But…Have You Ever Done a Logo for a Flea Circus?

Clients will sometimes ask for examples of work that you, or your studio, has done for other clients that are in the same business or similar industry. As designers, this often throws us for a loop. (Especially if it is something we've never done before.) Sometimes we even find the inquiry a little daunting, as if somehow we're not worthy or incapable of creating something they don't see in our portfolio.

The first logo I ever designed, which is still in service to this day was an ark with a rainbow over it for a company called Apartment Relocation Konsultants. Back in 1987, we didn't have Adobe software, or even computers for that matter. Logos were hand drawn (in black) and then photographed for printing. No one asked me if I'd ever done a logo for an apartment relocation service or any logo at all, for that matter (SCHWEW!).

Back then, I was a creative young artist, about to go to college with dreams of learning to paint like the masters and becoming famous someday. We didn't have the internet, websites, or email. Clients were met in person, in your neighborhood, on the street, in hotels, bars, door-to-door, word of mouth, over the telephone, etc. We weren't anonymous entities floating in the aether, you actually had to get to know people and schmooze your way in. Today, the way we work, find clients and communicate has changed.

Today the studio has clients whom we have never seen or even spoken to. We work their designs out via email, Creative Cloud, and DropBox then exchange payments via PayPal. We know nothing of each other, and no one seems to care. We get it done and move on to the next project.

So, we kind of understand, when a potential client reaches out through the aether and requests a quote for their "flea circus", then wants to see examples of all the other "flea circus" logos we've done. (Which, at the time I wrote this, (in case you hadn't guessed), was an absolute ZERO.)

At this point, I grow perplexed and think, "Just because we've never done a flea circus logo before doesn't make us any less creative or incapable. Why do they need to see someone else's logo? Do they need ideas? Should we make up some bogus flea circus logos to win their trust? How do we convince them that we're the right studio for them? Can I just direct them to other projects we've done and still convince them? Are they the right client for us?"

True, in life, as in art, there is a "first time for everything", but how do you handle that awkward situation and make them realize that just because you've never done a flea circus logo, doesn't mean you can't?

Case in point...

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