Do you think your clients are paying for ideas? I don’t.
I think ideas are overvalued. Like billing design by the hour, I believe it is another misunderstanding both clients, and graphic designers have about logo design and branding. You certainly don’t need to be a good designer to have lots of ideas. Ideas are relatively easy to come by, but ideas are not the key to logo design. Describe any great logo as an idea and it sounds ridiculous.
Here are a few examples:
Apple: Apple with a bite removed
IBM: Letters I, B, M and stripes
The ideas are of little, if any worth. The execution of the idea is where the value lies.
The ability to execute ideas is in large part what makes a great designer. As an example, thousands of logos/word marks are just type and include an arrow. The majority of these are horrible, cliché, and provide little value to the company they represent. However, the same idea of simple type and an arrow was used by Lindon Leader for FedEx and resulted in arguably one of the best logos ever.
I believe graphic designers should stop selling themselves as merely “idea providers” to clients. It’s the execution we should all be investing in.