A picture is worth a thousand words
I’ve read a couple of articles on various blogs and comments through Twitter recently about logo design. In particular, Crowdsourcing and Logo Contests.
Sites like 99Designs, are a little like the reverse eBay of logo design. You put up an ad with the price you are willing to pay (often about $300) and lots of designers submit a logo design for you. You choose the one you like best and BINGO, you have a logo for your business.
There are even sites like Fiverr, where everything you want done costs just $5 – including logo design. Can you believe it? A logo for five dollars.
As always though – you get what you pay for.
I remember finding 99Designs when I first started looking at things to start my creative business and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. “Woohoo”, I thought. “What a great find this site is. I can’t wait to share it with everyone”.
But reading the articles of graphic designers – those who really know their stuff – you realize these sites aren’t as amazing as they first seem.
Sometimes, the designs are copies of other graphic artists design work. These graphic artists have spent hours and hours working with their clients and have spent their time creating the perfect design – only for someone working on a design contest site to copy it and tweak it a bit to submit to one of these design contest sites. And these sites don’t guarantee your logo as original work. So you could build your entire business around your logo, only to have another business or graphic designer hit you with a breach of copyright notice and you won’t have a leg to stand on. Don’t seem fair does it? That’s because it isn’t.
It’s not fair to the original client who patiently waited weeks to have their design completed. Who invested a significant amount of money in the process. Who probably researched quite a few designers before finding one they thought could produce the logo that would suit their business best.
It’s not fair to the original graphic designer who spent a lot of time getting to know the client’s business and what the client wanted from the logo. Working on various concepts and drafts to come up with the perfect design over a few weeks. Adding their work into a portfolio, proudly displaying their original design skill to build their own business.
It’s not fair to the client on the design contest site who, like me where I first found these sites, probably has no idea their logo may not be completely original. Who doesn’t realize how involved a true logo design is. And how much better a logo designed through a graphic designer on a one on one process can be.
I know for me, I want to respect all artists – including graphic artists who have spent years developing their skills the same way “arty” artists have. As an artist – you don’t churn out 10 paintings a day to go to the lowest bidder, do you? You create your artwork with time, quality products, your years of experience and little bit of yourself too. And you price your work that way. I believe we should show that respect to all artists, including digital artists.
So how do you get a great logo design while respecting graphic artists?
- Find companies with logos and/or websites you like. Click on the link often at the bottom of the page to go to the designers website.
- Look at their portfolio. Is the design you like a one off, or do you like the style and quality of many of the sites in their portfolio?
- Look for their rates if they advertise it on their site, or email them and ask for a quote. You might faint at the price, but you might also be pleasantly surprised.
- Contact the business owners of the logos/websites the designer has done the work for. See if they were happy with the process and quality of the work.
I have been doing all of these things and I think I have found a graphic designer who seems like a great fit. I like most of the sites in their porftolio. Their style is exactly what I am looking for. I’ve emailed them and gotten a quote. It’s a little scary and a big financial commitment out of my very limited budget – but I think the quality will be worth it. Their prices are on par with some of the other sites I’ve looked at and in some cases significantly less for what I think is superior quality. I am now waiting to start working through the process. It’s super exciting. I’ll let you know how it goes….