How did we end up being in the logo design business. Well we didn't! Not on purpose anyway. It happens regularly, simply because many of our customers are new business start ups, and we love a new project! First stop on starting their business, is to get their van or car sign written so that they can start to spread the word about their new business. Now this is where we often slip up, because we offer a free artwork service for all our vehicle and banner designs. Many customers already have logos to send us, or even professionally designed printed media, and all that is needed is our expertise in converting this information into large scale media design. We like to think we are experts in this:
But free artwork is not the same as a free logo design - for that we work with qualified graphic designers who can produce fantastic branding that works on large scale media (such as vehicles and banners) as well as looking good on printed media (business cards and leaflets) and websites. But this service has a cost that many start ups simply don't see the need for.
So what usually happens for these new businesses is that we put together a great vehicle design, and install it. The customer is (invariably) delighted and comes back a month or so later to tell us that they have received so many fantastic comments that they want to use the design on their business cards, website etc. So when does free artwork, become free logo design?
In the customer's eyes, there is no cost attached to simply putting the design onto a disc or emailing it to a printer. But it is never that simple. As large scale media manufacturers, we design for our purpose - and this means that they are often not suitable for just printing without some re-scaling of the image. We use CorelDraw, and that file extension cannot be read by those who do not subscribe to this design package. A logo is a very valuable identity, especially when used across all marketing creating a recognisable identity and thus becomes a brand. We would be selling ourselves short if we just gave this service away.
So after much soul searching, we hope we have come up with a good solution - for us, and for our customers.
Designing graphics for vehicles and banners is such a big part of what we do, that we still will be offering free artwork. Without our particular skills, acquired with long experience, we risk making banners and vehicle graphics which are less effective than they could be with a specialised large scale media design. But if that artwork involves creating an identity, then the invoice will list the cost of this artwork should the customer decide to buy it later. The cost will not be imposed for the items we make from the artwork, but only if the customer wants to take ownership. Cost will vary dependent on the design, but we will provide an email or CD of all file types so the design can be used on any popular software.
Does this sound fair?