Should logo design be free in Nigeria? Actually, the best answer to this question is that, this decision is at the full discretion of the logo designer. What shouldn’t be, is that the free proposition shouldn’t be used to bait the public into getting shoddy work. FREE is usually the bait rookies set for the public. However, my best advise to logo designers is; rather than bait the public, using the free punch line, that have been inspired by books that tell you to offer things for free, read the books that tell you the difference between what you should give for free and shouldn’t.
A premium service must never be for free. A Logo is a premium service. Once given free, it’s value in the public’s eye is reduced as a direct consequence. Doing so makes it even more difficult to educate the larger business environment, made up of mostly SMEs – a segment that’s already groping with knowledge gap about the importance and value of a logo design and all its associated corporate identity assets. If you doubt my statement that “a premium service must never be for free” talk to any corporate brand boss about doing a logo for free, and see the loud laugh reaction you’d get.
Renowned logo designer Paul Rand, knew well not to compromise to a certain category of clientele by simply focusing on the people who understood the value of his work. You don’t wait for the public to match up to your expectation, they won’t. Rather find the public that’s already in your expectation. This is not to say freebie isn’t good, however, when what shouldn’t be free isn’t differentiated properly, it continues to fortify the disregard of professional services in the minds of the public. In other words, a logo for instance will be viewed as one mere and measly graphic object. A product of software “put-this and add-that together”.
A better professional way, when compelled to woo customers is to say, for example: “I’d give out X amount (monetary figure) of service for free in addition to your budget for the design of your logo”. And this you must best express to a deserving business owner by asking for a presentation that proves that the business is one led by a true visionary. This way, you’ve attracted a client that is capable of not just appreciating the value of the freebie giving but able to justifiably use the value given to achieve more. Now you’ve also systematically sifted your ideal client from the pack. Hear this loud and clear, “free must still be deserving and only to the best. It’s business, business is not sentimental, it’s rational”. You don’t go to a bank seeking a loan just because you have a fantastic idea on paper. They’d ask for a collateral.
From Shark Tank to AYEEN don’t just dole out money for instance to anyone with a good head for business just because the person wants to be in business and has thought up what he or she needs. They make it justified giving. That’s business.
So the consequence of FREE proposition by many graphics designers, most of them rookies, is that the same people granted the free logo won’t ever value it. The value I mean isn’t in terms of an expression of “Thank You”, anyone can say that, rather what I mean is in terms of turning the logo to full business use as a cherished asset. Worst still, most people you’ve offered free logo too, won’t give you your values worth next time around or for that matter even recommend someone to you who will pay your values worth. Rather their word of mouth to another will be an extension of what they have perceived as the prevalent financial value of your service as touted to the public by other quacks which assuredly will not make you ever smile to the ATM machine.
You know the kind that thinks a Logo is 5k, $5 or less. Yes! they’d think you can’t be worth more than that charge. If it were more, you’d never give out logo design for Free. That’s why you should have in mind the principle of branding that states that the “mind of the public is feeble”. Another consequence albeit subliminal is that you’ve led your audience into an unfavorable idea about your professional standing.