There have been countless rants on this subject, but it bears repeating, if only to save others from making the same mistake. A recent experience, (I won’t go into details to protect the innocent), has reminded me that the crowd-sourcing machine is hard at work convincing well-meaning and otherwise savvy small business start-ups and the like that they, too, believe it or not, can have a professional logo starting at $50. Don’t believe it. You’re much better off using the $50 for purchasing office supplies.
Here’s the Deal:
50 bucks will get you a logo, but it won’t buy you a brand. I can pretty much predict it won’t reflect you or your business in an original way. It will lack the unique personality you bring to your business. Worse yet, elements of the logo you purchase will probably end up regurgitated into someone else’s logo. But the really worst part is a cheap logo will cheapen you and your business.
Expense of a Cheap Logo
I don’t fault small businesses for wanting a deal. It can be expensive starting up. But think of the expense a cheap logo can cause. That 50 dollar logo may not resonate with your target market. It may be confusing and not clearly represent what you do or the fabulous services you provide. It might look awfully darn close to a competitor’s logo. The design itself might come off looking amateur, a cookie-cutter, slapped together, too busy monstrosity. Ouch.
Digital to Print: Watch Out with Cheap Logos
Another danger of going with a cheap logo is you may not get it in the right file format or provided a file with a high enough resolution to make it suitable for printing. A cheap logo might work fine on a website, but that’s it. Your branding has literally been derailed. Try and print a low-resolution logo or an inappropriate formatted logo on your marketing materials and the results will be dismal. Your logo will turn out fuzzy and if it’s in color, the colors may not print correctly. This certainly won’t help your brand image and makes you look unprofessional. Double ouch.
Business Identity and Brand Distinction
A critical distinction should be noted as a lot of people outside the branding design world get confused by the term “logo” and “brand.” A logo is not your brand, but a logo that functions as your business identity, that becomes one very important aspect to building recognition for your brand. There are a number of things that go into building your brand, besides a logo. Your brand is who you are as a business and the way you interact with customers and the experience you give them. Your brand becomes your reputation and the expectations your customers have of you. Starting a business with a 50 dollar logo is a flimsy foundation. A better, healthier approach is to think of your logo as a business investment.
Work with a Professional
Consider working with a professional designer. Trust me, they don’t bite. Their job is to listen and ask smart questions about you and your business. A designer’s goal is to create a unique look and feel that visually tells who you are and what you do. By having a relationship with a live, breathing, flesh and blood creative pro, verses a sterile, automated online environment, you’re much more likely to gain an original quality logo that fits your business and resonates with your target market. Better yet, your logo will have been thoroughly thought out. A designer will ask, if not think through all the applications your logo might have, from business cards, website, print marketing materials, to signage and social media channels. Once you have this relationship with a professional designer, you’ll also gain a brand partner ~ someone who can ensure that your shiny new logo is properly and effectively represented across all media. Yes, this will cost you more up front and save you more in the long run. Aren’t you and your business worth it? About the Author: Kristin Maija Peterson is founder and chief creative officer of Grand Ciel Branding & Design . Running all its operations and functioning as idea generator, her mind-set is to ”think big” for her clients and loves the impact good design and branding can bring. She is passionate about creating unique brand personalities that help build recognition and work elegantly into her clients’ overall marketing landscape. Kristin also serves as Art Director for SocialNicole. Follow Kristin @grandciel. Photo Credit