Confession time: for reasons that are hard to justify – I am very hesitant to take on freelancing jobs. “Why?” asks everyone in my family. As a designer freelancing is a great way to improve skills, gain professional experience, add to your portfolio AND make some extra money. So what’s with the hesitation? Well, for one thing – time. I have plenty of personal projects that I want to work on, not to mention a full time job. Then there are the less rational reasons – first off, I’m very uncomfortable talking about money with people. Secondly: lack of confidence…it’s not easy to put yourself out there and assure people that you’re the best at what you do. So, I never really go looking for freelance work – but occasionally, it finds me.
Now then, you can imagine my reluctance when my friend Anthony left me a voicemail about a “freelancing opportunity” – yikes. Turns out, his brother in law was starting a landscaping company, Lotus Landscaping LLC, and wanted a professional looking logo in time for Spring. A logo – that’s it? Simple. I love logo design!
I actually surprised myself with this project. Usually I’m nervous from start to finish…but for some reason (maturity??) I dove into this project with confidence and optimism. I started by calling the client with a list of questions that would help me find out what he was looking for: What adjectives best describe your company? What is the company’s tagline? What logos do you personally like, and why?
After I felt like I had ample information on what the client was looking for, I explained that I would email a first round of black and white comps. From there he could pick his favorites or favorite features and I would flush them out with some color options and specific fonts. At that point, he could pick out a final logo that would be polished to a final version (check out each step of the process below). After our first phone conversation I put all of my notes (and the design timeline) in an email to the client. I’ve learned that it is very important to be clear about your process beforehand, not only so that the client knows what to expect but also to avoid getting caught in a whirlpool of endless revisions.
The project went wonderfully! The client was great to work with. He appreciated all of the options I was supplying, and was very helpful in explaining exactly what he did and did not like. All of his honest feedback made it easier for me to tailor a logo that he felt represented his company best. Even though this was a great experience that gave me a little extra cash AND confidence – I’m still not on the lookout for any freelancing work. Maybe as I get older and wiser I won’t be so timid – but for now…I’ve got sewing to do. :P