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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend who created a logo that I really like a lot. I want to use it as the logo for my brand. What would be a good ballpark figure to offer for his one design (considering he has put some time in the overall project). Unfotunately, I don't like anything else he's created but I think I can deal with that:confused: .
Also, when you pay for someones' services like this, do you automatically own the design/logo or are there some legal stuff I'm overlooking? Can I copyright the design under my name?

Thanks

Jerry
 

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Well, since it's already created, I think you should begin by asking him for a figure.

I think people put different values on things such as this that are subjective. Ask him what he thinks his work is worth, and go from there. He could say $50, or he could say $500!

Yes, when you buy a design, you own the design. But the only way you will be able to do anything you want with it, is for you to also own the copyright.

So, if you buy the design from him, he must also give you all rights to the design (copyright) in order for you to be able to do with it as you wish.
 

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Even if you pay your friend for the logo he owns the copyright unless you can get him to "transfer ownership" to you "in writing". He may charge more for the logo since you want to own it.

You can get more information here about transfer of ownership from here;

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html#201

Another alternative is to request an "exclusive license" however, then you run the risk of it expiring and he "not wanting to renew" the exclusive license.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can I be the coowner of the design, considering the design originated from my concept? Thus, can I ask my friend if we can apply for copyright as coowners? Or as business decision, would this present problems in the future?

Thank you so much for all your feedback. I deeply appreciate it.

Jerry
 

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Yes you can co-own the design by listing both on the copyright application which the link i gave also mention co-ownership.

One thing to consider...

Say you become the next Nike... they have that check looking mark which people buy items with "just" that symbol on it. Everyone seeing that symbol know it's Nike. So it's a well known symbol and it represent the company and sets it apart from any other company selling a "similar product".

Now for your logo...

- You have marketed the logo
- You have sold shirts under the logo
- You made the logo a well known branding, etc.

and it suddenly takes off as a popular logo people recognize and are willing to buy items with the logo on it.

Your friend seeing all the success of the logo decides he wants to captalize on the logo him/herself by either...

- marketing his own stuff under the same logo.
A.) would you be ok with that?

or...

- he decides he want's a cut of your profits

A.) because "he's co-owner of the logo" and now it's a hot commodity.

This could happen so to avoid any "co-ownership" issues...

Put it "in writing" stating "how each" of you can use the logo.

For example;

- You will sell t-shirts and garments using the logo

- He will display it as a part of his portfolio of designs
- He cannot sell the logo to others
- He will not be entitled to any profits from you efforts
- he will not use it in the same manner...

I think you get the idea of what i mean.

NOTE: In all things "get it in writing" so everyone's clear on the terms.

"It's nothing personal... it's business".

Meaning it's not that you don't trust him/her but it's good business practice to put it "in writing".
 

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Looks like your copyright questions have been answered, as for price, I charge $45/hour for logo design. I generally spend 3 hours or less on a logo. Although this is lower than many design firms, every logo I design it used in something immediately that I do such as signs, vehicle lettering, decals, etc. so I definitely make up for it.
 

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as someone who runs a design studio that specializes in logos and identity, i'd like to add that creative fees for logos are usually not based on the number of hours it takes to complete the project. they are based on the amount of value that the client will derive from the logo. some people tie this to gross annual sales, others to things less specific.

a good source for knowing what ranges a designer might quote you for a logo is the graphic artists guild handbook: pricing and ethical guidelines.
 

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baumwolle said:
as someone who runs a design studio that specializes in logos and identity, i'd like to add that creative fees for logos are usually not based on the number of hours it takes to complete the project. they are based on the amount of value that the client will derive from the logo. some people tie this to gross annual sales, others to things less specific.

a good source for knowing what ranges a designer might quote you for a logo is the graphic artists guild handbook: pricing and ethical guidelines.
Wouldn't logo fees for a brand new startup be much lower than for an established business wanting a new logo/identity?

My thinking for this is: The new business would only have "projections" of what they hope to earn while an established business would have a track-record and an established marketing / advertising campaign track record and actual past earnings for better projections.
 

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Not always,
It's always a little subjective but I think the majority of the time is like baumwolle said: It's more based on 'value'. A startup company will be marketing like crazy, so their logo is of great value. It's the face of a new company nobody has seen before. It carries a lot of importance.

A large, established company (while they usually have more to spend) already has a 'brand' established and they are just keeping the ball rolling with new logos and marketing material.

So to me, the 'startup' logo would have more value, and in a fair market, should be compensated as such. JMHO.
 

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DesignSource said:
So to me, the 'startup' logo would have more value, and in a fair market, should be compensated as such. JMHO.
Sounds like solid reasoning to me :)

I hadn't considered just how important it could be in their new business becoming a success. It sounds like a well-designed logo is a lot more important to a new business than I thought. It probably is not a place to try to cut costs at all because it is an extremely important part of the new company's marketing / advertising plan.

I'm fortunate that my logo-to-be has kind of been chosen for me by my customers - ROFL - of something I created as a doodle for a t-shirt that became one of my best selling designs - now I have to figure out what to do with it but I have a friend wanting to get himself a logo for his artwork and now I can give him better information. Thanks for the great advice! I really appreciate it!
 

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DesignSource said:
Aww shucks Barbara, thanks!

I love your designs, by the way. Something about dragonflies fascinates me. What a marvel of nature. But at the same time, I WILL FREAK OUT if one comes around me, eww :)
:) Thank you .... some wonderful friends gave me some great ideas for people like you & me ... ROFL ... hope you looked at the "Bad Dragonfly" section while you visited for a chuckle.

I once had a dragonfly fly right into the house when I opened the patio door to let the dog out! It was 9 o'clock at nite! Pitch dark outside - I never in a million years imagined they ever flew around at nite even but there it was buzzing around my cathedral ceiling - it managed to avoid the ceiling fan thankfully! Took over an hour before I finally figured out how to get it out of the house & back outside where it belonged!

Every time it buzzed & dived towards me, I screamed & ran!:D
 

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Just jumping in quickly. I think the cost of logo work can be all over the place. Some of you have mentioned "value" of the logo to a business which is a really good point.

If I just need a logo for short-term use or don't want to spend money, then just doing something myself is fine. But if I want to appear like an expensive company...then I will definitely hire the right graphic designer for my needs.

As someone coming from a marketing background who in the past worked with new and established businesses on re-doing their identity or coming up with business identity, here are some past experiences.

Sometimes it was just paying a designer for some logo ideas. At other times it was for an entire identity package...what I called "collateral" material....stationery, cards, brochures, informational press kits, etc.

Most of the time, I asked the designer for flat rate based on scope of work and what any add-on cost would be. I like win-win situations and no surprises.

I think the designers here can back me up that there are so many variables when it comes to logo design. Do you need illustration? Is it a re-do? How many colors. What will the logo be used for ... as in will a complicated one do well on a sign? The review process can take a long time. How many "comps" (as in comparisons) will the graphic designer have to come up with.

I also factored in what the graphic designer specialized in...ads, logos, etc. Some designers came with great credentials so their prices were higher. Some designers would give me a price break because I brought a lot of business to them.

Just sharing. Also, some designers just starting off (or students) may do a fabulous job for you inexpensively because they need to build their portfolio.
 
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