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Free Design vs. No Free Design

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by Noffke Co., Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Noffke Co.

    Noffke Co. New Member

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Wisconsin
    You all know the story,

    Customer - "Please give me a price and design for this project and I will compare yours to the other bids we receive and get back to you."

    Us - "Here's our price but we do not give out free designs."

    Customer - "Well then we can not go with you because you didn't show us what it will look like."

    Here is where you come in.
    Does anyone have any suggestive verbiage we can put in our bids to let our customers know that we value our designs and that they do not come free? I would like to refrain from using simple words like “free” or "give out" but I just can not come up with anything professional enough to express this. I can not imagine we are the only sign company that feels this way when it comes to spending hours on “proofs” to not get the job or compensation.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jay
     
  2. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

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    Aug 28, 2005
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    we do not have anything specifically written in, but when asked these dumb questions we simply say that "we are more than happy to provide a proof of the work before we start any production, we start the artwork once we receive 50% down on the job"

    if they are concerned about your abilities to produce what they want, show them your portfolio, if they can't trust you will do them a quality design and job based off it, then you weren't getting the job anyway as they are shopping price alone, not quality or design for that matter
     
  3. neato

    neato Very Active Member

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    May 16, 2003
    Henderson, IL
    Wildside nailed it!

    Would they dream of going to a graphic design company and asking for some designs up front before they paid?
     
  4. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Jun 24, 2003
    michigan
    Yes, "they" do it all the time.


    the 4 P's works if it is used..
    Pivot
    Profile
    Praise
    Prompt.

    That is why giving just a quote over the phone of email does not work. The goal is to get them to make some kind of commitment to your business plan. Then you can talk ot them and make a good sale.

    No, this 4 P system is not used on those $10 yard signs.,
     
  5. "Deposit Please"

    "Deposit Please" Active Member

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Can I see the design?? what design......there is no design....doesn't exist.
    I see Mock-ups and almost print ready files come through my email (from time to time) from prospects shopping around with someone's design. Guaranteed that if a deposit was in place, no such emails would exist. I find that my most loyal customers are the one's who leave a payment....because they alway's come back.
     
  6. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Valle Vista
    After the shifting opinion I have seen on this site on crowdsourcing logo design - fair is fair, sign shops should start doing freebie layouts...

    By the way, Sign Design Community may be coming online soon where any clown can get a free layout and competitive bidding.

    But if it were me, I would give them a price on making a layout where they have the ability to shop around the fabrication and installation, otherwise, tire kickers like these will find plenty of shops to make a layout for free.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    PA
    Welcome from PA.................................
     
  8. signsbydebbie

    signsbydebbie New Member

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    May 12, 2010
    Losing very few...

    We use the art to sell the job and rarely get a deposit. That said we don't have much competition and we try to get ALL their business such as business cards all the way to billboards and anything in between. Try to get a deposit from a city department, it's not happening. They call us because of the service they get.... even if it cost more.
     
  9. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Wetumpka, AL
    There's no MAY to it. Making a living with above average design work is a dying animal. There will still be a market for upper end but for the stuff most of us handle there are 100,000 foreign designers just itching to make $50.
     
  10. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    What I meant was, a site IS coming online... it MAY be soon. It did launch and was pulled because there was an outrage from the design community, mostly SEGD and the site's affiliiation with a large sign company. The rights to the site and design have been sold and I'm assuming that the site will launch again.

    If you want to see the site, it's in a designers portfolio.
    http://www.priscilla-mok.com/gallery/sign-design-community/

    Here is the site...
    http://www.signdesigncommunity.com/
     
  11. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Wetumpka, AL
    Ouch.
     
  12. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Valle Vista
    ouch indeed...
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    :ROFLMAO:. ya know how, when the sign computers came on board we were just overrun with 'perfectly made ugly signs' ??
    Well, now we're gonna have 'perfectly made ugly signs' with a middleman involved. :banghead:
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    It is funny when you think about it... technology made it easy, and now it's found a way to make money without doing the actual work...

    I should have thought of it myself...
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    :ROFLMAO: :Big Laugh they used to be called 'brokers'. Now they're just a .com site...............:banghead:
     
  16. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    I would have no problems using a design a customer got for free of the internet. In fact .. it would be very profitable on my end since being a small shop .. layouts can take up precious time.

    As far as request for prices with sketches .. I can be rude as well (been told already). I tell them i am not in a high school design contest. This is a business and i cant waste my time producing designs for all the quote requests i get (unless it is for an established customer).
     
  17. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Home Office
    No pay = no design. Exception for clients that have been with me for years.

    I don't have the time to do a design that you will literally steal from me and have someone else make it. Been there, done that. If you don't like what is in my portfolio then sorry, I can't help you.

    I do not think it is all doom and gloom if you base your business on customer service. If you're successful that is a big part of what got you where you are. You can also rely on this: Since the days of the caveman there has always been a market for the best.
     
  18. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    montgomery, alabama
    :thumb:We never get deposits on art. My art is whats sells my jobs and if it means an hour of my time to land a $2000 job than so be it. We dont have a bountiful of good looking art in this town with exception of pat and maybe 1 other sign guy that does clean stuff, the others are just absolute crap.

    You dont ask for art deposits around here, they will just hang up and walk to the next shop. Large sign projects, construction firms, general contractors DO NOT and WILL NOT do a deposit on anything, these are the big time jobs, now Susie calling me a birthday banner can keep on moving
     
  19. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Jun 18, 2004
    Orlando
    Wildside said it right

    As for no deposit and do your work impossible for me to many crooks here even with deposits they would not pay have had to many of them also. really would rather have full pay before I start.

    Gino's on post #13 was also spot on.

    As far as a design contest service on line, well that only means the best designs will be chosen by better designers ..the good part, even better if the best charge a great deal more.

    Average designs would be alot lower in price.. but then one would see this great design, copy it take to someone to design that charges less that does not belong in the service or does. the bad part.

    As far as the market for signs anyway HERE way to many do work for just above costs.
    The reason I'm doing alot less work doing commercial signs & finding other areas to apply my talents. So free designs, no deposits, low priced work, you can have it.
     
  20. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    Apr 3, 2009
    Montrose BC
    I treat "spec art" just like my other marketing costs......It is an investment that results in sales....And based on the amount of sales I have got from doing "spec art" I can not imagine operating any other way.....But it is important to qualify the clients before you proceed.....
     
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