If you’ve read any of my articles on logos, than you know I believe your logo is the first impression of your company and it’s hard to overcome a bad first impression.
Your logo is the most important part of your brand identity creation process as it will (or should) establish the fonts and colors used in the rest of your branding materials, so it should be taken very seriously. But, also taken into consideration are our budgets and our personalities. Thus, I’m putting together this article to help you find the right route to obtaining your logo for your company. I’ll take you through the pluses and minuses from a complete DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach through hiring an agency.
First, let’s assess our personalities and budgets
Our personalities and budgets are intrinsically tied together. Some of us are diehard DIYers, while others will hire the cheapest person they can find, and then there are those that will hire the best they can find to get it done right the first time. Figure out where you fall and you’ll be well on your way to starting your logo design process.
The most financially successful people that I know hire people to do what they’re not good at. They stay in their lane, so to speak, doing what they do best and hiring specialists to do what they do best. They don’t throw money around – they simply know the value of their time, others’ time and of a quality outcome. I’ve been trying to adopt more of this mindset over the years ( subcontracting the programming and production of more of my work), but I have a lot of DIYer in me.
The DIYer usually suffers from the “penny-wise, pound foolish” philosophy – saving a few bucks today, but sacrificing bigger gains over the long haul.
Those that recognize that they lack the skills to create their own logo, but look for the cheapest solution often suffer the same consequences.
If you can get honest and clear with yourself regarding your innate design abilities and marketing prowess, you can then assess the best option for your logo design process.
The 3 ways to create your logo
1. Do it yourself
This is the cheapest method. I just wrote an article outlining my logo design process that you can freely utilize. I would suggest that you need to feel pretty good about your design sense to move forward in this regard. You’re also acting as your own marketing consultant as you should determine what differentiates your product or service first and then try to formulate your concept around it. And a final piece of advice – keep it fairly simple.
UPSIDE: Doesn’t cost anything (monetarily) unless you invest in software or a training package. May provide a very personal connection and sense of pride to your company.
DOWNSIDE: Will cost your time and possibly future revenue due to (possibly) diluting the core of your brand with inferior elements. May need to redo your entire branding campaign from the ground up in the future.
2. Outsource it
There are many avenues to “outsource” online, but the motivation and result are all the same: “If it’s on the internet, it must be free or super cheap” is the motivation. The result is that you’re getting a slapped together logo with little or no concept because time is still money. People that work for $10/hr still need to eat, so they must take your money and get rid of you asap.
Fiverr and Upwork are popular sites for accomplishing this. I just hired a really good voice over guy on Fiverr for $25 for a promotional video I scripted and produced – that was a great experience. But, I also hired a company on Fiverr a couple years ago to produce an animation for me for $200… and I couldn’t even show the client because it was so bad. What a waste of time and money.
I use Upwork primarily to hire programmers when I need to build a specific software solution. I’ve tried hiring blog writers and website design when I was overloaded with work and was very disappointed with the quality. The work produced was not represented accurately in their portfolios (as was the case of the animation that I outsourced on Fiverr).
Know that you play an important role in this method – and that is art director. You’ll be selecting your outsourced partner yourself based on their profiles and portfolios (it’s just like hiring a designer for an agency, which I’ve done several times) and critiquing the proofs. What you end up with relies very much on your talent in this regard.
UPSIDE: Very cheap. Typically $20 – $200. You’ll usually get a lot of choices that you’ll need to narrow down. You’ll often get unlimited revisions.
DOWNSIDE: Takes a ton of time to sift through profiles to narrow down your freelancer. The portfolios and profiles very often are misleading. Usually end up with inferior design and little to no concept – your icon will usually be simple clip art. This process also requires you to play Art Director and the end result will be a reflection of your talents as such.
3. Professional Agency or Consultant
This is the surest way to go, as an agency or consultant’s reputation is directly tied to the results. Our online presence is completely transparent. Our case studies and portfolios are available for public viewing and reviews, good or bad, are available as well.
Before selecting an agency or consultant, you should feel completely comfortable with their prowess, knowledge and professionalism. The right choice won’t just create an amazing logo for you, they will have the understanding that they are producing the framework for your brand development campaign. They should truly get to know you and your passions in regard to your industry.
Your logo is often tied to a much needed slogan (tag line), and these are tied to or derived from your Mission and Vision Statements.
Your consultant should help you discern your value proposition (differentiating from your competition) if you haven’t already.
UPSIDE: Will catapult your brand development campaign forward dramatically. Will produce custom concepts that speak to your uniqueness. Will build a relationship with an important future resource. Consultants take on the responsibility of designer and art director off your shoulders. Will free up your time, so you can do what you do best. Bottom line – should have the highest Return On Investment (ROI) in the long run.
DOWNSIDE: Will cost the most monetarily, but you’ll get more for your money overall.
There are endless impersonal online solutions for creating logos for you. Assessing your own prowess as a designer, art director and marketer is your first step in finding the right solution for you.
Consider where your time is best spent as well. If you are a diehard DIYer by nature than I suggest staying that course and not spend anymore than necessary on your entire branding campaign as it would be like investing money into a house with a questionable foundation.
And if your going to spend money on hiring a professional to create your logo, I’d suggest not gambling on a freelancer website, rather hire an agency or consultant as you reduce the risk of wasting money on a logo that may not represent your unique brand as well as it could.