Turning a Hobby Into an Online Business

I’m the first one to slam designers for agreeing to a client’s refusal to pay more than $50 for a logo. I was, however, struck by the brilliance of a designer who offers logos done in five minutes, for five dollars, with no changes, no design-by-committee, no “my ten-year-old daughter didn’t like it” and answers the frequently asked question, “can I art direct you?” with the reply, “I need your business name, type of business and your email address. You can suggest any ideas you have, but since you’re a cheap-ass only paying $5 we’ll more than likely just ignore your request and exercise our design prerogative as we see fit (no whining).”

The designer, named Von Glitschka (AKA “Vonster”) has gotten some impressive attention from his web site offering of “5 minute logos” (5ive Minute Logo) and why not? The idea is innovative, cool and the logos are actually fun and would work better than the six-figure payout for the recent eBay logo redesign. Even Arby’s and their new, horrid logo should have spent $5 for one of these. They are, of course, worth much more than $5, even for a mere five minutes of execution time. The thought behind them is simple, to the point and tells the whole story at a glance. THAT is the principle of a successful logo.


The site, made by Von Glitschka, is simple and could be done in as little as two pages (examples and checkout), but he covered everything, including what he thought would be a joke, in a few pages, most of which lay down his strict rules and expectations for the value of $5. The entertainment value is worth at least $4!


Even the checkout process is simple and leaves the tough part up to PayPal. How easy is it? I ordered several logos, including a couple for my kids. Easy to order, quick to be delivered and fun to see and own.

It’s not so fast anymore, however. It seems the joke of making enough to buy a cup of coffee every day grew into the hilarity of the designer being able to buy his own South American coffee-producing nation.



This isn’t the first time a designer has come up with a unique way of making a few dollars with quick work. One of my favorite self-initiative stories is about an injured creative with time on his hands and a need for income. David Lanham is a designer at the Iconfactory and responsible for the ultimate Twitter icon Ollie the Twitterrific 

facetime-portrait-cmacbird; he broke his foot while playing soccer. That meant that the poor guy was relegated to staying off his feet at home. “Rather than wallow in self-pity, he decided to use the opportunity to keep himself from going completely Rear Window and offer up his design skills to the large Web community” said an article on this initiative— and successfully so! For $50, David would do a one hour portrait of the client for an online avatar.

$50 an hour with no art direction, no changes, no BS? Not a bad way to make a living if you can do it eight hours a day, five days a week. The math comes out to $2,000 a week or $100,000 a year for 50 weeks and two weeks of vacation.

Vonster won’t become rich from doing five dollar logos unless he can fill eight hours a day with a constant flow of work, which will gross him $2,400 a week or $120,000 a year with two weeks off. Keep Lanham and Vonster in mind the next time a client has more changes on that $500-$1,000 logo project as you crank out more sketches for your third week of revisions.

It seems that the joke is on Vonster. He started off by basically warning people NOT to buy his services. In fact, the response to the question, “what if I don’t like what you do?” brings the righteous spanking of, “once again we already know you’re a cheap-ass so more than likely you won’t like our idea. Life is full of gambles though so live on the edge, toss your five spots in the ring and lets rock and roll!”

How many people can speak that way to a customer and have them lap it up? That’s the kind of business we all really want!

See more of Vonster’s logos on his Facebook page

Top image ©https://graphicleftovers.com/graphic/1577637-male-business-person-with-light-bulb-in-hand

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