Noob Question: Designing a Sportswear Logo

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  • eighteen

    So I got my first ever paid freelance design job, a friend from college wants me to design a logo for a sportswear company he wants to start.

    I'm wondering if anyone here has done this before, and what kind of agreement should be made about designing a graphic for clothing. Right now he just wants to print a few t-shirts to promote his company, there are no plans for mass production, but if this company actually gets off the ground obviously there would be.

    How do I negotiate an agreement about how my designs will be used? There is always the off chance that his company will be very successful and I don't want to be kicking myself in 10 years for only charging $300 for a design that gets printed on hundreds of products and generates huge amounts of money.

    I know it's really unlikely that will happen, but I thought it would be important information to know for this job and in the future if this kind of opportunity comes up again.

  • Nairn3

    The most important consideration is how much money your friend has right now and how much/little you are willing to charge for it.

    Everything else is fairly theoretical and if you insist upon "I'll be needing n% at $y revenue over x years" he'll probably just go with someone else with no such strings.

    Realistically, just do a good job now and get involved in future work which you can charge more for.

    Or, follow the advice of someone who follows up with a proper example of contract - they do exist, after all.

    I just don't think it sounds like your situation will much benefit from over-complication.


    I mean, I suppose you could ask for 1% or something. Fuckit.

  • robotron3k4

    Sounds like a simple ask, just needing a logo design to start a company. I would keep the initial cost humble in the event he gains traction and has more design needs. FYI and IMO a typical logo cost from a good small shop is 2500 USD, this would include releasing with Global rights. So, being that he's starting out, you could put together a one page contract that says you'll do the logo for a modest fee (say $300-$500 range) and give them regional rights to use it. Put an additional clause to pay you x,xxx If they want all the rights globally. For me I always try to charge a bit on higher side, as the client put more blood in the game, the get more serious. If it's too cheap, they think it's cheap. Just a thought... Hope that helps.

  • grafician1

    This sounds like the Nike story might repeat itself?...…

    $35 in today's money is around $230 so if you get $300 for the logo now, then after 10 years you also get some stock worth half-a-milli sounds like a good deal!

  • ben_2

    Your second paragraph kind of sums it up.

    Your friend is starting something they want to invest as little capital into as possible, in the hopes that something about the logo on a shirt will catch with enough people that they can spin some sort of company together with the earnings from.

    These opportunities will come up multiple times through your career without a doubt. They'll range from entirely worthless to potentially life-changing from a financial or portfolio perspective.

    On top of what Nairn said, both of you have relatively little to lose in this equation. I'd look for enough beer money to get you through the project along with a percentage in the "company" which should be linked to gross sales or net profit.

    Here's a little inspiration - 7 years ago I did the branding for a small juice bar for a friend who couldn't afford my typical rate. We worked something where the $ compensation was respectful both ways and I had a little stake in the future of the company. The company has been super successful - to the point of generating a reliable passive income for my family.

    On the other hand, I also lost close to $50k once on an equity deal that went to shit.


    • Haha wow! thanks for sharing your experience.eighteen