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Choosing a Corporate Identity Consultant

  • Entrihub chats to Nici Mancini, the Founder of Purple Mosaic Design and Branding. Nici talks about choosing a corporate identity consultant.

    Question 1: What to consider when choosing a consultant to assist with your CI?

    Nici: There are some startups out there that don't necessarily have a lot of money, to begin with. They know what's important they know that a corporate identity is important. They look for someone that can create a logo for them. My advice is don't just go and pick any random freelancer to do corporate identity for you. I was saying earlier a corporate identity is the first port of call for your business. It's your silent representative you need to pick someone that can really do a great job for you. There are freelancers out there that charge exorbitant rates or so you might think they're exorbitant rates but prices are everything. You want to pick someone that has good experience, a fantastic portfolio that matches what it is that you are trying to do and you should know what it is that you're trying to do before you go and find a freelancer or an agency or whatever it is.

    Question 2: How should one budget for a consultant?

    Nici: Rates can vary from R350 an hour to R700 or 800 an hour. Again, go and look at that person's portfolio. People are going to stalk your company online you go and stalk a freelance online see what it is that comes up for them, see what people are saying about them in social media, what their portfolios look like, ask what their experience is like. Pick someone that's good for your brand not necessarily good for your pocket because if you pick someone that's good for your pocket that could mean the difference between a fantastic sustainable brand versus having to spend more money redoing your CI again.

    Question 3: How long does it take to develop a CI?

    Nici: We were talking about timelines for projects. Corporate identity is very difficult to say how long corporate identity is going to take. You could click with the concept and it could come right in two days but it could be something where it's just taking an age because there's let's say illustration involved or really detailed typography. It could take five, six even two weeks to do it. There's no real timeline for that and no one could really charge for the actual number of hours that it takes to do a corporate identity. You'd either lose money or you would be cheating your client because the hours some identities have taken me have been sometimes 60, 80, 120 hours to get a corporate identity, and then when you look at it it's just typography and they go thank you. 60 or 120 hours and you go, you don't know how long it took to get to that point. Something that simple it really depends on what the company is about. Other things could be especially when you have a brand guide it could be a lot quicker. Doing a little PDF to send out to your clients could take maybe three, four hours to design if you've got a good base to work from. If you're having to work from scratch that's where the hours take to take such a long time.

    Question 4: Where can I find a freelancer?

    Nici: If you're looking for freelancers you can go to That's a global site so you can pick from anywhere in the world. Then you can also search for this community which is mostly South African people. I use a Facebook community called the resource which is actually set up by one of the freelancers that I used to work with. It's a great place you go on their post what it is that that you're looking for and people who respond to you again the power of social media is amazing.

    Question 5: How do freelancers charge?

    Nici: Most freelancers are, I would say if it's a corporate identity that they're designing will have a flat rate that they work with because like I mentioned earlier it's really not beneficial to charge an hourly rate for a corporate identity. Freelancers that work out at agencies will have a flat rate for the day or they'll have an hourly rate. Clients generally tend to use hourly rates when there are changes over and above an agreed amount for a job. If you've quoted R4000 to do signage and the client comes back with six reverts after generally the first revert I'm a designer will then charge you hourly.