5 Minute Logos Makes Designers Go Bat Shi!t Crazy

© GL Stock Images

I’m the first one to slam designers for agreeing to a bastard client’s refusal to pay more than $50 for a logo.  I was, however, struck by the brilliance of a designer who offers logos done in five minutes for five dollars with no changes, no design-by-committee, no “my ten year old daughter didn’t like it” and answers the frequently asked question, “can I art direct you?” with the reply, “I need your business name, type of business and your email address. You can suggest any ideas you have, but since you’re a cheap-ass only paying $5 we’ll more than likely just ignore your request and exercise our design prerogative as we see fit. (no whining).” In fact, the response to the question, “what if I don’t like what you do?” brings the righteous spanking of, “once again we already know you’re a cheap-ass so more than likely you won’t like our idea.  Life is full of gambles though so live on the edge, toss your five spot in the ring and lets rock and roll!” The designer, named Von Glitschka (AKA “Vonster”) has gotten some impressive attention from his web site offering of “5 minute logos” (5ive Minute Logo) and why not? The idea is innovative, cool and the logos are actually fun and would work better than the six-figure payout for the recent ebay logo redesign. Even Arby’s and their new, horrid logo should have spent $5 for one of these. They are, of course, worth much more than $5, even for a mere five minutes of execution time.  The thought behind them is simple, to the point and tells the whole story at a glance. THAT is the principle of a successful logo. Vonster’s site is as hilarious as his simple, colorful and whimsical logos. He obviously knows it’s a joke and he’s laughing harder than anyone else. Unfortunately, on a Design Taxi article about 5ive Minute Logo, designers, or those claiming to be designers were not amused. Critiques, accusations and, with all the blood spilled, many leaving bilious comments turned on each other like a shark feeding frenzy, except sharks are kinder. When you critique someone’s design work, it’s probably a good idea to not leave tracks to your own portfolio so others can see your talent level and…GASP!… perhaps tell you what they think of your design abilities. Hey, gang! When you get the press Vonster has, then you’ll be asked for your opinions.  In the meantime, mouths shut and minds open. There’s a great lesson here on innovation and marketing.

© David Lanham

This isn’t the first time a designer has come up with a unique way of making a few dollars with quick work. One of my favorite self-initiative stories is about an injured creative with time on his hands and a need for income. David Lanham is a designer at the Iconfactory and responsible for the ultimate Twitter icon Ollie the Twitterrific bird; he broke his foot while playing soccer. That meant that the poor guy was relegated to staying off his feet at home. “Rather than wallow in self-pity, he decided to use the opportunity to keep himself from going completely Rear Window and offer up his design skills to the large Web community” said an article on this initiative— and successfully so! For $50, David would do a one hour portrait of the client for an online avatar. $50 an hour with no art direction, no changes, no BS? Not a bad way to make a living if you can do it eight hours a day, five days a week. The math, comes out to $2,000 a week or $100,000 a year for 50 weeks and two weeks of vacation.  Vonster won’t become rich from doing five dollar logos, unless he can fill eight hours a day with a constant flow of work, which will gross him $2,400 a week or $120,000 a year with two weeks off. Keep Lanham and Vonster in mind the next time a client has more changes on that $500-$1,000 logo project as you crank out more sketches for your third week of revisions.

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