Comment on: A Pro-Bono No-Go! – part 2 of 3!

No Go 02a

Jim Leonardson commented:

Some points I would like to make—pro bono comes from the legal term pro bono publico, “for the public good”. An attorney defending a client pro bono if their civil rights have been violated is in effect, defending civil liberties for the general public. No attorney is going to do you real estate closing pro bono. If a prospective client comes to me using the phrase pro bono I’ll be referring to it as
a “freebie.” That’s what it is.

My policy would be ‘No work without a contract’ the contract would state what would be no charge and at what point charges would start. Suppose you had a corner grocery store and you gave out coupons for a free quart of milk. The coupon would have terms and an expiration date. You don’t want to be giving out free quarts all the time. An expiration date on your logo freebie would let the client know there’s a time budget on design work.

At an early stage I would take the time to describe the design process and emphasize that I’m not throwing away the process just because it’s not a paying job. I may go so far to say that because it’s a freebie, I get 100% creative control, take it or leave it.

Designing a logo by itself shouldn’t be a full project. An identity design is the project and a minimal identity package is a business card, letterhead and envelope. That way the client isn’t left to his or her own devices when it comes to implementing the identity. Perhaps the logo design work would be free but the logo would not be a deliverable. The agreement could be that the client gets an account with your design firm and the logo is stored on his or her account; “This logo is in your file with us. Whenever you need a new application of this logo our design firm will open a job ticket and send an estimate form (contract) ready for you signature.” So you get return business. The alternative would be to negotiate a rights transfer of the trademark at market price.

Jim Leonardson

About Nate Marks

We live and work in a world of visual images.
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