Sales? What Sales?

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photo: flickr user greg habermann

photo: flickr user greg habermann

Designers, get your asses on the web, start producing valuable work, and start valuing your work! Tired of this stupidity happening. This piece describes how a company managed to cut their budget by two hundred thousand dollars, only to be sold a stolen logo from some moron at a contest site.

I don’t care that they cut their budget that much, and I’m relieved that there’s a lesson about shopping on price in there. They aren’t the target of my annoyance. Designers are.

Whoever actually made their stolen logo was probably an actual designer, albeit one with a pretty low level of skill and ethics. It’s so embarrassing that the web market is so clued out on any sort of pricing standards that these sorts of things keep happening.

Why is there so much miscommunication about our pricing that we can’t ever pigeonhole a decent, middle-of-the-road price scheme that the public knows about? Because so few of us have any business training in school—design curricula simply don’t have any business focus; which is intensely, obviously stupid. We can make beautiful things that nobody else can make, yet we can’t make a living at it without years of blundering about, learning the simplest business concepts. We don’t know how to price our work, so the prices are all over the map. Our numbers tend to be totally imaginary, varying from studio to studio and not addressing actual market valuation. We’re always on the defensive against people who do know how to price us lower than we should be.

Designers’ prices are invariably based on us being constantly told that our work is valuable and special—but the proof of that is very, very slight. None of these medium-sized businesses starting out on the web can find a decent price that makes any sense—so they throw up their hands and go to contest sites, where they can throw out arbitrary numbers, and get something in return. It’s pathetic that’s even happening.

(Initial link via Bryan Flynn over at the Twitter.)