What We Do Is Custom - even "easy" jobs take time/effort

This is a project I did for a friend. He already had his logo designed, but he wanted it on leather patches he could put on his hats. Easy enough right?

This are all the samples I made so he could make a decision.

Design Iteration

The original logo was black and white counterchanged (like the patch upper left). In leather, that required cutting it from two different pieces and layering them together. Not hard, but both time and material intensive. The rest were alternatives I came up with. The solid black is obvi a no-go. While you can read everything up close, from anything more than about 6" distance it just become a black blob. The light unfinished leather looks fine at first, but on a hat it’ll absorb sweat slowly - and that means the leather will turn darker brown starting at the bottom…hardly something you’d associate with quality! The engraved brown had the same unreadability problem at the bottom. Both painted ones were just eh.
He went with my favourites, the solid white and the pre-finished brown.

I would like this to serve as a reminder for folks who are talking about selling custom pieces. Even this ridiculously simple job required 9 samples before a final could be run. Not a big deal when it’s a 3" leather patch…but keep it in mind!

The finals

(of which two had to be run because it turns out there was an open node that failed on just two!)


Some artists won’t go to all that trouble — they prefer to use their own judgment, and the client can take it or leave it.

For myself, I know if somebody wants me to do it in a way that I don’t like, or which goes against my grain, my heart won’t be in it.

Regardless, your point about it not being “easy” is spot on.


True words


The worst part about a client based business seems to always be the clients.


This is why, with any design, I try to limit it to 3 or 5 designs. The client will be able to choose between them more easily, versus being overloaded.

Regardless, great job on the samples and in having a happy client!


you get x number of designs/revisions at the original price. if you want more, you pay more. you have to set boundaries/limits, because otherwise clients will suck the life out of you and eat your profit. sometimes they’re just oblivious to the time cost, other times they just don’t care.


Exactly. This has worked very well for me over the time I’ve been a designer. People really are oblivious to the amount of time


100%. I only showed him the top 5, and the black was never going to be an option :slight_smile:

I do this with web designs. I had to fire one client when there were two people with “edit” permissions, and their ideas were 100% opposite each other. I fired them, and suggested that they decide what they want together, and get it in writing before they find another designer!
With hands-on stuff is frequently not the recipient who’s coming up with all the options - it’s my inability to let good be enough :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes, when good is just that, GOOD. is sometimes hard to arrive at.

Tinkering can kill the fun, the process, and the profits.


Exactly! I’m a web designer too, and I feel your pain :blush: I usually will give myself 2 hours, and if I don’t come up with anything better to swap out of the five, then I roll with it.


When a friend wants me to make something, I usually make them hang out with me for designing and while jobs are running. Then they get to see the glowforge or embroidery machine or whatever working, realize how much time these things take, and I don’t have to watch my machines like a hawk. I don’t leave them alone, just do some tidiying up in the same room. This strategy cuts way down on requests and gets me some company from good folks who are interested in the process of making things :slight_smile:


Nice job!


@gensd @Helene

That’s smart!


Remind’s me of Mike Monteiro: F*ck You, Pay Me - talk to creative folks


I hadn’t seen that before! Love :slight_smile:

All the comments from people saying “I had a difficult client, so I can’t back to watch this again” :smiley: