Is Design a Product or a Service?

 Its not uncommon when I am first meeting with a new client who needs branding and a logo design that I’m asked the question, “What is your logo design process and what happens if I don’t like the logo you’ve created, do I still need to pay”?

This question often leads to the discussion around design work being a service as opposed to a product and therefore what a client is paying for is our advice, time and IP, not the end product (be it a logo, printed publication, website etc). Design is a service in the same way doctors, lawyers, architects provide a service. To save me time the next time this “old chestnut” comes up again I thought I would write an article explaining the design process in creating a logo to ensure a positive design outcome as a helpful guide for my clients.

Firstly Fresco has a strict process we follow to ensure that all the branding and logos created in our studio satisfies a thorough design brief. Having a strong brief is a fail safe means of ensuring that clients will end up with a relevant and strategic logo that they will be happy with, not just from a subjective standpoint but from a strategic standpoint in that it fulfills and supports their business objectives.

We have a proven track record of delivering strong brand solutions for our clients, this is all thanks to the following process.

  1. Meet with the client to create a design brief. This is followed by research and analysis to ascertain the positioning of the company which will drive the design ideas behind the design.
  2. The creation of 2 or 3 unique logo concepts for the brand/logo. The different designs all approach the brief from a different perspective to cover all bases, we explore the brand’s colour palette, icon and typography and designs come with a comprehensive outline behind the strategy behind these components.
  3. The client chooses one concept that he/she feels best represents their company or business. This chosen concept is allowed 3 sets of amends to further develop the initial ideas, these amends are based on our client’s feedback and inmput so we are all working collaboratively towards the same goal.

This whole process can take between 2-4 weeks. If after this process the client still feels the logo needs more work, we then start to charge an hourly rate (in addition to the initial fees quoted) to keep exploring the chosen concept to get it to the point our clients will be happy with it. Its important to note that rarely does it get to this point if we are provided with a thorough brief and follow the above process.

Its important to understand that all our design work is approached from an objective strategic perspective rather than a subjective “I just like the look of it”. Therefore the above process ensures a positive out come for our clients. As we are providing a service as opposed to a product (much like an architect or doctor), we need to charge for our head hours regardless of whether our clients decide to go ahead with our concepts and design ideas, so a charge will be applied to cover this advice, time and IP.

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