Logo Design Rejects – Should we sell them as ‘stock logos’?
Having been a graphic design studio which specializes in logo design and illustrations for years, there are quite a lot of unused design proposals piling up (as sketches on papers) on our desks or digital files filling up our hard drives, collecting dust. I’m not concerned about our rejected illustration works because most of them can be sold as stock illustrations which can be a great source of passive income. The bigger issue here: our unused logo designs. Should we keep, discard or sell them?
Fact is, there are so many different factors to be considered before selling a logo design as-is. When branding is involved, it’s just not that easy to decide.
With hundreds of rejected logo design concepts and proposals, we are having a hard time keeping track of them. We even have lost quite many of them because of fried hard drives, missing data CDs and DVDs etc. Every time a client hires us for a logo project, we usually end up collecting at least 5 unused design concepts in the end. Sometimes, if not all the time, I personally think those unused concepts were even better visually and conceptually than the final ones chosen by clients!
This really got me thinking. I want to make our rejected logo concepts useful somehow, and one reasonable option is to sell them ‘as-is’, as pre-made logos. Quality wise, they are definitely above average (yes, I’m being a bit subjective here, but some of them even made it to several logo design books and featured on several web sites, so they can’t be that bad right?) Furthermore, Wizmaya is quite well-known for its illustrative approach to logo designs, so they stand better chance in the competition against the generic, common, abstract logos. Definitely a niche market, but I’m after it. However, I do have my doubts and own concerns about selling ‘stock’ logos.
1. Will it hurt our reputation?
Last thing I want is to be branded ‘Cheap Logo Designer’ by the community. Usually, by selling cheap ready-made logos, people will judge that you are a second-rate designer who lives in one of those poor, third world country, who still lacks the experience and worship the dollar (well they mostly get the country part right though). This will eventually lead to many, MANY cases of me turning down (prospective) clients because they thought we can create them a fully customized logo for $50 or less! I have worked hard in the past 2 years to build up Wizmaya’s reputation and convincing clients that we are worth our rates. I surely don’t want this stock-logo-selling decision throws me off-balance again.
2. Where to sell them?
There are plenty of web sites which you can join as a contributor and put your stock logos up for sale on their sites. Finding them is the easy part. It is a lot harder (edit: VERY HARD) to find out whether those sites are well-reputable, has fair pricing, offer decent commission cut for the designer, and offer exclusive license (one-time purchase) for the logos. I personally don’t want to join stock logo sites which are full with gazillions of clip-artsy, ugly logos. Again, we have a reputation to maintain. I have come up with a short list of sites that are worth experimenting (Brandstack, 99design Logo Store, Graphicriver), but I will discuss them in more details another time, in another article. Best solution for now in my opinion? Just sell the logos via your own web site. Less traffic, but your rules!
3. How much?
Another hard-to-answer question. Selling ready-made logos is definitely different from creating a logo design from scratch, so logically the price tag for stock logos should be lower (cheaper). But how much cheaper? For me, it really depends on the logo concept / idea itself as well as the license involved. Great logo visual concept is not that easy to come up with, so they should be more expensive. Add a few more bucks when a ‘smart’ brand name is also provided, and domain name is still available. (This is why we always try to come up with a good, original brand name to complement our stock logos for sale). So how much? Roughly about $450 for exclusive license, and somewhere around $50 for non-exclusive license (multiple purchases possible) is decent. (Important note: I’m still not sure about this non-exclusive license for a logo, but apparently they exist).
4. Should the logos be editable for further customization?
Face it, people just love to customize. Especially when it involves their brands, business, products or companies. For this reason, I think it’s always best to offer stock logos with generic fonts so they can always replace the brand name with their own’s. (Yes, that means ‘stock logos’ are actually ‘half-a-logo’s because you don’t really need to design the typeface! Yay!) Aside from that, any more customization is too far of a stretch in my opinion, unless the client can afford to pay us extra.
Those are the 4 main issues that I’m very concerned with in regards to selling our unused logo concepts as ‘stock logos’. At the moment I’m still experimenting a few things on different sites, targeting different markets. I’m being very cautious and always picky in selecting which logos to sell, with what license and where. I’ll keep track on the progress and hopefully I’ll be able to share some of the results with you guys in the future article.
So what about you? What’s your opinion? Do share!