Can I – as a designer – put my logo on a customer’s site?

Depends on the customer. Depends on the obviousness of the self-promotion.

Here’s my approach (over time) w/ 100+ clients:

  • If you’re working w/ a large corporation as a contractor, you can pretty much forget it. They won’t do it – and it’s pretty much inappropriate.
  • If you’ve pretty much ‘done it all’ in designing an entire site for a small company, you’re on firmer ground – especially if you’re also hosting the site for them. That’s been part of my one-stop-shop package for smaller clients.

Branding/Styling

The question here may be based on : “I did a design-y ‘coat of paint’ for this client. Am I entitled to self-promote?

Well, if you can sell it, then do it. Maybe the client feels generous, but you’re really just a contractor doing a relatively small & superficial part of the whole.

Scale of Work (Did you do an entire brand overhaul?)

The Value Proposition (Are you really that good?)

Relationship (How much does the client like you?)

BottomLine: Is your client willing to let you advertise on their site?

Site Design

In a more fully-featured engagement, you might be ‘doing it all’.

In some smaller-scale client projects, I act as a full service design agency:

  • Navigation
  • Content
  • Templates
  • Brand styling
  • Customer workflows & paths
  • Hosting

In a situation such as this, I feel justified that I can market my role heavily.

Be professional.

If you want to make it part of your business, then include the discussion as part of your up-front negotiations. Show how it can be done tastefully – and in a non-distracting manner (‘Dueling logos’ can be confusing and off-putting). A byline is one thing. Your brand logo is another level altogether.

Framing question:

How often do you see a designer’s logo (or even byline) in any other venue? ‘nuff said

© The Communication Studio LLC
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