I am trying to budget the next 12-24 months out. We hope to have value-added product for a regional market next year, national in 2-3 years, if we can figure out the shipping. One thing I know I need to spend money on is artwork. DIY is not going to cut it for our high-end target customers. For those that have spent your hard-earned cash, would you mind sharing the range of what you spent at start-up, rebranding if needed, and ongoing? We will need artwork for the whole shooting match: labels, website, printed collaterals.
Right now the question is about design work services, not cost of labels or other goods. Help me put some hard numbers into the spreadsheet if you can, or at least a reality check if my dream artist comes back with something crazy for a quote.
I typed in a response, then deleted it, the first time you posted--because I didn't have anything incredibly useful to say. But I will try to lay out the issues and questions.
The numbers can range ALL over the map. We literally paid for a logo design with raw milk barter and the website was pretty stock godaddy templates. We had friends spend 25K on logo and website design. In a double-blind test, you wouldn't know which was which. There is so much good material out there available to anyone on the web that you have to spend a LOT of money to get something that looks better than basic free/included templates.
Do you need photos? Can you DIY photography? We have enough camera gear to do most of what we need. Photographers can be had cheap or expensive, they can be worth the money--especially if you have a hard subject to shoot, whether that is kids or macro detailed shots. EDIT: YOU can do photography (very well, LOVE the cover shot on the stray arrow page), but am leaving it here for others not gifted in that way.
What style of artwork? You would be amazed what running a picture through a photoshop filter will do, you can turn a picture into tie dye if you want.
The biggest things!
1. Get people who you like their style. Don't get someone "award winning" in an unrelated style and make them do things to your taste, don't get someone that "can do anything." Finding someone who naturally does things the way you want them.
2. THE logo is a one-time deal (hopefully) so a little time and money there is OK, but not too much. You have to spend a LOT of money to get better than free/cheap.
3. Pictures for new products are where you get nickeled and dimed to death, both in money and TIME--waiting an extra month to work into the photog's schedule just doesn't work for timely product releases in some markets.
4. Marketing costs can and will always exceed the budget. So budget what you can afford and stick to it.
5. Publicity is FREE! Proper use of facebook and blogs are PRICELESS. They add a personal touch to a small business that is impossible for corporations to replicate.
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A student of mine just had some logo/branding work done for his product (aged 18 and he has designed his own commercially viable product and has companies queueing to license it from him - makes one feel a little inadequate.).
He used an online outsourcing marketplace type thing for this, where people who do logo design compete to win the contract with the best design. I think he paid around £200 and had over 100 different professional designed logos to choose from. I can't remember which one he used unfortunately.
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The thing that's killing me is that I could probably do the logo for someone else. I'm clear on our message and who are target market is. But it's like doing dentistry on yourself, just not a good perspective!
I have a dream artist for our labels that I've started a conversation with. We just haven't talked dollar signs yet. I don't want to cheap out, but I don't want to be a chump either. One thing I do know is that rebranding after a few years is a mess, so it's worth putting some thought and cash into it now. Well, after this spring's trees are paid for.
R Scott wrote: Do you need photos? Can you DIY photography? We have enough camera gear to do most of what we need. Photographers can be had cheap or expensive, they can be worth the money--especially if you have a hard subject to shoot, whether that is kids or macro detailed shots. EDIT: YOU can do photography (very well, LOVE the cover shot on the stray arrow page), but am leaving it here for others not gifted in that way.
Aw shucks! I haven't been shooting as much as I should around here. I get so busy doing stuff that I forget to grab the gear and document. Again, it's harder to be the active observer when it's your own project. Photog friends who come visit often get much better shots than I do because their perspective is fresh. I just see the Clampettitis (the condition of living like the Clampetts of Beverly Hills).