Fair Trade Logo – ninety-nine percent lose out

Design, Identity, Paraph News, Print, Signage, Website | 0 comments

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is also a designer and we got to talking about generating income from logo and identity design. The increasing pressures of competition from local and overseas crowdsourcing websites is making it more difficult to get these types of projects locally.

Free Pitching at its Worst

On these sites ‘designers’ are asked to submit logo designs free of charge in the hope of ‘winning’ – some sites openly say it’s a contest – a poultry sum of money ranging from $300 to $1200. One promotional video even suggested the promise of more work as a result of submitting a winning design – a line heard all too often by many designers. Even I’ve had prospective (and past) clients try to get a design for free with the promise that more work will come of it but then never to be heard of again.

On these same sites I’ve seen projects posted for as little as a few hundred dollars and attract over a hundred designers (some of whom submit more than one design). All are pitching for the same work but only one person will be eligible to receive the money. That means more than 99% (hmmm) of ‘entrants’ won’t get paid for their submission. With odds like that designers are better off going to the casino or buying a ticket for the lotto.

Fair Trade Logos

 

The justification that a few hundred dollars is worth a lot of money to someone in an impoverished country somehow makes it okay for startups to save hundreds if not thousands creating an identity that will ultimately become their businesses brand.

So next time you sit down for a business breakfast, sipping on your fair trade coffee and eating your free range eggs, consider what implications your decision is having on impoverished nations as well as your local design industry.

A ‘fair trade logo’ will ensure your local design industry remains strong and viable.

So next time you sit down for a business breakfast, sipping on your fair trade coffee and eating your free range eggs, consider what implications your decision is having on impoverished nations as well as your local design industry.

Design is a service based industry and we charge for the time it takes to create a design, whether that’s a logo, stationery, brochure or layout. We take the time to understand our clients needs and markets so that what we create is meaningful and targeted. We also consider the design strategy and make provisional allowances for future growth and brand strategy. Hours are spent nurturing a relationship and researching the client, their market, competitors and design trends within it. Based on previous experience for similar projects we estimate the amount of time it will take to fulfil the brief. Ideas don’t always present themselves as quickly as we hope so there is a certain amount of risk when pitching for work and going over budget is an inevitable reality that we then have to burden.

Forcing out small boutique design studios will see the rise of larger design agencies that charge premium rates for their service.

As long as your business plan is strong and you have a good quality product or service your startup will be successful – regardless of what your identity looks like. But when the time comes to grow further then maybe considering a design and brand strategy may be the way forward.

Useful Links

For more information about the Fair Trade organisation and movement, check out these links:

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