Am I being made a fool of?

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Ravioli

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So a friend of mine is opening an Etsy business in hopes to expand to other platforms. She asked me to make her a logo, the sketch already done by someone else. All I had to do, was do lineart and pick a color scheme, typeface, not think anything up. It was bleh, but it was easy.
She offered $40. Given that she's using that logo to make money, I thought, whoa lady, add a zero, but then I was like, I have zero credentials in that category and I need money urgently - no job, huge move ahead - and it's not that much work. So I reluctantly accepted and got it done. I sent in a progress pic and she decided it was finished while I still thought it was fugly, so I'm kinda worried about her overall investment in the enterprise.

Then she asks for another logo, also with the sketch provided, and that silly thing really just takes me 30 or 40 minutes to complete. This put me in a pickle though as $40 is already sad, but if the other, more elaborate one was $40, the hell is this worth? I literally just cut away some corners from a rectangle, slapped a word on it, and added 5 circles. So I went and proposed $25.

She wants two more. One just a colourless shape to stamp on items, but for me to design from scratch. Problem, because I'm no good at design and it would take me a lot of time to create something decent, though she has something in mind. Another one, a full figure drawing with a piece of furniture. For the latter she said she can pay me "$40 to $100", but that right there has a huge range and I'm sure we have different ideas about what end of that range I should be paid at. Given her previous stingy offer of $40...

But now she screwed the pooch, who is I. When I sent her the offer of $25 - after she's bragged about a prospective revenue of $5000 a month - she was like, "Oh no, I meant $40 for the first two and the stamp one (THREE things!!), otherwise I'd be paying like $25 more than I was offered by someone else". OMG $25 out of what was it, $5000? She also promises 2% of the profits. IF her ambitions turn into anything of substance, that is.

I'm not sure. Seriously. I'm in desperate need for money, but working more than 4 hours for $40 when the client is making profit off my work, like, it sounds unethical and exploitative of my situation. 3 commercial designs for $40. I've never done commercial design or logos at all, never worked for companies, just private commissions of animal characters. I dunno how to feel about this. Like, those designs are drawing all the money, no? Any thoughts? "Beggars can't be choosers" or "Aw hayle nah"?
 

Fruitbat

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Oh my. Okay, first it sounds like she may just not know what she's doing more than having any ill intent. If she knows you haven't done logos professionally and need money right now, she might even think she's doing you a big fat favor lol.

Since there's already been one misunderstanding and resentment is setting in, I think I'd either bow out of it now or else you tell her your price and let her take it or leave it. I don't know about royalties but if it's not in writing, I wouldn't pay any attention to her vague statements about "maybe someday" on that. Personally, I wouldn't pay an ongoing royalty for an Etsy shop logo, but I have no idea what's standard on that.

Also, if it applies, you might want to ask her for a recommendation or review on your site (or set up a site) if you want to get into doing this for money. Good luck.
 
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mirandashell

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Yeah.... If her friendship is important to you, then I think you should back away and not do anymore. Advise that she would be better to get the cheaper one.

If she's not important to you, then tell her a price for a set amount of work. If she agrees, get it in writing. Be professional about it cos money and friendship never mix.
 

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When I sent her the offer of $25 - after she's bragged about a prospective revenue of $5000 a month - she was like, "Oh no, I meant $40 for the first two and the stamp one (THREE things!!), otherwise I'd be paying like $25 more than I was offered by someone else".

It doesn't matter what she "meant". You only agreed to do one design for $40. You thought even that was low. You wouldn't have agreed to do all three. Take your $40 and tell her additional designs are a separate transaction. If she hasn't already and won't pay you $40, this isn't the kind of person you want to do business with. Ignore your sunk costs and walk away.

If she offered you a range for the original design, ask for the top of the range, or higher. Why, if she's willing to pay in the range of $40 - $100, would you choose an option lower in the range? Also, you should be clear about how many design revisions you'll do. What if you come to her with ten different designs and she doesn't like any of them? Are you paid per attempt or only for the final accepted design?
 

WriterDude

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Friends aren't customers. Cut your losses and keep the friendship. Learn the lesson.

I was in the reverse position recently when a mate fucked up and took the money anyway. Not seen him since, guess I was just £££ to him.

Business and pleasure don't mix.
 

Ravioli

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I hate myself so much right now. Like, I can't really afford to tell her bye Felicia. My Mum, who is currently supporting most of my unemployed ass, doesn't deserve hearing "Sorry, I just felt too good for that". My debt doesn't allow it. Next week's $800 vet visit doesn't allow it.
 
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Matt T.

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Really sorry to hear that happened. I would most likely explain the situation and demand the $40 and call it done. You already weren't certain about it, and it doesn't sound like this person is treating you like they should.

However, to echo the sentiments of other people in this thread, it also depends on how much you value this friendship. If I was close to this person, you might consider letting it go, as hard as that might be.
 

Ravioli

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Really sorry to hear that happened. I would most likely explain the situation and demand the $40 and call it done. You already weren't certain about it, and it doesn't sound like this person is treating you like they should.

However, to echo the sentiments of other people in this thread, it also depends on how much you value this friendship. If I was close to this person, you might consider letting it go, as hard as that might be.
I really like her, but right now I'm not feeling treated as a friend. She boasts 4 figure revenue expectations, and I'm getting less than a burger flipper makes in a day.
 

Matt T.

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Yeah, the fact that your friend is being so stingy is worrying both on a business and friendship standpoint. Even though she said she found someone else with a similar offer, I would wonder if her offer to you is based more on the fact that you're a friend instead of what you're actually worth (I've seen that happen before).

If you really like her, I would sit down with her and explain your concerns. It'll be one hell of an awkward conversation, but it may be your best shot to both work out the business side of things and keep resentment from building.
 

EMaree

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Your friendship with this lady is making it impossible to keep things strictly business: she's screwing you over and you're not comfortable telling her she's in breach of your terms. Going back on the promised $40 for work is a cruddy move, and you know you're worth more than $25 a piece.

Time to politely tell her you won't be doing any more work. Chances are high she'll try and convince you to do a few more pieces, but you need to stand your ground and refuse.

I'm sorry, Ravi. You did a good thing and you're being treated poorly for it. :(

Friends aren't customers. Cut your losses and keep the friendship. Learn the lesson.
Business and pleasure don't mix.


^This.
 
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L. OBrien

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I don't know what the usual going rates are for this sort of work because I'm not a graphic designer, so I can't say if you're getting screwed. But it does sound like you're getting jerked around, and like there have been some communication issues. At the very least, you should talk with your friend and hammer out the exact terms of employment. It may also help to find a benchmark for what's standard so that you and your friend can get a better idea of what payment should be.

Likewise, even if she's estimating $5000 a month, where is that number coming from? Is that actually feasible, given her business plan? And would you be producing anything you could put in a graphic design portfolio?
 

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If you think the $5000/mo is feasible, what's wrong with a percentage? You seem to think a percentage is silly, because she's sold nothing yet, but keep saying she says $5000/mo.

Regardless, I think you do either a price or a percentage. You agree to a price, you don't then say 'that's not enough because you make a lot of money.' However, you agreed to the price for one drawing, not three, so say that.
 

Filigree

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I have been a graphic designer. I'd be very skeptical of that $5K per month, unless she has a *solid* business plan, capital investments, and experience in this business. She could have all that, and a percentage could still be risky...because good businesses go sideways or down all the time. I'm guessing this friend has little experience, or she would have known to hammer out a detailed contract between the two of you. That capital investment I mentioned? That's to float the business during its opening year or so, and pay creditors like you.

What you describe? I would have charged $100 for the first piece, half down upon signing, half on delivery or no more than 30 days after. After that you charge her 5% per every week late, accruing weekly. For the whole job? $500 to $800 depending on complexity. She gets three free changes per designed piece, after that another 5% fee added per each change beyond three. You make sure you never take on a job you can't ace. You ace every project you take on. You have respect for your work, and demand your clients do the same.

My option would be to salvage the friendship and any possibility (slight) of further economic benefit, be honest about how uncomfortable you are, do only the first piece(s) agreed upon, and tell her (kindly) to go look on Fiverr for the rest. Then step back. She may be a friend but she's probably not going to ever be a good business risk.

I get that money is tight. The only thing you will get out of this is a meager payment and maybe some portfolio pieces.

If you haven't pitched to that agent I mentioned, do it now. Keep writing if you can. Find any scut job you can, even for just a little while. This friend of yours won't do you any financial favors.
 

Orianna2000

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It sounds like this "friend" should look up Fiverr. They do basic graphic designs for $5 each. That might be more within her budget. That doesn't really help you much, sadly, unless she'll pay you for the one design you already made.

I had a vaguely similar experience 17 years ago. I had a copy of Photoshop and considered myself something of an artist, so I decided to start a graphic design business. I created a bunch of basic background images, divider bars, buttons, and the like, and was planning to offer them for sale on my website. While was working on launching this business, I had a friend who asked me to design a custom background image for his company's website in India. I agreed and came up with a simple textured square with their logo embossed in it, which could be tiled in the background. His boss loved it and immediately put it on their site as the new background. I was thrilled . . . except for the fact that I didn't get paid. Not a single dime. When I mentioned this to my friend, he said something like, "Oh, I thought you were doing it for the exposure." Except his boss never told anyone (to the best of my knowledge) who created their website's graphics. So, what exposure?

In the long run, it really didn't matter because my business went belly-up before I even got started. It's for the best, though. Looking back, I had NO CLUE about graphic design. I could craft simple logos in Photoshop, sure, but I knew nothing about design. I knew nothing about business, either, or I would've asked for a contract (or some kind of written agreement) before putting my time into making a background logo for my friend's company in India. Lesson learned.

Ironically, I'm now in a much better position to start a graphic design business, but I have absolutely no desire to. Wonder why? :tongue
 

chompers

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It sounds like this "friend" should look up Fiverr. They do basic graphic designs for $5 each. That might be more within her budget. That doesn't really help you much, sadly, unless she'll pay you for the one design you already made.

I had a vaguely similar experience 17 years ago. I had a copy of Photoshop and considered myself something of an artist, so I decided to start a graphic design business. I created a bunch of basic background images, divider bars, buttons, and the like, and was planning to offer them for sale on my website. While was working on launching this business, I had a friend who asked me to design a custom background image for his company's website in India. I agreed and came up with a simple textured square with their logo embossed in it, which could be tiled in the background. His boss loved it and immediately put it on their site as the new background. I was thrilled . . . except for the fact that I didn't get paid. Not a single dime. When I mentioned this to my friend, he said something like, "Oh, I thought you were doing it for the exposure." Except his boss never told anyone (to the best of my knowledge) who created their website's graphics. So, what exposure?

In the long run, it really didn't matter because my business went belly-up before I even got started. It's for the best, though. Looking back, I had NO CLUE about graphic design. I could craft simple logos in Photoshop, sure, but I knew nothing about design. I knew nothing about business, either, or I would've asked for a contract (or some kind of written agreement) before putting my time into making a background logo for my friend's company in India. Lesson learned.

Ironically, I'm now in a much better position to start a graphic design business, but I have absolutely no desire to. Wonder why? :tongue
This is the problem nowadays though. Too many people now, just because they know how to use Photoshop, they advertise themselves as designers. It takes much more than just being able to use a program. That's like someone who knows how to type advertising as an author. And these so-called designers expect to be paid the same as a real designer would be paid.
 

chompers

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So a friend of mine is opening an Etsy business in hopes to expand to other platforms. She asked me to make her a logo, the sketch already done by someone else. All I had to do, was do lineart and pick a color scheme, typeface, not think anything up. It was bleh, but it was easy.
She offered $40. Given that she's using that logo to make money, I thought, whoa lady, add a zero, but then I was like, I have zero credentials in that category and I need money urgently - no job, huge move ahead - and it's not that much work. So I reluctantly accepted and got it done. I sent in a progress pic and she decided it was finished while I still thought it was fugly, so I'm kinda worried about her overall investment in the enterprise.

Then she asks for another logo, also with the sketch provided, and that silly thing really just takes me 30 or 40 minutes to complete. This put me in a pickle though as $40 is already sad, but if the other, more elaborate one was $40, the hell is this worth? I literally just cut away some corners from a rectangle, slapped a word on it, and added 5 circles. So I went and proposed $25.

She wants two more. One just a colourless shape to stamp on items, but for me to design from scratch. Problem, because I'm no good at design and it would take me a lot of time to create something decent, though she has something in mind. Another one, a full figure drawing with a piece of furniture. For the latter she said she can pay me "$40 to $100", but that right there has a huge range and I'm sure we have different ideas about what end of that range I should be paid at. Given her previous stingy offer of $40...

But now she screwed the pooch, who is I. When I sent her the offer of $25 - after she's bragged about a prospective revenue of $5000 a month - she was like, "Oh no, I meant $40 for the first two and the stamp one (THREE things!!), otherwise I'd be paying like $25 more than I was offered by someone else". OMG $25 out of what was it, $5000? She also promises 2% of the profits. IF her ambitions turn into anything of substance, that is.

I'm not sure. Seriously. I'm in desperate need for money, but working more than 4 hours for $40 when the client is making profit off my work, like, it sounds unethical and exploitative of my situation. 3 commercial designs for $40. I've never done commercial design or logos at all, never worked for companies, just private commissions of animal characters. I dunno how to feel about this. Like, those designs are drawing all the money, no? Any thoughts? "Beggars can't be choosers" or "Aw hayle nah"?
But you didn't do the design work, from what it sounds like. The hard part was done. You just inputted it, correct? Given that, plus the fact you did not have the experience, I think $40 was fair.

Also, her revenues are irrelevant to what you should be charging. It should be based on the scope of the job, not how much money someone has or is going to make off your work. It could just as easily be it deters people and they don't use it. If it does end up making them a lot of money, then you can use that as an advantage for your NEXT job, because you will be more in demand then, and you can charge more NEXT time.
 
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mccardey

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I don't think you're being made a fool of, Ravi - I think you have just not managed the transaction efficiently. She can't make you accept a low payment. You can't make her pay you more than she's comfortable with. Don't ruin a friendship over it - just explain that you can't do the work for less than $x. And remember what she's hoping to make isn't real yet, so don't let that embitter you. Figure out your price, state it, and accept or not the deal.
 

Ravioli

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I have been a graphic designer. I'd be very skeptical of that $5K per month, unless she has a *solid* business plan, capital investments, and experience in this business. She could have all that, and a percentage could still be risky...because good businesses go sideways or down all the time. I'm guessing this friend has little experience, or she would have known to hammer out a detailed contract between the two of you. That capital investment I mentioned? That's to float the business during its opening year or so, and pay creditors like you.

What you describe? I would have charged $100 for the first piece, half down upon signing, half on delivery or no more than 30 days after. After that you charge her 5% per every week late, accruing weekly. For the whole job? $500 to $800 depending on complexity. She gets three free changes per designed piece, after that another 5% fee added per each change beyond three. You make sure you never take on a job you can't ace. You ace every project you take on. You have respect for your work, and demand your clients do the same.
Yeah, see, that's what good business people do. Me, I'm "Sure, whatever, here's my PayPal DUDE WTF". I'm keeping your business model for future cases though, so thank you!

My option would be to salvage the friendship and any possibility (slight) of further economic benefit, be honest about how uncomfortable you are, do only the first piece(s) agreed upon, and tell her (kindly) to go look on Fiverr for the rest. Then step back. She may be a friend but she's probably not going to ever be a good business risk.
I'm feeling compensationally insulted right now I'm not sure there's anything worth salvaging. Today is her deadline for the third piece, don't think I've even started, hell where the f... my money for the first two at...

I get that money is tight. The only thing you will get out of this is a meager payment and maybe some portfolio pieces.
LOL nope they're hideous. "I was like, this is the progress so far, what do you think?" and a second later it's up on Facebook, "perfect" and I'm like, I was gonna change a billion things OMG.

If you haven't pitched to that agent I mentioned, do it now. Keep writing if you can. Find any scut job you can, even for just a little while. This friend of yours won't do you any financial favors.
I'm still so insecure about whether or not it's finished or good enough to be pitched AND I'M SHIT AT PITCHING! I suck at anything invovled in presenting myself or my work in a desirable manner. I do good stuff, and then when I try to market it, it's as if I marinade it in dog crap and throw it at the audience like, "Here, if you rinse it off, you'll find something kinda cool I want you to buy, thanks bye".
Got a stripper job now, and unfortunately was kicked off a medical experiment because I wasn't quite miserable enough or else woulda been paid there, too. Applied for 2 pet shops, maybe that'll yield something.

Yeah, the fact that your friend is being so stingy is worrying both on a business and friendship standpoint. Even though she said she found someone else with a similar offer, I would wonder if her offer to you is based more on the fact that you're a friend instead of what you're actually worth (I've seen that happen before).
It's asinine really. She repeats I'm the best and she really wants me, though she blurted out (how do you blurt in writing) that I'm not her first choice either.

I've spoken with my friend who is a musician, label owner, and event producer. He obviously needs stuff done for him, but the cheapest he ever got from a designer friend, was $175... a piece...

I'm thinking about offering her a package deal of $120 (3 logos plus the character), or if that's no good, we can part ways at $50 for the currently finished 2 logos. Bleh kinda price, but 3 digits are 3 digits.
 
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chompers

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I've spoken with my friend who is a musician, label owner, and event producer. He obviously needs stuff done for him, but the cheapest he ever got from a designer friend, was $175... a piece...
His experience is considerably more than yours, I'm willing to bet. His time is literally worth more than yours at this stage. You cannot expect to be paid the same when you have less experience. Also, the job scope could have been considerably more extensive, including actual design (conceptualizing) work.
 
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Ravioli

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His experience is considerably more than yours, I'm willing to bet. His time is literally worth more than yours at this stage. You cannot expect to be paid the same when you have less experience. Also, the job scope could have been considerably more extensive, including actual design (conceptualizing) work.
He was the client, not the artist. It was just logos he needed for his label or a layout for concert tickets. Basically, similar workload as mine. And whatever my time is worth... if you say I'm the best, you can pay me like the best....
 

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One of the number one skills you need in business that you need to learn is how to fire clients. Especially those who claim to be friends. This is business, not grade school. Take your marbles and go home.
 

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If she doesn't really know what she's doing and doesn't have much money to spend (which is how it sounds to me), you might want to just quickly finish up the job, take the $40, then be "too busy" to bother with any more of it. That's what I'd probably do, if it was a friend. I don't think it's any reflection on you, more that this chick just isn't ready for prime time lol. I wouldn't play hardball with a friend over a few bucks. Better imo to just get out of it gracefully and hopefully keep the friendship. Maybe just don't be shy about hitting her up for a favor or two in the near future. :p
 
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Ravioli

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Hmm... I just offered her either the 2 finished logos for $55 (I'm such a ho), or all 4 she asked for for $110. Cheap af but the highest I feel I can get in this situation. Any less and I'll hate the both of us.
 
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