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If I were make a comparative on how important a good logo is, imagine getting yourself ready to go on a first date.

You probably planned out to wear your best clothes, planned out the place to have dinner, planned out the place to hang out thereafter, even planned out the things you wanna talk about. You are putting every effort to give a good impression to your date… but then you decide to pay someone five dollars for cheap makeup or haircut.

I mean, come on! Even a decent express haircut is gonna cost you more than $10.

There is no point in the effort you already put in when you start to scrimp on the part that your date is gonna look at the most: your head.

Same thing with your business logo.

Experiencing Cheap Logo

In one of my early attempts at businesses (selling gemstones), I had sought the services of a logo designer at Fiverr cos I couldn’t exactly came up with a concept for it. I found a designer that had seemingly good portfolio, great ratings and an overall great impression. He cost more than the minimum five dollars fee but it is still affordable enough for me to try out.

Long story short, the logo drafts that he did were horrible. I can’t use even the concept of his ideas. Hence I paid him his due, forced myself to really sit and think and end up creating a logo that I am happy with.

Don’t get me wrong. I have gotten some awesome stuff done on Fiverr. However, that was my first and last lesson with creating logos on Fiverr.

Throughout the years as a designer I have also come across clients who came to me with logos that they are very proud of. I don’t usually give my feedback unless they ask. And usually I will reply by asking them the question, “Will this look good if you put it on a rubber stamp?” Funnily enough, they sometimes paid more than just five-dollars for it. Let’s just say you can probably look decent if you’re going on date after spending that amount.

Cost, Speed, Quality. Choose 2.

It is hard to find someone who would be as invested in your business as much as you are with just a small amount of money. Creating a logo means hours of research, conceptualising, drafting, applying colours etc. It takes a lot of energy from designers, and that energy is surely worth more than five-dollars. So I do not blame designers for creating the kind of stuff you see when you engage them on Fiverr.

The most important question that often comes when making any kind of choices on products or services would also apply on creating your logo: Between cost, speed and quality, which two factors do you value the most?

In the description below I imagined three different types of scenarios on how your logo gets created, based on three different price points. You can see for yourself what it takes and make a decision of how much value are you willing to put into your own business identity:

1) The Five-Dollar Designer

Will cost you:

$5-$20

Who you are probably hiring:

A designer who has several clients who all want their logos to be done in one day.

Hours of work done:

Less than an hour per design

How is the work done:

With the amount of demand, designer have to resort to doing one of two things

2) The Legit Freelancer

Will cost you:

$200-$500

Who you are probably hiring:

A designer who has three or four clients who understands that quality logos takes time.

Hours of work done:

Two to three days worth of work, where the designer will take time to revisit and tweak their drafts.

How is the work done:

  • Designers may sometimes work with stock images. However, special care will be put into trying to make it really unique and completely yours.
  • They would be a bit more involved in understanding what you want. Depending on the price you paid for, they may even show to you penciled drafts and concepts. However, the draft of designs are usually different variations of the same concept.

3) The Design House/Branding Company

Will cost you:

More than $1000

Who you are probably hiring:

An entire team working on your design.

Hours of work done:

Could probably take about a week.

How is the work done:

Here is how Drew De Soto, founder and Creative Director of Navig8 and author of Know Your Onions series have to say about his team’s effective approach to design:

  • When a brief comes in, they spend 10 minutes on going through the requirements
  • They include everyone in the chat (not just designers) because everyone has good ideas
  • The team gets one hour to come up with ideas which will be discussed in a second meeting
  • Usually two or three good ideas can be created out of this meeting
  • The team spends another hour coming up with more ideas that evolved from the first meeting
  • The creative director then chooses three or four ideas to finally work on them properly

Hence the designs that comes out with draft can be completely different from each other.

The Importance of Design Brief

By far, the most important tool to ensure that the designer you hire (at whatever budget) gets the design right would be the design brief. A professional designer would usually provide such a template before embarking on a project, but you still can create or download one yourself.

Amongst the most important things to highlight in a design brief would be:

  • Company (or brand) name.
  • Your target market.
  • Competitors.
  • Your business’s overall message
  • Type of logo – Usually comes as lettermark, typemark, brandmark, mascot, emblem or a combination of two or more.
  • Colour scheme – Usually one or two colours, but it is not uncommon to see logos with multiple colours (eg Google).
  • Budget
  • Timeline

With a design brief, you can be assured that the logo does not stray away too much what you want to see, and that you can be assured that you get your money’s worth.

Pay More For Your Logo, Get More For Your Business

Five dollars can get probably get you a small meal. But it take more than a meal’s worth of time to complete few day’s worth of work on a professional logo. Such an important part of your identity should not be scrimped on. Do yourself a favour and hire a professional designer who would be able to deliver a great impression for your business that would last a long while!

Armen Rizal Rahman

Founder/Creative Director

Armen has over a decade worth of experience in the creative industry. He is a xennial who prefers PCs over Macs and is both tech savvy and tech phobic. He hates being called the "IT Guy".