Friday, March 7, 2008

INTERVIEW: Patrick Carlson - BBQ Logos


We recently spoke with Patrick Carlson of about his designs for competition teams. Patrick is clearly the leader in the field and has a knack for creating logos that are intrinsically evocative of the personality of the team that they represent.

You can visit Patrick and view his work at

If you are looking to build an identity for your team, his services are invaluable.

What is your background? How did you get started creating logos?

I have about 18 years of freelance cartooning experience. I was a youth director
of a church and a middle school teacher while doing artwork on the side.
I've been doing this full time about 4 years. I began doing BBQ logos
simply by chance. I created my first one about 5 years ago and word got out
and people just began contacting me. I never really did anything to draw
people to me for BBQ logos.

Do you have an interest in BBQ outside of the artwork?

I love to eat BBQ but I've never been involved in the competition scene.

You have created logos for teams, events and business; what are you
most proud of when it comes to your BBQ logos?

I guess I'm most proud of the logos themselves. I love creating characters and I love it when a good character fits perfectly into a logo.

Why is a good logo so important in building a BBQ brand?

A logo should represent the personality of the team.

What questions do you have for a prospective customer?

I usually begin by asking if the customer has any ideas they want to see. I like to give them input since it's their logo.

Do most of your clients come to you with a fleshed out concept and know
what they want or do they give you some general ideas and let you take care
of the creative process?

99% of clients already have a basic idea of what they want. I will give creative input and add things if needed but usually I try to give them as much input as possible. It's thier logo and, most of the time, there are a lot personlized elements that only the client and their team would understand. They like to add "inside jokes" that make the logo very personalized.

Is there a ‘busy’ season for you? The competition season is coming up
quickly, how much lead time would you like to have on a project?

I don't really have a 'season'. I get logo requests year round. I like to have a
several days to create a logo. Most of the time, it doesn't take that long
but I like to have that in case I'm extremely busy.

How long does it take for you to get a logo to a customer after everything is agreed upon?

I've gotten logos done in a day and other times it's taken months. It really depends on how fast we respond to each other. I do this all day so I'm pretty fast in my responses. I've learned that some people don't check their e-mail as much as I do! :)

Do you operate on a flat rate or do you have special prices, for example, for customers who would be willing to use stock images or for charities, etc?

I charge $200 for a logo. I don't use clipart. I want each logo to
be unique.

Your rates extremely reasonable. Having a corporate logo designed can easily cost you thousands of dollars, and the quality is, at best, equal to yours. How do you keep your prices so low?

Never really thought about it. I started at a low price several years ago and just adjusted that price each year until the time involved was equaling the price. $200 seems to be a fair price for the time involved now. That may go up as the years go by but at this point, it seems fair. But, now that you mentioned it......:)

Although you do have some competitors, you are clearly the designer of
choice for most BBQ teams. What do you attribute that to?

I'm not sure. I like to think it's my openness to the clients input/ideas and my turn-around time.

What percentage of your business is dedicated to BBQ related logos?

About one-third of my total work is BBQ logos.


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