I’ll preface this post by saying I am a “little” bit biassed in my opinion of sites like fiverr!
I understand. Its tough when you’re starting out in a new business. There are a lot of expenses; some of them unexpected and unplanned. By the time you get around to thinking about the visual aspect of your business money is often tight.
So what is a small business owner to do? You’ll see lots of recommendations from people online tell you to use Fiverr, 99 Designs or even perhaps online logo generators. “Hey! They’re super cheap and I love the way my logo turned out”!.
Let me explain…
This site is a little deceiving because you will usually have to pay quite a bit more to get anything worth using. $5 for a premade, add $$ to get a “custom”, add $$ to get a vector file, and the list of add ons goes on. Designers on this site are paid very little (Fiverr takes a percentage of every sale) so in order to make a decent living they need to turn out a LOT of designs. They have to cut corners somewhere and that usually comes in the way of reusing elements over and over, using templates or worst case, stealing designs they find online. The last thing you want after your business is established is a another business contacting you to tell you that you’ve “stolen’ their logo.
Another potential issue is that the designers mostly come from overseas. Nothing wrong with that in itself, however, cultural differences will be evident in design aesthetics as overseas designers do not always understand our market or our culture.
My real issue with this business model is that it’s a competition. You put out your request and get a number of designers present what you want. You choose the best and that person gets paid. What about the other designers though? Is it really fair that they have put in all the effort to respond to your brief but get nothing for it? I find this ethically wrong. Designers should never be asked to work for free.
Also, because there is no guarantee the designer will get chosen, they too will revert to using shortcuts: templates, reusing elements or stealing existing designs.
ONLINE LOGO GENERATORS
These “generators” have a limited number of visual elements and fonts. You enter your business name, choose the font you want then pair it with one of their icons. It then does its “magic” and gives you a logo.
The problems with this are endless. There are a finite number of visual elements to choose from so you’re not going to be the only business with the same font/icon combination. The generator doesn’t know your business. It doesn’t know your customers. I’ve experimented with a lot of different logo generators and the results were all the same: rubbish. Don’t waste your time.
So whats the alternative?
Hire a local designer. Budget the cost of a designer when you start planning your business. Ask whether the designer is able to do payment plans..
A logo is a lot more than just a pretty picture with your business name on it. Your logo needs to speak the language of your business, it needs to speak to your ideal customer and needs to convey trust.
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash