Custom Projects = Custom Prices

Understanding why design work has relative pricing and when it can be productized.

May 15, 2020

Alright, say you want a logo for your startup. For an experienced designer, this has a streamlined process as well as varying tiers of engagement. They also have a rate for which they will carry these services out. Unless added variables outside of these packages are added, the price shouldn't change that much.

Now say you want a custom e-commerce website, with a bunch of third party integrations, some help on copy, sourcing photos and icons, and then recurring maintenance. You don't know how many pages there are, who is responsible for a lot of the things that will go into the site, it's all custom.

Here's the thing, some design work can be structured within a detailed process. Projects like that should have fixed prices based on the value the designer is bringing to the table. Projects that are unique and require just as much planning as they do execution get custom prices.

In the instance of the latter, it makes sense to dedicate 10% of the estimated budget to getting three, tiered, custom options.

More you say?

You Are a Pickle

The reason it seems impossible for you to connect with investors and customers.

4.13.2020

I admire the confidence of startup founders. Everyday, they get up and get after it in the hopes of doing something to change the world. It's inspiring. However, it's sad that most of them fail to see the obviously awesome things about themselves and their companies that would make them unforgettable. Instead, they try to focus on what they think people want them to be. It's an inauthentic approach to building a brand and it usually results in being labeled something they are not proud of. In time, they become something they fail to recognize.

I call it, "pickle syndrome."

Since they spend their lives in a jar, pickles have no idea what they look like from the outside. They also don't recognize the unique qualities that make them special either. They float in the jar hoping someone will recognize them and see their worth.

It's in moments like this that is pays to have an external voice chime in and tell you all of the things that make you and your startup significant. To give you a new label based on the obvious truths you take for granted.

You are still a pickle and you're freaking awesome at it. Don't be afraid to tell everyone.

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The Creative Curse

Creatives, entrepreneurs, and startup founder beware.

5.13.2020

Creative minds, though responsible for new ideas and solving big problems, have a huge shadow: the inability to give those new ideas time. This is especially true in branding. It's almost inevitable that after going through a new brand identity, strategy, etc, the desire to change will pop up. A new idea will strike and it must manifest or it will go away.

But int he context of branding, assuming you do a good job, you have to resist. Branding is something that should remain consistent and be given its due before making massive overhauls.

Commons areas where this desire arises:

  • Expanding target markets
  • Redoing the the name or logo
  • Expanding a color palette
  • Adding new typefaces

Look, these things might need to change, but if you have to let them settle before you can make an informed decision as to whether or not they need to change. This doesn't mean you can't change small things, like experimenting with new ads, altering your layouts, running A/B tests, but it should all cohere to the strategy you are trying to implement.

Point being: resist your creative impulses to start something new before your previous task has been finished and given time to rest.

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