Before you read this,
[a] I love the USA
[b] do not start a boxing match on my blog... this is to help people
[c] pick up the Graphic Artist Guild Handbook Designers and stop charging $50 for logos, $300 for websites, $25 for blog headers. Even when I graduated from Syracuse University in 1999 I found in no section of this book a logo design for under $1000 and they went up to $100,000.
I see this everywhere now. Free this free that and amateurs trying to do a skill they have no business doing. I commend a way for the world to be able to afford a great design on a limited budget but $50 logos, c'mon! I pay more for gas in 2 weeks. Fuel that ruins the world. I think we can take a step back and look at how and what we spend our hard earned cash on and when approached with the idea of buying a dress at Prada, go for it. Seize the day. Buy it and wear it 100 times instead of 25 frocks from a tag sale. Hire a good contractor and build the house right. If you cannot afford it, it is not the right time. BUT, whatever you truly need and want, save your money and get things done right and buy quality. I have sadly heard from several of my design clients in the last 2 years that they hired someone who was not capable to complete their projects. They ended up spending more money to fix their branding. We have all been there and that is how you learn.
I want to clarify a few things...
1. printing, letterpress or offset with a quality artisan printer is not a few bucks, It will cost you
2. design is a skill, not a mass produced modern entity - it takes some form of training even if self taught and that goes for photography too
3. search around for quotes on your projects, all projects - chances are those that are super high may be overpriced, those super low are probably not worth it
Bless those French women, and we have all heard about them, they know how to buy clothing and as it appears Europeans have the right idea about food. When I visited France and Iceland for 2 weeks in January, and I have been abroad many times, I have to admit I wished the USA would take a hint, which I am slowly starting to see, and stop OVER-SIZING things. Over-sizing can often reduce or lower the value of other things. "My entree is so small", "this top did not come with matching pair of pants", blah blah blah. Seriously, choose wisely when looking for bargains because most of mine have bit me in ass and I end up spending more money to get the dress, design, food, vacation, I really wanted. And, ahem, a sale is not what I am talking about here. Sales are good. INK+WIT items have gone on sale to honor those who may need a break and also it is part of retailing items. But, my items are high quality and I understand how I priced them based on what went into them for design and production.
Bargain basement plumber = bad idea. Inexperienced intern rolling out full marketing campaign on their own, (sorry) bad idea! Unless you are a freak of nature like Doogie Howser.
It is all about valuing someone's skill, craft, time, ideas, talent, and vision to produce a "thing" that reaches you and serves you. Everything is an exchange of energy. It makes me feel better when I know someone put loving care into what I purchased even if it cost me a lot of money. So here is to all of you out there who have kept up your valued price, customer service, quality of product, honesty, integrity, and asked for what you deserve and bought what you love. Well built things are built to last and solve problems.