Professional Organization Looking for New Logo

msilverz's picture

Greetings!

I apologize in advance if this post is in any way inappropriate.

A professional organization to which I belong -- the American Philosophical Association -- is looking for a new logo (and associated branding items). There is an announcement on their website, and they asked members to pass it on to any "good designers" we might know. There are plenty of good designers here, and I thought at least a few of them might be interested.

The announcement and the request for the proposals can be found here.

Thanks!

Matty Silverstein

Nick Cooke's picture

All that for $2500 or less - good luck with that!

Chris Dean's picture

With a budget of $2,500 USD, I recommend you approach a group of students under the supervision of a professor and make a class project out of this. Profit or no, $2,500 USD is very low for the following:

Logos
Usage guidelines
Web design guidelines
Email templates
Banners
Favicon
Letterhead
Business cards
Thank-you card
Publications designs
Typographic guidelines
Facebook & Twitter design guidelines
Brand strategy document

A practicing professional would probably ballpark that closer to $10–25,000.00 USD depending on the size of their operation and how much of their labour they would be willing to donate in kind.

To give you a sense of the cost of a quality font, let’s say I suggested you use Starling as your text face for all your printed materials. The font alone would cost you $1,080 USD for a 6–10 computer license. Almost half your budget.

If you made a class project out of this, you could put your budget towards purchasing a high quality font(s) for your materials, and have enough left over to play for the class’ printing budget (students making colour laser prints for their presentations) and provide the selected student with a small honorarium.

Chris G's picture

Don't forget they also get to retain the rights to the design and the source files for their $2500, and the list of requirements "includes but isn't limited to...". Unbelievable!

This is a substantial chunk of work for peanuts. Matthew, you should ask the originator of this brief whether they would undertake this amount of work for the fee they're offering. I'm betting the honest answer would be a resounding no.

HVB's picture

At that price, only if they'd accept some other organization's branding guidelines with the name replaced, and the letters IPA in TNR or Arial or Comic Sans.

- Herb

Chris Dean's picture

This should be fun for the next few days at least. Would it be inappropriate to email the link of this thread to their HR contact listed in the RFP?

JamesM's picture

> A practicing professional would probably
> ballpark that closer to $10–25,000.00

Yep, $2,500 is absurd for the amount of work they're requesting.

msilverz's picture

OK then! So much for that idea . . .

Chris G's picture

Just to be clear, I'm not having a dig at you personally Matthew, please don't think I'm shooting the messenger! You couldn't have chosen a better place to source some real talent, it's just that the expectation / budget ratio is way off.

JamesM's picture

> please don't think I'm shooting the messenger!

Same thing here. Sometimes organizations have unrealistic expectations simply because they don't have much experience working with designers. They may have a general idea what a plumber or accountant or auto mechanic charges, but unless they work with designers frequently they may have no idea what the going rates are.

Chris Dean's picture

Ditto. I still think the student idea is a viable option. Give it to a bunch of 4th years in a degree program.

http://nscad.ca/en/home/academicprograms/design/programs.aspx

This was not uncommon when I did my undergrad.

5star's picture

Instead of regretting the work from a group of wannabes ... however well intended ... simply go to your membership and ask for $2.00 from each member, that's 20k right there.

Then go out and hire a non-student ...preferably one with a strong folio.

n.

JamesM's picture

I've got mixed feelings about having a class do it.

On the plus side, it can save a lot of money, and it's good to give students the opportunity to work on a real-world project.

On the negative side, your design will be done by people still learning their craft, the job is likely to take longer, and long-term follow-up may be non-existant once the class project ends (unlike having a relationship with a professional designer who knows your organization well and is on call for future tweaks and projects).

msilverz's picture

The messenger is relieved to hear that he wasn't shot at!

aluminum's picture

The deliverables list is a bit long, but I don't think the budget is unrealistic for a logo design. A solo local designer can likely be found for that budget.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Very much is asked for, for very little. This does not appeal so much as professional *to me*.

However, it is an interesting task, no doubt. Why making things so complicated by wanting everything at once? There would be several ways to approach the goal effectively. (this is philosophy too, isn’t it ;-)

Why not just ask for logo drafts in a first run, rewarding three first prices handsomely and then look how to go on with it?
Requesting a reference portfolio the same time with a complete design proposal – that seems rather odd to me.
Is it neccessary to fix in advance that a logo design and a website colour scheme have to come from one single party?
Questions, questions, questions … .

Truely philosophical * * *

Chris Dean's picture

Why not just ask for logo drafts in a first run, rewarding three first prices handsomely and then look how to go on with it?

That’s dangerously close to spec work. Shame on you.

hrant's picture

Shame on established designers who shame up-and-coming designers so they can keep making more money.

hhp

Chris Dean's picture

Really? You’re going to need a little more than that to rationalize spec work. You honestly can’t see how it’s ultimately self defeating for the entire profession? So a student low-balls a professional by 90%, creates a false expectation of the works true value to the client (and their colleagues) who then expect the same work for the same (ridiculously low) price, only to be low-balled by another student by another 90%? Rinse, lather, repeat. Stats isn’t my strongest suit, but seriously. Do the math. Unless of course you have already embraced the inevitability of a career change for the bulk of practicing designers.

hrant's picture

It's certainly true that the bulk of practicing designers should've been something else.

hhp

JamesM's picture

Spec work is indeed a bad thing for the profession.

I can see how it's tempting to clients, but what they often don't realize is that their concepts will be coming mostly from amateurs, students, and designers who are having trouble making a living. A successful designer is not going to prepare free concepts (except perhaps for charitable or high-prestige projects).

Andreas Stötzner's picture

> That’s dangerously close to spec work. Shame on you.

Keep calm. – Basically, what I was mentioning is nothing else than a kind of competition for which you may volunteer or not. It’s as witty as any crowd-sourcing approach ;-)

However, if I would be the client, I’d prefer the more focussed method anyway. Search for some acknowlegded designers and ask them what they could do for a certain amount of money.

5star's picture

.

n.

Thomas Phinney's picture

> It’s as witty as any crowd-sourcing approach

No, it is very different from many other kinds of crowd-sourcing.

For example, in crowd-sourced funding, all the money contributed is useful and used. In this kind of spec work, a bunch of people all take a stab at something, and the work of all but one person is thrown away.

It is simply horribly inefficient, a waste of the time and effort of many people. That's in addition to driving down prices (which may be good or bad depending on whether you are a consumer or a producer).

> a kind of competition for which you may volunteer or not

That's exactly the same as virtually all other spec work. You are using a different word, but what is being described is no different.

hrant's picture

Failure is the greatest teacher, and far less of a waste than canned success.

To me virtually all of the work from places like Landon stinks.

hhp

5star's picture

Failure is the greatest teacher,

hhp

No, it's not. Reward training is the best teacher .... positive reinforcement.

Nice try.

n.

Chris Dean's picture

I’m gonna have to support 5Star on that one. Positive reinforcement has been shown to influence behaviour far more than negative reinforcement. For a very long time.

npgraphicdesign's picture

Positive reinforcement is the best teacher, but in some ways you do learn a lot more from failure.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

> > a kind of competition for which you may volunteer or not

>That's exactly the same as virtually all other spec work. You are using a different word, but what is being described is no different.
<

Alright. But, being honest, that’s life. We’re in a spec world. Blame for it – who?

Why is the average regard of design work still so low that we have to deal with such forwardings up to the day? Why is our work not taken for serious? I just wonder.

hrant's picture

Reward training? Woof, woof!

hhp

Chris Dean's picture

Because the bulk of graphic design is a luxury item in a world at war with a struggling economy and dwindling finite resources. Food is more important than fonts. That’s a tough thing for a typographer to say. Heavy.

npgraphicdesign's picture

That's a...bold...statement. BOLD.

Yeah.

Chris Dean's picture

It’s also sad and true.

Paul Cutler's picture

I would call that a THIN statement. Look around you - we are bombarded with more design than ever before, signage, email blasts, junk mail, you name it. It is not a luxury item if you are trying to sell something, which everyone is.

pbc

Chris Dean's picture

My point is, as money and resources become more and more scarce, we are all going to need to focus on meeting our basic needs. That means responsible consumption on behalf of the consumer, and responsible allocation of resources on behalf of the corporation. And just because there’s lots of it, doesn’t mean it has real value.

For example, McDonalds sells a lot of hamburgers, but getting a CEO from from McDonalds-land to admit that their “food-like-substance” has virtually no nutritional value whatsoever would probably be about fruitful as convincing a room full of typographers that hinting… I think you see where I’m going with this.

As far as “It is not a luxury item if you are trying to sell something” I’m not quite sure what that means. Are we talking about the person selling the overpriced smelly-water, the advertisement for it, or the smelly-water itself?

hrant's picture

Chris, your arguments are vapid, and your comparison of CEOs to type designers is irrational.

hhp

Chris Dean's picture

How do you define Vapid?

If we go with Google — “Offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging” — then I can interpret your comment as agreeing with me stating the obvious, or disagreeing, without a counterpoint.

And my comparison of McDonald’s CEO to typographers might be misunderstood. All I am saying with that analogy is that McDonalds guy is obviously biased towards the value of his product, just as we are to ours.

JamesM's picture

> Why is [design] not taken for serious?

That's a very broad statement. Average consumers and small businesses have little contact with designers so it's natural that they have no idea how business is conducted or what it costs. But many corporations deal routinely with designers and know how things are done and what they cost.

Last week one of my corporate clients asked me to estimate a design job. I said $15,000 (which was reasonable for the job), they said fine, and I had a p.o. the next day. Simple. They deal with designers every day and know what the going rates are. But when I deal with mom-and-pop shops who aren't used to buying design services, it's a different story and I have to justify and fight for every dollar.

As to the question of why clients sometimes ask for spec work, I think there are a number of reasons, but one might be that they have seen or read about advertising agencies competing for work. Several agencies will each come up with ideas and make presentations in hopes of getting the account. But that's really an apples to oranges situation, as an ad agency might get years of work and millions of billing dollars if they win a big account. That's very different from a graphic designer being asked to do free work in hopes of "winning" a one-time, routine job.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

> But when I deal with mom-and-pop shops who aren't used to buying design services, it's a different story and I have to justify and fight for every dollar.

APA, a mom-and-pop shop?

> … the bulk of graphic design is a luxury item …

We are going to make ourselves completely uncredible by such statements. If you would be right, Chris, APA would be justifiable with their spec method: “it’s trash anyway, so why not asking for two loads of it for the price of one?” – economy.
NO!
Design is shaping our world. Conducting communication. Making a sustainable environment, ease living. And, yes, to please. In m.h.o. this is anything but luxury.
And brand or trade mark – which stoud at the beginning of this – is neither an item of luxury, on the contrary. A trade mark materializes identity, hence it has VALUE. Very high value, sometimes. It’s not a nicety you can put on as apparel or strip of like socks.

Luma Vine's picture

Graphic design is not a luxury item. Thinking of it as a product is problematic to begin with*. It is a service where messages are communicated graphically. Almost every organization realizes the importance of communicating with it's audience, as a necessity, not a luxury.

*It would be interesting to compare this with typeface design which could be considered a product.

Chris Dean's picture

*chuckle*

Just had this bot follow me on twitter and thought the timing was funny:

http://www.mycheapjobs.com/Video/7213/create-professional-title-based-in...

JamesM's picture

> a mom-and-pop shop?

A slang expression referring to a small store with just a few employees, only one location, and typically run by members of a family.

msilverz's picture

In a comment on a recent blog post by the new director of the American Philosophical Association, I mentioned the reaction here to the APA's request for proposals (and in particular to the suggested fee of $2,5000). Here is what the APA director said in reply: "We know our project budget is small, but as stated in the RFP, we're more than willing to consider proposals over that amount—we just need the budget to be explained in the proposal so we understand what we are getting for the additional cost. The APA's finances are tight, but we do want to pay a fair wage for the project, and if we receive a proposal that convinces us we should increase the budget, we will find the money to do so."

I don't know if that will encourage anyone here to take a stab, but it seems reasonable.

Chris Dean's picture

@msilverz: Thank you very much for that update. It’s nice to hear that we’re being thought of. I’m confidant that your communication, and this new information, will make a significant difference. Indeed, it may already have to the APA. I do a fair amount of work for the academic community and I know what it’s like.

tmac's picture

Side note:

I think the Paul Hunt (paulhunt833) is a spam bot who may have taken over the real Paul Hunt (from Adobe, etc). Somebody better check on him!

charles ellertson's picture

Mr Silverstein:

Given the response here, I'd suggest contacting one of the designers at your university's press (Chicago). They live in roughly the same world as you, and in that world, have won a fair number of awards for their work. One of them might take it on as a freelance project.

Otherwise--
A practicing professional would probably ballpark that closer to $10–25,000.00 USD depending on the size of their operation and how much of their labour they would be willing to donate in kind.

You've got to be kidding. Jeez, am I in the wrong spot.

1. For any who have even considered my advice, I apologize. I can only plead that I didn't know who I was dealing with.

With that in mind,

2. Please delete all my posts from the last 8 years as being obviously inappropriate for this group. I'm sure http://typophile.com/user/204659 can provide any needed information for your world.

hrant's picture

So what font would you use to set "drama queen"?

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

Who, me? You guys live in a different world. Wouldn't dare offer an opinion. Maybe go with whatever Chris was going to use for the

@charles_e: An honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work.

he posted on the TDC competition thread?

Of course, that's still world-dependent. In the world I live in -- scholarly publishing -- I believe if you check the indexes for the last 20 years of the AAUP bookshow, you'll find our company -- about 5 or 6 of us -- have "composed" more books selected for the show than any other single firm of whatever size. I haven't done this, I could be wrong. But if not the most, then comfortably way up there.

So much for bona fides in my world. Are you interested in what we charge to set a book? How much for image prep? An indication of what we make in terms of salaries? I doubt it, too different a world. Hint: at $25K a pop, I could do 2 logos in year and make significantly more...

hrant's picture

We each live in a different world.

Please do offer your opinions, but don't be sure you're right, and most of all don't have a whiny hissy-fit.

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

Sorry if you thought I was whining. My fault. A communications issue. I should know there is no way to soften calling an asshole an asshole.

Edit:

Problem is, once you flat out say it, everyone just reacts and stops thinking.

So stop with the cheap shots.

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