3 Red Flags to Watch Out For

In response to the request for guest bloggers, Katy Dwyer sent along this “lesson learned” story.

I agreed to do some logo designs for a new client who ran her own marketing business. She hired me to come up with 2 options for a logo for her clients (a number that we negotiated to bring the budget to where she needed it to be). I never had any direct contact with the end clients, so what ensued was a very poor logo exploration, with no real strategy or purpose. I wound up having to guess at the target audience, I had no idea what the tastes and styles of the end client was, and 11 logo designs later, my client decided not to continue the project with me. In the end, I got paid for about 65% of the original contract, even though what I provided was far above and beyond what we initially discussed.

What did I learn?
-First and foremost, as soon as the scope of the project begins to go beyond what’s negotiated, speak up! It’s time to renegotiate.

-Second, having a go-between is usually not a great idea. Successful projects thrive on open communication between the designer and client. Having no actual contact with the end client, I was shooting in the dark.

-Third, beware of loose direction. When my client directed me to a website that showcased literally thousands of logos, all from various industries, with different styles and purposes, and said “check this site out, this is what we are looking for,” that should have been a red flag. I now have a logo worksheet on my website that I will use to get focused direction on any future logo design project.

-And lastly, getting fired isn’t always bad. Although I was angered at first that all the headaches weren’t going to produce a final product, I soon realized that I was better off without the headaches.

Have you had a similar situation? If so, how did you deal with it? Any more red flags to add?

4 thoughts on “3 Red Flags to Watch Out For

  1. Pingback: Graphic Design and Marketing Blog | Katy Dwyer Design

  2. Jody Shyllberg

    So sorry for your bad experience. Your client was not much of a “marketing” diva after all, was she, if she couldn’t give you direction on such a vital project? Her client got taken as much as you did!

    I’ve worked with a number of marketing consultants, and my experience has generally been very positive. As true marketing professionals, their input and direction is invaluable to me as I approach a logo, or any other, design for their clients. So, I wouldn’t give up on working with another marketing consultant, because it can be a great match. Just check out their reputation and the work they’ve done in the past so you can get an idea of how savvy of a marketer they really are.

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