I just got a copy of Photoshop CS4 about 2 months ago and going hand in hand with my art classes at school, I have built up enough experience to design your professional corporate logo and brand identity. I have experience in the design and art field and have a great understanding of the history of art and its principles.

Client: Do you at least have some work to show us?

I have a few painting I can show you and a couple of sketches, but I don’t really have any logo designs for you at the moment simply because my other projects have been keeping me way to busy. I can do the entire branding project for you within a budget of $50.

Have you ever come across anyone like this? I know I have and I do constantly and it drives me up the walls. Not only do these people over promise, they under price design. It’s because of them that a client sometimes states, “I can get the work done much cheaper with XXX,” and that’s when I say, “why do you keep bothering me then?”

Am I wrong when doing this? I know everyone started out somewhere, but I mean we put in a few years worth of practice before we even started looking towards any payment for our designs.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that look at it this way or do you too sit with the same problem as I do? What do you do when you come across people like this?
Would love to hear your opinion on this.

About the Author:
Jacques is a Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest - Google+

20 Comments so far

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jacques van Heerden, Sergey Guryakov. Sergey Guryakov said: RT @An1ken: You are a Designer if You have Photoshop – […]

  2. I would do the exact same thing as you did. You know what a project entails and you know what your price point is. Stick to it.

    Inform the client that they should be happy with the end result, not how cheap they got it for. If they have a problem with that, wish them good luck and move on to the next client.

  3. Jae Xavier says:


    My response to your article is that the design industry is evolving rapidly. Just take a look at some of the major advances in media:

    8 years ago, YouTube launched. Now everyone is a star.
    10 years ago, blogs started to become popular. Now everyone is star.

    Will everyone design industry be a star?

    In 1998, Deviant Art was launched. Now everyone is a star.

    The real question is: “How should professionals compete against the massive population of amateur designers?”

    It’s not your degree, your software, your skills, or your computer. Its your ability to find a competitive advantage you can sustain.

    Amateurs are quickly copying designs and their clients can believe them instantly. However, the true professional sees opportunity in other markets, in other industries, where amateurs cannot prevail.

    Avoid the price wars and mediocrity. Produce designs that are meaningful and generate remarkable results your clients will be able to profit from.

    If you stay in the price wars category, you are in danger of becoming an amateur all over again.

    You are better than that Jacques. Don’t let amateurs destroy your credentials as a true professional.

    Stand out.

  4. Vunky says:

    We used to have a saying on our website:

    If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

    I think that says it all ;)

  5. Hi Jacques

    I think one can charge when the proof is in the portfolio. When a client chooses their designer they should base it on the portfolio of the designer, not the price, i understand money can be an issue sometimes, but u want quality, u pay for quality :)

  6. MarB says:


    I compete with this all the time in photography. It’s not about Photoshop but about DSLR in my case.

    I usually just say “you’re not paying for camera but for my hands”. And won’t back a feet. If someone is trying to tell you that someone will do the job for few bucks, just don’t bother with him. These people usually make problems with everything and when it goes to paying for your work they’re making mess.

  7. Jacques,

    Those Clients that try to tell you they found the job for X amount of dollars cheaper elsewhere aren’t clients you want anyway. In my experience they expect to pay for an inch and get a mile. Best to just tell them ‘Okay, well my price is my price and their price is theirs, it’s your choice’ and let them decide, they’ll pick the cheaper one 100% of the time, but it’ll save you countless hours of grief with an unappreciative client!

  8. sriganesh says:

    Just now i started doing work, and i never experienced, i have done some logo works for blogs for no charge(they are my buddies) have to start freelancing !! – :P i never know this much matters in here !!

  9. Derek Land says:

    The problem only exists, to me at least, from a specific point of view.

    The way we, as professional designers, differentiate ourselves from “designers” who were gifted Photoshop or stole a serial number for it is by the knowledge and creation *we personally bring to the project.* Obviously, in cases such as the the one you describe we cannot compete on price – but this can be a good thing. Oftentimes, in my experience clients that value price over quality are not the type of clients I wouldn’t care to work with.

    So if we cannot compete on price, how do we compete? This is where we each find out niche; our unique approach to design, our own personal style or flavour of design, and the quality product we can create and build for clients. Competing on price only works if (1) the client is a penny pincher or (2) we have an identical product to our competitor. Leverage the difference; amplify what makes you, you personally, you as yourself with your own experience, different and better than the other guy.

    Yes, it is nice to have a few quick projects that take you can hour or two each and earn you $100 apiece, but the dollar is not the bottom line. Our time and effort is worth something more than money if we end up dealing with a problem client… and often, it seems problem clients are the ones more concerned with money or trying to get more for less. The design industry is still climbing; design and design-related projects are available every day.

    Another scenario may be dealing with inexperienced clients. It also falls on us, as the designers, to educate our clients (to an extent). A client who lacks much internet experience may very likely assume that building a website is as simple as using Bing or Google (eg: easy & instantaneous). It’s easy for inexperienced client and internet users in general to assume that the smooth, slick interface he uses on Amazon *really is* that easy to build and put together. It is, after all, designed to look so smooth and effortless. But there are hours or time and trial & error that go into creating those user paths and front end designs that are simply not evident to an end user (which in this scenario is more or less what the client is). It is therefore, in these cases, up to us to teach our clients just what is involved in creating a nice looking website. I’ve dealt with folks who after learning how much work is involved have not complained about the price. Sometimes the client just needs to understand exactly where his money goes and just for what it’s being used to accomplish.

    Perhaps that’s too long. My thoughts, anyway :)

    • Thanks for the write up Derek. I agree with your points and that we should educate the client to an extent that they understand what we do with our time and where their money goes in the end.

  10. A lot of people probably can knock out a half decent logo in Photoshop within an hour, so $50 would probably be an ok estimate.

    The problems start immediately after that generic, uninspiring and probably unusable logo design is sent to the client. They then want to add some ‘zing’ or ‘ping’ to the design and all of a sudden the designer has another 12 hours of work to do.

    Michal is right, stay true to your price, put the work in, and you will get more satisfied clients and eventually more referrals and a better portfolio.

  11. I think that is very important in the begining of the meeting to help at our prospect to understand the details of his project and cost related, but in my last experience I learned that when we have a customer prospect that doesn’t understand any thing about his needs, he try to find the best bid based in price because he hasn’t any other element for to do the evaluation.

    Greetings Jacques from Chihuahua, México.

  12. […] You Are a Designer If You Have Photoshop – Creative Overflow […]

  13. Photoshop is a very powerful tool for creating, editing and processing images. The number of graphic design techniques and options it presents are so vast that it would takes people significant time to understand the concepts and become masters in using this very advanced software. Using Photoshop, you can create your graphic designer title text. Presenting a memorable and visually appealing logo design creates a deep impression on the mind of a customer.

  14. DonZilla says:

    A wise person once said, “The only difference between you and someone else with the same equipment is your thought process.” Work on the jellyware, not the software, kiddo.

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