How to respond to clients

Okay so below are the 2 logo designs i sent to a client.
i sent her a logo questionnaire, and although i asked to send inspiration logos she liked, she didn’t really have anything in mind, she just wanted it to look clean and professional.

i sent these and this was her reply.

“My partner liked them however we found that both designs are very similar, would you be able to create something different so we can compare?”

she said he liked them, but wanted more?
am i supposed to ask her what she liked about them, or which she liked more, and we can tweak it?

please keep in mind. i am not a big agency that designs multiple logos and charges big $$.
i am a freelancer who likes to create logos for small businesses. she knew she was getting 2 logos designed.
is this a case of them trying to see what else i can come up with because they dont even know what they want?
i get confused with how to respond with these sort of clients?

Your contract should be structured to cover clear quantification of deliverables at each stage of the process. You must also be willing and able to educate your clients as to how the process works, and that extended periods of trial and error resulting from a lack of their input will cost extra. Make it clear to them that having you blindly run ideas past them is not in the best interest of an optimal result, nor will it be free of charge. Frame it as though you’re on their team, encouraging them to pursue a direction you’ve already presented “so we don’t blow the whole budget on the first step.” You’ve got good concepts there; believe in them and sell.

A big agency wouldn’t design multiple widely varying logos either.
But a big agency wouldn’t also “just be doing logos.”

You could explain that based on their answers to your “questionare” and after many hundreds of sketches based on that information, these are the two best designs. They aren’t wildly different because…you fill in the rest.

Your concept of what you are supposed to deliver when designing a BRAND is a little bit skewed. Generally the process goes,
You talk to the client
You do the research into their industry, target demographic, competition, company ethos, etc.
You ask more questions once that research is done, unless you have none, which would be strange.
You do literally dozens of sketches
You come up with usually 3 concepts based on your research, being careful not to show the client something you hate (because they will invariably pick it.)
You do revisions to the selected concept based on more back and forth.
You flesh out the logo, creating a lockup and a brand standard.
You provide a packet of logos based on that brand standard.

Of if your contract says you’ll provide them with two pretty pictures and they have to choose one, that is what you do and they takes what they get.

Of the two you show, only the first one reads as you intend. The second has a bug in the middle of it not reading as a letter.
Did you write that tag? Are they implying other people can’t do their work well enough that they require something made of silicone to seal up the holes? Not exactly a customer win-over comment. It could be phrased differently.

regarding the slogans, it was horrible - but yes i gave them the below, and they still went with what they wanted (which is above)

  1. SEAL THE DEAL WITH SILICOSEAL
  2. WE’LL HELP YOU SEAL THE DEAL
  3. HELPING YOU SEAL THE DEAL

below is what i sent in an email when asked how much for logo design. Basically i get work through word of mouth, in my demographic, everyone has their own business and come to me because i help them organise the brand and printed material. they just want a brand put together, but can’t seem to convince them to sit and do more research to help with the logo inspiration…

can anyone please read the below, and advise me what to reply?

Logo Design – 2 Concepts

In this process, you will receive up to 8 revisions (which means we can tweak the logo), but it should be a smooth process as I will send you a logo questionnaire to pick your brain.

After you have finalised the logo, we will then go onto playing with colours, textures any fonts.

Basically we start building the brand personality and overall look.

I will also mock the logo up on different things suitable to your business so you have a better preview of the look and feel of your brand.

Working on business cards, stickers, etc will come very easy once the logo is finalised!

should i say to them
"since he likes them both, can you please advise which one he is more drawn to?, otherwise please send through logo inspiration so that we can work towards that direction?

arghh! i go blank in these situations loll

Okay, I am going to be the devil’s advocate – or the client’s advocate – here.

First of all, let me say that you did some nice work. Showing the primary logo, secondary logo, reverse, vehicle, and color palette is great. And the logo work itself is nice – though I am more drawn to the logo on the left since, as Print Driver said, the logo on the right doesn’t really read “silico.”

That said, here’s where I’ll be the devil’s advocate. In some ways, these are the same logo. They both use the double S reversed out of a shape. If I were in your shoes and this was my work, I probably wouldn’t have shown both of these as two different concepts. I would have shown the one on the left and a second option that used a different graphic.

My strong suspicion is that that’s what the client is seeing. They probably like this work, as they should, but feel they are two options that are very similar and would like to see another option using a different graphic device.

The question that comes up, and your original question, is how to you handle this.

I don’t think you have to go back to them and ask what they like and don’t like or what they want to see. The way I’m reading it, I think it’s pretty clear. So I’d say you have two options. Option 1, stick to your guns. Tell them you said you’d deliver two logos, you delivered two logos, any additional work would be billed over and above the estimate. Option 2, fall on your sword. Tell the client that, in hindsight, you see that the two options are very similar and that you’ll design one more that doesn’t use the double S to give them another option.

Without really knowing you, knowing the client, knowing all of the communication that went on, etc., I’d lean towards option 2 if I were in your shoes. You might have to bit the bullet on the extra time incurred and chalk it up to a learning experience.

Again, I think you did nice work here. But I would say that you have one concept executed a little differently. Show them two unique concepts.

Hope that helps.

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This thread spells out an all-too-typical client situation and is a good example of why I dislike designing logos — especially for naive, small-business clients who’ve never worked with designers, get too caught up in their personal tastes, and see their logo design as a one-off project instead of being part of a larger visual brand development package.

At the risk of repeating what everyone else has said, it’s necessary to establish up front in a written contract exactly what the deliverable are — for example, three different ideas and two sets of revisions. Anything more than that gets charged at $XXX dollars per hour.

Failure to set clear parameters up front all too often leads to a never-ending sequence of scope creep, revisions, tweaks, delays, hassles, small favors and wasted time. It can be difficult setting up these kinds of clear initial boundaries since inexperienced clients feel uncomfortable with them.

Honestly, I walk away from most of these kinds of freelance jobs when the initial discussions lead me to believe the client doesn’t understand or feels uneasy with the process. I don’t need the stress or hassle.

Logos are my favorite project to work on. There can be challenges in managing the client / business end of a logo project, but the finished product is rewarding.

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