks.. and perhaps our bank accounts too.

On Jul.22.2003 at 11:35 AM
Justin’s comment is:

With all due respect, I believe that most of you are hung up on the idea that there are people out there that don't share the same passion for your "professional design" (that phrase is subjective) as you yourselves do. I'm not trying to ruffle feathers. I came to tell it like it is. I've never met a designer that sat directly on the fine line between capitalism and passion which happens to be, I believe, exactly why there is a debate about this.

I'm hands down for continuing to work hard and having that pay off.

On Jul.22.2003 at 12:35 PM
Armin’s comment is:

They are positioning themselves as designers who can do any type of work and for those that "do not know any better" this can be dangerous territory.

YES, YES and YES. That (and Debbie's all around last comment) is one of the best arguments I have heard about this type of designers/service providers. The claim they make is way out of their range. I know I'm being very subjective and this is very much based in my own perceptions of what Graphic Design is and should be.

In the end it all comes down to quality, talent and knowledge. There are those who have it and those who don't. For some reason we all feel weird talking openly about it — God forbid we offend anyone doing bad design. There is good design and there is bad design, we also all know which is which but because this so subjective we never accept it publicly. And that is more harmful to the profession than LogoWorks or eBay auctions (which I find hilarious).

On Jul.22.2003 at 12:58 PM
drakkiez’s comment is:

I have no idea what's going on, but I happen to be the ebay "logo designer" that was linked here. To be truthful, I know the logos I make are crappy. So far all I've sold about 5 or 6 of those logo auctions. 3 of them didnt even request a logo or anything, it is just easy money (although not a lot, still enough to buy a few cheap things on ebay). I have made about $150 for a few hours of really trying to make the logos, thats fine with me. I have no idea why some of you are getting so bothered by this.

and no, i dont use that logo creator bs

On Jul.22.2003 at 01:49 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

in the space between CS Anderson and the eBay autioneer

And let's be real here. Even the most prestigious of design firms have done jobs for cut-rate prices. Sometimes $600 is a lot for a logo, sometimes it's nothing. It all depends...

I've also purchased stock art from CSA and felt completely ripped off...so the you-get-what-you-pay-for thinking isn't always as true in a subjective field like graphic design as it may be in a consumer-goods field.

I have no idea why some of you are getting so bothered by this.

Hehe...many of us here don't know why either. ;o)

And wow!...word gets around fast, doesn't it?

On Jul.22.2003 at 03:24 PM
Michael’s comment is:

And let's be real here. Even the most prestigious of design firms have done jobs for cut-rate prices. Sometimes $600 is a lot for a logo, sometimes it's nothing. It all depends...

I've also purchased stock art from CSA and felt completely ripped off...so the you-get-what-you-pay-for thinking isn't always as true in a subjective field like graphic design as it may be in a consumer-goods field.

(sorry Charlie) but CS Anderson was just a name brand (mentioned earlier) that I used to represent the high end. By that I meant a big-time, award-winning design studio -- not the CSA Stock Archive and not, I assume, the average designer reading this thread.

That said, I'll stand by my statement.

Darrel's other point is a good one, and I think one that supports my thesis that design is slowly being de-valued. Do you get what you pay for with graphic design? Well, it sort of depends on what you think you're paying for. I think clients are paying for my time and considerable expertise. Most clients today think they're paying for a logo design or a brochure. There's a difference.

On Jul.22.2003 at 07:22 PM
Gary DuVall’s comment is:

Along with Sam Sherwood (who I've talked with quite a bit in the past), I am also what you could consider an "employee" of Logoworks. There really isn't much more to say about the process that hasn't been already said by my colleague up above, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that it's a very fair deal to designers and clients alike.

The majority of clients are certainly not the type who are actively seeking media firms to develop major brands (although one slips in on rare occasion), but instead most are small companies with very limited budgets (

On Jul.25.2003 at 02:44 PM
Starlight’s comment is:

Nike, one of the pinnacles of all advertisers (all slave shop and product issues aside), paid what, $5 for their logo? I think it was $10 actually. What does that say?

On Jul.28.2003 at 08:46 AM
Brent’s comment is:

it says that a small company that started out in the shoe business made it big, but happened to pay $10 for their logo.

are you saying we should be paid residuals on our design if the company grows?

On Jul.28.2003 at 09:13 AM
jonsel’s comment is:

pay $10 for their logo

Legend has it that the designer was re-compensated at a later date. But, in reality, it is a chance you take when you price a job. Chances are, you are not going to get more money out of a client 10 years down the road when they are a billion dollar multinational corporation.

On Jul.28.2003 at 09:21 AM
Brent’s comment is:


but wouldn't it be nice?

On Jul.28.2003 at 10:12 AM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

That would probably be Nike's last moral decision. Heheh!

On Jul.28.2003 at 11:00 AM
Starlight’s comment is:

I agree with Jonsel... pricing is a risk you take - period. Every project, from web sites to logo and corporate identity...

All we are is the vehicle to a greater means for our clients. It just comes down to whether you are driving the 1978 Datsun or the 2003 Jaguar. Payments on a Datsun are prolly less than the $30 on Ebay, and payments for a Jag are a hella lot more than the $2-something at that logo joint. You drive what you drive man.

On Jul.29.2003 at 01:05 AM
Patrick’s comment is:

It gets better. This just landed in my inbox. At least they don't pretend to be custom. New buzz phrase: "Logo Template". It's just clipart, but what's the point of a logo if it's not unique?

Do you need a logo for your company, website, or event? Then you've already talked to several design firms that asked you from $500 to $2000 for 3-5 mockups, and promised to have your logo done in a month or two. But why spend a lot of time and money on a logo you may not finally like at all, just because it is custom?

Now you have an opportunity to have a great logo that you really like in just a few minutes, risk-free, and at unbeatable price. Swift Logos offers pre-made logo designs that allow you to create your own custom logos without having to hire an expensive design studio.

You can choose the logo you like most from hundreds of great pre-made logos created by our professional designers, and instantly receive it in editable Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw files. Write in your company name and slogan, and in no time you will be able to use it for your company letterheads, brochures, website, and other marketing materials. Do it yourself or have us customize it to fit your needs.

Get Your Logo Now!


On Oct.26.2003 at 10:15 PM
Armin’s comment is:

"While LogoWorks has designed its system to perfectly meet the needs of small business owners, many large corporations have found the system works for their needs as well. To date, the company has designed logos for such major organizations as Anheuser-Busch, Disney, Honeywell, Sears, and Toyota."

Watch out large brand consultancies around the world!

On Jul.01.2004 at 04:56 PM
Jason’s comment is:


On Jul.01.2004 at 05:00 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Hahaha...that's awesome David. And I just love this excerpt—

"Businesses looking for a logo want three things," said Morgan Lynch, LogoWorks president and chief executive officer. "First and foremost, whether they realize it or not, they want variety. They also want their project completed quickly at a price they can afford. The success of LogoWorks is a direct result of offering a service that does these three things very well."

This is the most amazingly stupid thing I've read in a while. And I love how he interjects "whether they realize it or not" — oh like, they strategically know so much more than the client.

Hahaha...what a complete crock of shit.

On Jul.01.2004 at 05:02 PM
Tom Dolan’s comment is:

I think maybe this thread needs to cross polinate with Brady B's Graphic Design is a product not a service discussion.

On Jul.02.2004 at 11:19 AM
David Weinberger’s comment is:

LogoWorks Announces New Chief Marketing Officer

This is either funny or scary

"LogoWorks has fundamentally changed the business of logo design, and I believe we will also change the way all other graphic design is bought and sold."

"LogoWorks expects to announce multiple, significant partnerships this summer that will further facilitate its development and maximize its ability to provide fast and affordable logos and corporate identities over the Internet."

On Jul.13.2004 at 03:33 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

>"We couldn't have found a better person at a better time to hire for this role," said Morgan Lynch, president and chief executive officer of LogoWorks. "Jeff not only brings unparalleled energy and passion to the company, but proven sales, marketing and business development skills. His extensive personal network, both in Utah and elsewhere, is also a great asset to the business."

Sounds like the perfect person to sell $250 logos, no?

On Jul.13.2004 at 03:43 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Is anybody else wondering why David is so informed on the happenings of LogoWorks?

Is Futurebrand redesigning LogoWorks' brand?

On Jul.13.2004 at 03:47 PM
David Weinberger’s comment is:

Is anybody else wondering why David is so informed on the happenings of LogoWorks?

I don't think so.

On Jul.13.2004 at 03:51 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

I got an email yesterday from a company called Ready-Made Logos. They were offering their services to us...not for a logo, but to help us with work for our clients.


On Jul.30.2004 at 07:24 AM
Kambiz Ahmadi’s comment is:

My career will not be complete until I design the logo that goes on the bulldozer that knocks over that logoworks building!

Momentum Design L.A.

On Mar.02.2006 at 08:51 PM
Kambiz Ahmadi’s comment is:

My career will not be complete until I design the logo that goes on the bulldozer that knocks over that logoworks building!

Momentum Design L.A.

On Mar.02.2006 at 08:51 PM
cweese’s comment is:

A couple of comments... I guess I don't mean this to be quite as inflammatory as it maybe sounds, but here goes...

I think the "they (the clients) don't know better and we need to educate them" attitude sometimes starts one down a slippery slope to "they aren't capable of making these types of decisions, so we need to be able to do that for them". That's a good way to start a religion. Does the world need any more religions right now? Probably not.

I think it's not a bad thing that design is made affordable and accessible to anyone starting a hobby business. It's kind of like Ikea furniture. And if the bigger companies want to put their business on an Ikea desk, well, short-term savings don't always give you a product built for long-term functional use.

On Mar.03.2006 at 10:28 AM