Luxgraphicus Design Agency


Putting a price on intellectual property of design?

You need more than a handshake.

How would you pay for the intellectual property of your business?

Specifically, the visual material which forms a vital part of the intellectual collateral associated with your business.

I’m not going to tell you the best way, or the cheapest way, or even my opinion here. I’m going to pose the question and provide some alternatives, then let you decide, or at least think about, the answers. Of course, if you’d like to discuss your ideas I’d love you to contribute to the blog here with comments and questions.

As designers, we’re creating intellectual property. But who owns it? Our clients commission us to do it. They pay us. (usually!) It’s created to be used in the operation of the business. But on what basis is it sold to the business? Does the initial fee cover the ownership of the intellectual property? Who owns copyright? Who has license to use the material?

Most of these are legal issues of course, which is not my area of speciality, although I do have some knowledge of copyright law and its application. I’m not going to dive into the deep waters of the legalities here!

But, as the owner of a design business, I am interested in how other business owners would be prepared to pay for the material created.

Recently I’ve been working on several approaches to licensing and payment for branding and identity projects. How would you be prepared to pay for the intellectual property which is so important to your business?

Here are some options;

Pay an upfront fee for the design work, and a license to use the work for the intended purpose. (later negotiation required for use beyond the original scope)

Pay a lesser upfront fee for the design work, with an ongoing (monthly or quarterly) fee for the license to use the work. (with outright transfer of the copyright after a negotiated period)

Pay a lesser upfront fee for the design work, with an ongoing premium on subsequent use of the work in designed and/or printed material. (with outright transfer of the copyright after a negotiated value of work completed)

Pay a greater upfront fee for the design work and full copyright ownership of the work. (no further negotiation required)

All have their strengths and weaknesses. There are, no doubt, alternatives too. As well as analogies from other industries.

As the owner of a design business I have my own preferred options, and as an innovator and entrepreneur, I can offer business owners added value through additional services within the licensing options, but which would the market support? (I’ll fill you in on the added value bits in subsequent posts!)

So which would you, as a small business owner or operator, be prepared to accept, to secure the intellectual property of your business?

Over to you…

Brian.

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Trees and small business branding

the best small businesses are watching their branding

What have trees got to do with branding?

Not much you’d think, on first examination. However, I was reading recently of the fears held in my home town of Canberra for the iconic trees of the “bush” capital. Seems that they may be in danger of dying, or at least becoming less healthy or prevalent, and thereby, diminishing that iconic effect associated with the bush feeling.

The article did propose a solution. One which used terminology familiar to my designer ears, or eyes in this case as I was reading.

I’ll paraphrase here, for clarity.

The urban forest is so important to the identity of the city. The recommendations of the investigation would inform the way in which the trees were managed.  The process would involve a tree audit to help manage and understand the forest.

Some key issues are identified here and relate directly to how any important resource should be handled. The resource in this instance is the identity of the city. In the case of a business it is the business identity.

The thing which is iconic to the identity in the case of Canberra, is its trees. What is it in the case of your business?

To make sure the identity is maintained, the iconic elements need to be measured and understood. This is done through an audit process. So to with a business.

So to lay this out in simple terms, audit and understand, then manage and maintain the iconic elements, in order to retain, re-inforce or build the identity.

Trees in Canberra, identity collateral in your business, there is little difference. The need to understand and manage is the same. You can achieve this through a logical and planned audit process, followed by a structured management system.

Luxgraphicus provides both the audit and management systems to its clients through it’s “unity” program, and then supports it with it’s own professional design and production services.

Want to know more? Contact us any time and we’ll be happy to arrange a meeting and discuss things in detail.

Brian.



What order your design?

the best small businesses are watching their branding

If you are beginning a new business venture, or new marketing push in an existing business, which requires collateral for its delivery, you’re probably going to need something designed to do it well.

Maybe its business cards, or marketing postcards. Perhaps fliers or brochures, menus or signs. You’ve probably decided a website is on the list. Your emails should have header and /or footer graphics too. Letterheads or invoices should carry the right look as well.

You’ll probably have at least a few of these things on your list, if not all, and perhaps several others which I haven’t included.

So which do you have designed and created first? With a limited budget there may be a need to stage or progressively produce them. What order is best?

Something was missing from the list above, did you spot it?

A designer will need to create this first, and most critical of pieces, before they can realistically think about all the others. Without this key element, all the others will lack cohesion and direction. The impact and recognition on their important viewers, your customers and clients, will be lost. Your vital marketing message will be diluted, possibly washed away all together.

The vital piece? Your business visual identity.

Without the set of rules and standards developed as a part of your identity, all subsequent collateral will be floundering. Sure, the identity will include a logo, but also the colours, typestyles, spaces and iconic appearance and feel which will represent your business. Rules will be established around which the rest of your critical business collateral can be developed.

With this development, the resultant material becomes a valuable component of the intellectual property of your business. Not something to enter into lightly.

This identity can, on initial inspection, appear to have a somewhat intangible nature. But consider the value and significance of all that it will influence and control, and you can begin to appreciate its ultimate value.

Be sure to give this value the respect it deserves, get the order of your design right, and devote appropriate time and resources to a most valuable component of your business.

The best small businesses are watching their brand, and they are designing it first.

Brian.



Business Network International (BNI) and Clear Communication

Every Thursday morning at 7am I attend a meeting of our local Business Network International (BNI) chapter. During this meeting we all provide a 60 second infomercial to the other chapter members and visitors. This allows everyone to find out a little more about Luxgraphicus, and to be on the look out for ideal clients to refer to us. I, in return, listen to their infomercials and endeavour to bring more business to them.

I thought this blog would be a good repository for the content of these 60 sec informercials, whilst also allowing others to learn more about Luxgraphicus and our ideal clients.

This weeks 60 secs follows…

Good morning all…
Brian Miller, Creative Director for Luxgraphicus, Design Agency

This week we are working with a clients ongoing need for promotional material.

A successful professional services partnership, their new service offerings require printed information which will inform their clients.

Luxgraphicus is creating a set of brochures and a booklet which will have their own appeal and connection, whilst still working within the overall set of materials we have already created for this business.

The result will be clear communication of where these services sit within the scheme of services offered by the firm, allowing their clients to understand and choose those which will best suit them.

A fabulous referral for us this week would be a business who wants to communicate clearly with their clients.

Luxgraphicus, this week it’s Latin for making your business look fabulous with clear communication.

See you all next week…

Brian.



Business Network International (BNI) and breaking the rules!

Every Thursday morning at 7am I attend a meeting of our local Business Network International (BNI) chapter. During this meeting we all provide a 60 second infomercial to the other chapter members and visitors. This allows everyone to find out a little more about Luxgraphicus, and to be on the look out for ideal clients to refer to us. I, in return, listen to their infomercials and endeavour to bring more business to them.

I thought this blog would be a good repository for the content of these 60 sec informercials, whilst also allowing others to learn more about Luxgraphicus and our ideal clients.

This weeks 60 secs follows…

Good morning all…
Brian Miller, Creative Director for Luxgraphicus, Design Agency

This week I’d like to talk again about the rules.

Last week, my talk of breaking rules was clearly a disturbing concept for some of you in this room.

So let me use this small example to re-assure you that whilst actively seeking to break rules in the creative realm, we also seek to follow the rules in the technical and production field.

This week we have prepared a clients advertising for publication in a local newspaper.

The artwork was supplied electronically to the paper as a PDF file. The colour mode was CMYK, the resolution 300ppi. All fonts were embedded or outlined. Transparency flattening was set to high resolution. Bleed was allowed for and all printers marks were included.

These were the production rules required by the publication and at Luxgraphicus, we make following these rules an everyday part of our process.

Luxgraphicus, this week I can tell you what it’s Latin for … we know the rules, that’s why we can break them!

See you all next week…

Brian.