A logo for only $100! (Pt. 2)
April 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
And why you shouldn’t fall for it.
First, I’d like to address why I’ve never won the battle against an online logo service. By the time a company calls me and requests a proposal, they have already made up their mind to purchase the logo they’ve received online. They’re not giving me a fair chance, and they’re not placing any more value to my services than that of an online logo service. The best I can offer them that afternoon isn’t a logo- it’s simply a proposal. Words and a price estimate. Each time I’ve talked with a company in this situation, I’ve tried to get to know them and begin the research process- to hear their needs, find out more about their target audience… I go into consultation mode. And they simply don’t want it or don’t think they have time for it. They want me to tell them that I can match the price of an online logo for 20+ hours of custom design work, in-depth one-on-one meetings, several well thought out, thorough design concepts, specific revisions, and the implementation of not just that logo- but that identity into every visual avenue of their business. I simply cannot do that for what an online service is asking- I would be selling myself, my talent, and my services short.
So let’s dive into why you should choose a personal professional designer over an online logo service.
1. A personal designer is just that- personal. First of all, let’s look at why those companies called me before purchasing their logos online in the first place. Is it possible that they know better? They know that what they purchase online simply can’t compare to what they’d receive from me- so they decide to “give it a shot” before settling for something they found online. A personal designer goes beyond a brief form that’s filled out in a few minutes. There’s a relationship you’re making, a partnership you’re establishing, and that designer has your vision and your company’s best interest in mind.
As I’ve mentioned before, a designer’s job is to visually problem solve. How can a designer solve a problem sufficiently if they’ve never had a fluid conversation with you? Sure, a designer can receive detailed specs on your project, but unless you’re sitting face to face (or Skype to Skype), talking about the lovely weather and your child’s soccer team- certain pertinent details about you and your company will never surface. I take pride in my one-on-one time with my clients. I can often gain a real understanding of what my client’s personal preferences are simply from the light conversations that we have. My goal is to understand you, your business, and your target market as much as I am able. The success of your company rides on my ability to communicate your company to the public- and I don’t believe this can happen through a brief online form. How well can these designers see your heart, your vision, your direction?
2. Your logo design goes beyond your logo. If a handful of designers are able to put together a design for your company logo that you’re happy with, does it really stop there? A logo is just a piece of a big picture your company communicates. A designer shouldn’t create a logo with just a logo in mind. They should be thinking through how a logo looks when placed on one of your photos, when included in a brochure, when the elements are used in letterhead, business cards, and websites… it’s your company’s identity, it’s your company’s image.
After I’ve established a partnership with my clients and their businesses, they return to me for other design pieces, because I know their company’s identity better than anyone else. I know how to put together a brochure that says “your business” better than a designer who sees a generic logo, several colors, and some specs. Your logo design goes far, far beyond just an icon with your company name- and that’s something these random designers cannot control.
3. Your custom logo may not really be all that custom. How is it that it takes me from 15 to 20 active working hours to come up with three, great concepts tailored for your business- when online, a few designers can come up with around fifteen concepts for your business in less than 24 hours? It’s not that these logos have been used before, or that some aren’t even made from scratch just for your business (which I believe may be the case for several reputable online companies such as the one I used as an example in my previous post), but these logos are already made to a certain point, waiting to be tweaked with varying colors and font types, being “customized” for your business. Just browse through some of these online sites at the logo examples. Is there a theme throughout certain groups of logos? Are you guaranteed to end up with a leaf in your logo if your company has anything to do with gardens? How innovative are these logos? Remember, they’re showing their BEST projects and their BEST work. If you’re not blown away by the creativity they’re displaying as their best, you can’t be sure of what you might get, especially if you didn’t pay the extra fee for a top designer.
Designers have the eye for truly great design. If you can’t tell whether or not the logos on the website are really all that great, grab a design friend or someone with a keen eye for good design and get their opinion. How do you feel about the logo that they’re showing as their best work? There’s a reason why the logos of well noted organizations across the world aren’t seen on any of these websites. I’m not implying that there aren’t good and talented designers that work through these sites. I’m not saying that you’re guaranteed to end up with a poorly designed logo. What I am saying is that you probably aren’t going to end up with the very BEST logo for you and your business. If you aren’t pleased with the website’s examples- you won’t be pleased with the logo you’ll receive.
4. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you do decide that you’d really like to go with an online service, please know that what you pay for is really what you’ll get. Steer clear of poorly designed websites or websites full of ads and flashing red prices. Avoid anything that advertises a too-cheap-to-be-true final cost; READ THAT FINE PRINT! Often times you’ll be tricked into paying up front for concepts, and then paying again for final files, additional files, rights to files, etc. etc. Be prepared for some curve balls and lots of unchecking of boxes that opt you in to things you’re not interested in.
Say you’re convinced that working personally with a designer is definitely far better than gambling with a cheap online logo service, but you simply don’t feel like you have the money or resources to use a designer. Well don’t settle, as easy as it might seem!
Here are a few tips for you and your startup to make hiring a personal professional designer possible:
1. Do your research and find a designer whose work you admire and think could capture your vision.
2. Get a rough quote from that designer so you have a figure to work towards and can anticipate, plan, and budget for.
3. Decide on the importance in investing in something that’s the best for your company from the very beginning. It is truly an investment, and in the long run- it will benefit your company.
4. Let your designer treat you to coffee and a good conversation. Talk things through with them, figure out what exactly your needs are, then discuss budget. Many designers offer stages and individual costs for each stage for your logo and brand identity, helping make the final figure more attainable.
Also remember you don’t have to live around the corner from a designer to work personally with them. I say if you have a phone and a computer- we can work together! It can be just as personal having a Skype session to talk through your ideas and vision as it can be sitting in a coffee shop together (though I’m afraid I won’t be able to say that your coffee is on me). No matter which path you pursue, or what decisions you make for you company- I hope that it’s the very best and that you thrive. It’s entrepreneurs and business owners like you that make a difference in our community and our economy.
Melody Christian- finickydesigns.com