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Design Sale | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Design Sale

an interesting design pricing strategy: if you use the design it's complimentary, if you don't it will cost you $10,000

A variation of the above quote was mentioned to me tonight. I was working on an update to the DesignNotes “brand” when that pricing concept came up. Upendra who’s the CEO of Daylife where I work offered to hand draw my logo for free. When I asked him what it would cost, he said nothing. But if I didn’t use it, it would cost me a hundred bucks. He aptly calls it Shardanand’s Gambit. Of course he was joking (I think), but it raises an interesting proposition. As absurd as the question is, if you had the choice once in a while working with a client that would pay you more for not using a design than if they did—would you take the job, and what outcome would you want?

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  • http://youngandbrilliant.net ninakix

    That seems like it would be particularly useful for young designers who are trying to build up their portfolio and support themselves at the same time…

  • davingreenwell

    Well, you could twist it to mean what it would cost your business to have a weak identity… and the cost of the logo being used would be offset by increased sales.

    Dunno. I don't see a real revenue model in this practically. If you did good work, how would you make money as a designer?

  • jamieallsop

    I agree with ninakix. If you are a young designer whatever the outcome would be you are in a win win situation, you get to design for a company which gets you experience as well as help you build up your portfolio and support yourself.

  • Christopher Fahey

    For some reason this reminds me of the Zappos employee policy of paying employees to quit (the idea was that if you didn't quit, you must really like working there and must be worth keeping). This pricing model seems also like a test: if you like my work, let's have a relationship, if not, I'll take the money and move on.

  • http://citizenscholar.com/ Randy J. Hunt

    We've been here before, though post-project. When a client isn't using something properly, and we have an on-going relationship, I've said “Look, trust us on this, we won't send over the last invoice for that part…if you follow through with it.” I don't think this could scale for very large projects. It certainly couldn't for our business.