WHY GO THE EXTRA MILE? WHY NOT CHARGE EXTRA?
I recently took on a new project for a client via Upwork — the online freelance website. The project was to create a simple, electronic pdf brochure of “a few pages” using content from the client’s website. I was awarded the project, and sent high resolution images that had been used on the website.
This was new counseling business. It would function as a home exclusively for women to continue their therapy and recovery in a safe place while learning a broad range of real life skills that they will face in a future post recovery. Besides the images, they did not have a logo to speak of. Just the name of the practice, treatment and the images.
How do you create a great looking marketing piece for a company that doesn’t have a logo — particularly when this is the introductory marketing piece? This is something some clients will understand and they will have a logo that another designer already created, or they will hire me to design not only the brochure, but the logo as well. Other times, clients don’t give the logo much thought, and perhaps get a bit ahead of themselves.
My philosophy has always been to present the best possible solution I can to a client. I want to blow them away with a great looking piece, and I want them to be proud of it, but I also need to satisfy myself. Every piece of artwork I create for another client — no matter how small the project may be — it is an opportunity to create for myself as much as for the client. Translation — If I have not satisfied myself with the look, feel, and presentation of a particular project, how can I expect you, the client to be pleased with the result. This is something central to how I approach each project. If your designer doesn’t work in this manner perhaps he/she should consider a career change (and you may want to hire a different graphic designer (hint, hint)!
Some bean counters, other graphic designers — they might look at this scenario and think, “…oh this is an excellent way for me to make more money….” My first thought; “how can I work within the client’s parameters? I don’t want to go back to them right from the start with a problem. They don’t want to hear about problems — they are coming to me looking for a solution!”
The answer I come up with in this scenario is to just design the darn logo! Blow them away with an amazing piece, throw in the logo. My dad the accountant is cringing as he reads this, but this is the only way I can proceed on a project. It has happened to me a few times, and I am sure it will happen again, and I will likely do the same thing. It’s not because I am a nice guy — although I am. It’s not because I am feeling especially philanthropic — although at times I do. This is the answer because this will make the design sing! Period!
WHY NOT CHARGE FOR IT?
The afore mentioned “Dad” and likely many others would probably tell me I should charge for it. They might be right. However, I always take a broader look at a client then just a one-off project.
While it is true that there are no guarantees in life, it has been my experience that if you go the extra mile, and give the client more then he/she is asking for, they are likely to return to you time and again for more business.
Case in point — almost every client I have in the Filament Designs family are long standing customers that remain with me for years (decades in some cases). I don’t think it’s just my winning personality and sunny disposition.
I believe that at some point, they have all experienced the care I have for the craft — and in some cases, just taking the extra time and extra steps to make their brochure, or landing page, or invitation, or whatever I am working on for them — look amazing. Sometimes they didn’t ask for it, but they know it when they see the finished product.
Great design — and going those extra few steps — shouldn’t be about the money. I don’t want to be the “Montgomery Burns” of Graphic Design! Great design comes from the extra steps your designer takes to make sure the end result is a true gem — something you, the client are proud of. And if you are, chances are your designer is proud of it too!
Andre Garabedian is a graphic designer who has been actively working in the field for a quarter of a century. Taking the time to learn the design craft as well as production, André has the expertise and background to help you understand the ins and outs of your project to ensure that the highest possibly quality is delivered and expectations are exceeded.