Barely even a week since they started this July, CLIC Co., a graphic design business operating primarily on Facebook, immediately drew flak, in particular, over their incredibly low rates: for a measly 150PhP or about $3, you get to don your brand its very own logo.
A no-hassle, ready-to-use logo, all yours for 150PhP.
That alone was enough to start a wildfire across creative circles and niche groups of both corporate and freelance artists. “Your price is hurting the industry!” “you should know your worth!” Some went the extra mile: “this is why people look down on the arts!”
Context is crucial
Once the dust settled, CLIC Co. finally had time to explain: they’re just looking out for small businesses who are struggling to get things off the ground. Worth is subjective, they also shared, and they find theirs in helping out those who can’t afford steeply-priced marketing strategies and motifs.
Plus, they admitted that their logos aren’t lavish to look at anyway; their clients want their bare minimum, and the bare minimum is what they get.
Too noble of a cause? Well, principles can differ between any two businesses, as CLIC Co believes. Some people seem to believe so too; since their launch, comments of support have been pouring in from people whose businesses they’ve helped with their less-than-luxurious design services.
The real cost of creative work
It sounds like everything checks out — their rates are low because they cater to a market who wouldn’t ask and couldn’t pay for anything better than what they make — so where’s the real beef? Why do artists despise cheap design rates so much?
Let’s set aside the technical outlays for a bit — the expensive materials, the steep art schooling, and the pricey licenses artists procure — because these don’t compare to the real cost of creative work: instinct.
In principle, anyone can choose to attend art school and get a degree in design, but real competition lies in the artist’s instinct. It’s what elevates the bare minimum to good, and the good to truly great, which should shine through the artist’s every piece of work.
What you see is what you get
So what? Is not knowing this harmful to the client? They would hardly know, much less care, what does and doesn’t go into a logo, as long as it’s cheap and theirs to use. Is it harmful to the industry? Sadly, there isn’t enough data to prove that artists’ rates influence people’s standards for design.
The true danger, though, comes due. Making the price tag the best part of your work keeps your clients — and in time, clients at large — from knowing what goes into what they pay for, regardless if it’s a charity or otherwise.