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Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Someone just became their own employer - a newly minted entrepreneur. Up to then they were salaried, a little cog in a big machine, aware only of their own limited role. They are now about to hang out their own shingle, with absolutely no idea about how to relate with decorum to the experts they choose to help them with their branding. They are genuine babes in the woods, and essentially with a toddler's mindset when it comes to all aspects of the creative process (gimme gimme gimme). That attitude can became most irritating - my own personal experience. Though the client desperately wants branding they may impart a pretty fuzzy, basically

undefined idea of what they want. The naive, ill-informed artist sets to work, believing their expertise will eventually hone and focus the client's unformed ideas. The reality is - frequently the client has no vision! Their ideas may morph as the wind takes them. Without borders/limitations the imperious client feels entitled to lead the artist through an unlimited series of changes. Even those tiniest suggested creative details may fall under their withering scrutiny. The designer is constantly chafed by the criticism and changes, until the job, which should have been an exciting, positive undertaking becomes a psychological blister. However, the blame lies on both sides. The artist has the responsibility of controlling a potential spoiled brat. If they don't, then the job may needlessly become a miserable and endless one.

I came to my solution as a result of my own bad experiences (for which I will definitely take partial blame). Here we go:

1. Email or text the client your basic logo design price. For me that involves two colors and no text that's not part of the design. Be sure to add sales tax, if applicable. Otherwise the state comptroller will take it out of your earnings. That way the initial terms are memorialized in writing. Stipulate that the client must pay half of this basic price up front; then they are under monetary obligation to continue the process.

2. Let the client know they will get "x" number of sketches to be included in the basic price. My comfortable limit is two sketches. Any more will cost. All amounts are at the artist's discretion - what they feel comfortable charging. Later enhancements to the basic design are, of course, to be charged extra.

3. When you've reached the finished design stage let your client know they can order "x" amount of tweaks to the artwork - no significant changes at this time, unless they're willing to pay extra for them. If they decide to add more than the two basic colors mentioned earlier there will be an added price for each additional color.

5. Text, unless it's part of the design, will cost extra - especially if the artist's calligraphy expertise is needed.

All of this emailed or texted info (some clients don't have email) should be considered part of the contract. Oh yes - make sure the client agrees in writing to all of your terms. In other words, every step of the branding process is under your rigid pricing rules. That way the inexperienced entrepreneur is much more respectful and appreciative of your talents, hard work and time!

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