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What are the criteria for a contractor to get selected in a logo design job?

My question is for clients but I'll be happy if contractors also reply here.

If I'm applying for a logo design job what will you notice in me if you want to shortlist me for hiring? Given that I've 9-10 sample designs and a portfolio but no Odesk work history.

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2 things

1. You need to have an outstanding proposal letter that tells the client EXACTLY what you can do for him, and why you are the person for the job above all the other applicants.

2. You need to have an outstanding portfolio of work, with many different styles and uses for your graphics. AND, it needs to be better than the others the client is going to look at.

@Cate B. That was indeed very helpful

I'll be trying to do that from now on.
Here is a cover letter I've recently posted. If I write this way, is it going to work?
Although I've tried to take inspiration from different blogs on how to write cover letter.

Dear employer,

I'm a freelance Brand identity developer for Eyedentify Design & Media Solutions for the last 4 months. I've done works mostly on event logos/ logo for corporate flyers/ brand promotion. My sample logo works are available in my portfolio

This job is perfect for me since I was thinking about designing something similar as a sample work. Now with this job I really want to jump on this. My idea for this logo is very simple. A guy with a big pumpkin head with a Wink smile and he is waving his hands. The size of his head will be equal to the rest of his body. And the colors will be orange for face, red for eyes and mouth, and sky blue for the rest of his costume. The color scheme for logo will be orange and sky blue.

About my pricing, it includes my designing charge and research work. Since the logo will be having some depth, it will be taking some time to give the exact look I'm having in my mind.

My regular working hours are 8 am to 6:00 pm and 10 pm to 3 am GMT +5:30.
I'm also available via skype and gtalk during my working hours.

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter. I'll look forward to hear back from you.

Diptanu Paul

Get that 'employer' out of

Get that 'employer' out of there. They are not your employer (and never will be), nor your client at this time.

'this job is perfect' WTH

'jump on this' another WTH. Oh, and if they like it, they are gone to someone else cheaper and taking your idea with them.

'about my pricing' you talk too much.
'my regular working hours' they don't care. get the job done in their time frame.

now i understand

Now i understand which areas I need to improve. I have to be more specific about my details. Make some outstanding samples. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions.

"I can bring your thoughts

"I can bring your thoughts and imaginations to life( through my designs.)"

word 'through' ??? is that right?

of maybe (better):

"I am able to bring you thoughts and imaginations to life through my designs."

Your objective is suppose to be speaking to the client.

'through my desings', needs some sort of different wording here,
but in such a way that it still credits you to the ?????? (no idea).


oops.... never noticed it. Actually my overview is not going to stay the same. I'll be changing the content until I've a cover letter which totally explains me. I guess I've learn from my mistakes like this one.

Don't make the cover letter

Don't make the cover letter too expansive.

Target what the client wants.

That's what happen to me

That's what happen to me. I was about to write "overview" instead I wrote cover letter.

I've always tried to explain what the client wants. Right now I'm doing a research work before the cover letter submission. I guess it will take an hour before I get to know about 'what to do'. The company is new and there is no details except its name and the name of its work area. I'm trying to find out how other companies of same category is working in that area. I guess it is the right way.

But by the time it reaches the client area I'll be standing in a huge crowd.

The more you do this....

The more you do this, the easier it gets.

I have to give you props for taking the time to ask questions and learn before jumping right in there without thinking or knowing what you're doing. Good job.

Thank you

Thank you. Actually I would like to thank everyone helping me with their precious replies. It helped me to understand the tactics of bidding for a job. Odesk community is an amazing guidance for freshers.

I've hired several times for

I've hired several times for logos and have only ended up using a few. What I look for is originality, quality and suitability.

What I mean by this is their portfolio should contain graphics that they, themselves, have hand drawn. I'm not a fan of templates or artwork that are bundled with design software.

Quality mean that every single logo in their portfolio should be top notch. I'd rather see 10 clean, simple logos that could very potentially be used by a million dollar company than 20 logos, where 3/4 of them look like they need revision & polishing.

Lastly, it comes down to style. One artist (yes...artist - not just a 'contractor') may be 10x better than another, but their style may not be best suited to my needs. I'm not going to recommend the best anime artist in the world to do a logo for the local biker bar. Nor would I be very likely to hire a Goth tattoo artist to do a children's book for the local church.

If the contractor makes me feel secure that they did indeed create the items in their portfolio, I will hire them and see what comes of it. I also may hire more than one person for the same logo. Possibly give a third or fourth the logos designed by the first couple and ask them to take it to another level.

I have a guy right now who I use for myself and other clients. He's great with text and over-all image/branding.. but not great with custom artwork. Sometimes it takes a collaborative effort

I agree with what you said

I agree with what you said but for a good quality logo it takes a lot of time to get it perfect.

Recently I've done a logo for a racing company. I designed their initials in the shape of a racing car. It took me nearly 4 hrs to get it done. although it was a sample draft but I designed to make the clients believe that I can be better than others.

As a result the overall cost reached higher than the budget. At that time it becomes hard for me to convince them that I really want to work hard and I can negotiate in terms of price. But for that I need to get an interview which I don't get.
I don't understand what to show them in a small amount of time which will be convincing enough.

At the hourly rate you are

At the hourly rate you are asking for.. no client should complain if it takes you 10/20/30 hours or more. The BC Ferries logo (boat company close to where I live that shuttles people and cars back and forth from the mainland to islands), cost them $25,000. I know the people who did it and it isn't exactly a work of genius.

My logo guy from oDesk charges about $25/hr. It's fair because the end result is always within a budget I can afford to have him redo it a couple times. if your clients are complaining about 4 hours at a much lower hourly rate.. then you need to go after better clients. You'll quickly find the clients who pay the least are also the hardest to keep happy and who also tend to leave crappy feedback.

if it takes you 4 hours...that's fine. By now you should have a decent amount of experience to give a proper budget estimate to the client. Talk to them over the phone firs to make sure you know what they want. Will save you both a lot of time and headache.

Not that I'm going to because I already have a guy... but if I were to hire you for some logo work at your asking rate, I'd have no problem letting you work on it full time for an entire week! Forget the clients who can't afford 4 hours

There are lots of clients

There are lots of clients who pay very less compared to the amount of work. The worst part is contractors are there to work cheaper than that rate. Ultimately they win their low budget bids and also a 5 star feedback. This things really help them to get the high profile jobs.

I'm not saying that the clients are dumb but with increasing number of scammers(contractors) it is impossible for a new guy like me to win the bids over here.

The only thing I gained was a active candidacy. The client asked if had any work in my hand. As soon as I honestly said no, he stopped replying.

I've been rejected by 40+ clients. Still I didn't loose hope. I'm going to make some sample logo on some selected industry. Over here in Odesk I can learn many things. It is a very good platform.

I'm getting off topic.... so

I'm getting off topic.... so will try to steer back in the right direction

One thing you can do while you are searching for work and waiting to see if clients respond to your applications is work on building your portfolio.

Go through the other Logo Design job postings here and other freelance sites. Start writing a list of what kind of business each job is for. Then write down the budget. If you have Excel, you could do this in a spreadsheet.

After that, you could determine what is most in demand and what kind of companies statistically pay the most. Then - create some HIGH quality logos that these high volume niches demand.

You could visit their websites and see what quality of logo they ended up using (old job postings would work for this). Make yours just as good or better.

Measuring the competition is important. Setting their best work as your bottom standard is a good beginning. Then you need to figure out a way to make your personal relationship with the client one that builds loyalty and trust. be different.

Figuring out how to be different before you apply for jobs can be the difference between never landing an interview, or earning double or more than you expected and have to turn away offers. Honestly - this is the absolute truth.

Once you figure out what makes you different, then you can explain that in your cover letter. That should at least get you some interviews. Then once you land a couple jobs, more will come.

Success breeds success. <-- Donald trump said that, and he was right.

That's what I did. I know what makes me different from anyone else on these boards and probably the vast majority of contractors on this site. What makes my approach different is painfully simple, yet it's something that very few people bother to put time into. Find your something special about you. Relay that to potential clients and they will happily hire and refer you.

At any rate... it takes time to refine your profile and figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Just please, for the love of everything holy, don't try to be like the others. Figure out what they do. Add the best of their best to your standard service list, and then add more to it.

The first logo designer I hired on oDesk gave me several file types. Vector, jpg, bmp etc... different sizes of each. She gave me the font that she used. She gave me a nice thank-you note writen in a simple txt file and packaged it all up into a zip file.

NO ONE has ever given me the level of service she did. She was amazing!!

That's exactly the type of thing that will build loyalty, referrals and amazing feedback. She was different. She was thorough and very polite. On time and thoughtful of my wants. She earned a nice bonus with a raving review.

There's a perfect example of what makes someone different. It's something anyone can do (and should I think)... but don't. She was a professional - yet affordable.

Doubt about a line

Tony H. wrote:
Start writing a list of what kind of business each job is for. Then write down the budget.

The way you explained to me is really. It will surely help. And yes I know in which part I'll be different from others. Typography, shading, creating depth out of 2d image are my favorite area. And I'll be patient about my portfolio. Can you please elaborate the quoted line for me?

Doubt about a line

Tony H. wrote:
Start writing a list of what kind of business each job is for. Then write down the budget.

The way you explained to me is really good. It will surely help. And yes I know in which part I'll be different from others. Typography, shading, creating depth out of 2d image are my favorite area. And I'll be patient about my portfolio. Can you please elaborate the quoted line?

What I meant was, for

What I meant was, for instance; if you find that freelance sites have (for example) 5 main types of businesses that commonly look for cheap logos compared to local graphic companies, then you would learn more about hose types of businesses so when speaking with a potential client (or writing your cover letter) you will be able to relate to their specific needs. If you can talk to them in their own terms, they will be much more likely to hire you.

For example, you write down the type of business for 100 job postings and find that 10% were for labor based businesses (electricians, construction workers, yard cleaners, etc), 8% were from real estate companies, 5% small restaurants etc etc. maybe you discover that 70% of these companies in general are all probably worth under $50,000.... or maybe you discover that 90% of these companies are brand new etc

In your cover letter, you could mention that you have a particular understanding that a new company may require ___(fill in the blank)___, you understand the need to keep things under a very strict budget, you understand that in the (construction)industry most companies use a certain technique to stress a certain element of logo design (hard working/attention to time, budget/strength etc).

Whatever it may be... it is always good to know about their industry.

For example, I have had a few logos designed for charities. I really appreciate an artist who knows about charities. They know what a potential donor wants... they know that a potential donor may feel a particular connection with images of children and know that certain colors work particularly well (then explain the reasons why). What colors, shapes and images do the worlds largest charities that serve the same type of client and solicit funds from the same type of donors use? If you can explain why they use these design elements, I'd be MUCH more likely to ttrust you with my design than anyone else.

This is one basic reason why I make more per hour than most offering the same services on oDesk. I understand my potential client and only go after a small group of clients who require my niche services

Oh... also what I meant about

Oh... also what I meant about the budget is to see if there are any patterns of what sort of businesses typically pay more than others. No point in specializing in something that pays the least.

maybe after doing some homework you'll discover what kind of client to go for who is commonly willing to pay a couple hundred $$$ for a logo that takes you the same amount of time than a $40 logo. This is also something i learned about my services. I know what kind of client can afford to keep me long term and who needs me for only an hour or two per month. From this, I can custom write a cover letter to suit their particular needs. When they read my cover letter, they know that I understand them. You should see the wonderful replies I get to my cover letters. Clients are actually thankful and tell me it is the best they have ever seen (truth). I've had many compliments, and often client apologize because they wish they could afford to keep me longer. This comes from doing some homework and understanding who I'm targeting

your profile is excellent

your profile is excellent. Honestly I've never seen anybody working at this hourly rate. Your overview is extremely good. Specially when you said why you cant show any samples. The explanation will surely make someone think good things about you being trusted. The way you've explained your skills, reminded me of IBM ads.... funny but meaningful.

I've noticed that you have passed lots of test with high scores. Does taking test really helps. I have taken a Photoshop cs4 test and passed with top 20%. But my internal marks are not good. It doesn't mean that I'm not good in the low scoring areas.

I'm improving myself. I know it's not a walk in a park. But I'll achieve a success.

It's kinda funny to me that

It's kinda funny to me that people compliment my object as honestly I think it sucks. it really needs to be changed but I just don't use oDesk much and have become lazy about it. it could be much better

Uhmmm, I think tests help somewhat but honestly the quality of tests here are horrible. Some answers are downright wrong and outdated. I suppose they could help when it comes to first impressions. Many of the tests in my profile would typically require formal education or at least self study and a lot of book reading... but they are written so poorly that the answers are merely common sense for the most part. With that said however, I do think it would be worth investing some of your time in taking several tests and re-taking ones you didn't do well with. Everything helps. oDesk tests are more cosmetic than anything.

And yeah, my casual way of thinking is also one of the tools I use to relate to successful business folk. I speak to them on an equal level. There is no 'looking up' to each other. There is no such thing as Mr. ______. It's a casual first name basis thing from the beginning. if they figure they are on a pedestal in which I should admire, I have no interest in working with them. I want to work with people who joke around, yet expect a high level of execution. I find the stuffy types are usually the ones who achieve moderate success at best.\

Thanks for the reminder though.. I should really redo the objective and retake some tests... get them into top10% or better

You're going to do fine here. You just need to take your time, be patient and figure out your own way of doing things. What works for one person, won't necessarily work for another

There are too many

There are too many specifications of industry. At first it was about 50. After grouping it is around 20. Will go for another grouping. But the prices of logo design is very low here. Only selected clients offer good price & it is rarely available. And in my opinion the filtering process of job search needs to improve.

Now my goal for few days is to think different & make something amazing. For a try I searched for logo designing groups. But all the groups are mostly based on web technology and application development.

And your posts helped me in writing cover letters. I could see the difference myself. Still need to improve the introduction and closing areas of the cover letter.

Pen tool. Pen tool. Pen tool.

If nothing is coming in just keep sharpening up your portfolio. Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. it doesn't matter if you have 9-10 or 100 design samples to show, it's about quality. Better to have 1 or 2 tight pieces than pages of average. Anything you feel in your heart is just padding - lose.

With graphic-design I honestly believe you can be a rambling loon in your application and still land the job on the spot if your work is good enough.

fontophile, that's a cool thing

It is also a nice idea. I love working with fonts. There are many companies whose logo are just build with fonts and they look very beautiful. In my opinion if the style of font is good, it can reflect the meaning very easily. I saw the logo of good times. They made it really awesome just by tweaking the fonts.

ha, yeh. I actually took that

ha, yeh. I actually took that out of the reply (didn't want to overload), but you must have read it before I did. There are just so many brilliant books on fonts out there and this is must if you haven't seen it (just the trailer):

I hope

I hope it will be a good movie. The trailer showed importance about fonts of famous logos.

Font. In the singular. All of

Font. In the singular. All of those logos use Helvetica.