Cheap is a relative term, much like expensive. It all depends on how much you are willing to to spend as well as how much you value whatever it is you are buying. You could get a pair of jeans at a bargain store for $5, $40, or at the higher end for $100 and more. What would your perception be of the pair of jeans for $5 vs. the $100 pair? The more expensive pair will be better made, made with higher quality materials, and will last you a lot longer. The same goes for logo design.
Your logo is a representation of your entire brand, it is the foundation of how people will perceive your company not just some graphic to throw on some magnetic signs for your vehicle or business cards. People make assumptions based on very little visual information in an unbelievably short time. Before they even get to the “about us” portion of your website, they are already deciding what kind of business you are based solely on your logo.
Before they even get to the “about us” portion of your website, they are already deciding what kind of business you are based solely on your logo.
With that in mind, here’s a few of the many reasons why logo design should not be cheap.
IT TAKES ACTUAL WORK
Yes, creating a quality logo takes work. It takes a well thought out design process. Any self-respecting designer would never just scroll through their list of fonts and choose one that works and use that. Designers don’t just “play around” with fonts and shapes and colors on our computers until something magically comes together. The process involves meeting, analyzing a questionnaire, researching, sketching, rendering (making the logo on the computer), and preparing a logo for presentation. Each step in the process takes hours, sometimes a lot of hours. A well conceived logo can take as few as 15 up to 50 hours or more to create. Good things take time. If we love what we do it is enjoyable work, but it is still work. And work hours cost money.
IT TAKES RESEARCH
But what about the logo, would my potential customers even know the difference if I paid $50, $500, or $3000 for a logo? The average person is savvier than you might think. Much of what goes into a true graphic designers process is wrapped around [the science of] behavioral psychology (color psychology especially). This is just one part of the research process. The research phase is what differentiates the $50 logo from the $3,000 one. It is the most critical and useful phase because it guides every other. Research helps determine the colors of the logo, the shapes used and fonts chosen. It takes into consideration target market, the competition, physical location, etc.
Without research, you may as well ask your cousin’s 12 year old to whip something up with clip art in Microsoft Publisher because the result will be about as good.
Without research, you may as well ask your cousin’s 12 year old to whip something up with clip art in Microsoft Publisher because the result will be about as good. If you are looking for a designer to do a logo for you and they don’t ask you a LOT of questions before they even begin designing, you will end up with something generic that may work, but it will not work for long. The strength of your logo, of your visual branding, rests on how well the research was done before the logo creation ever started.
IT TAKES EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Most designers you can find for cheap at 99designs or fiverr may have a basic knowledge of design software. Your friend’s cousin or your nephew or niece may have photoshop (which isn’t what a real logo should ever be created in btw). But this doesn’t make them qualified to create what will be the face of your company. If you really want a good logo that will do it’s job, you will need to hire a designer (yes HIRE) that has an education, and experience. I know a lot of incredible designers who did not have a formal design education, but they are educated. They are self taught, they learn from professionals, from tutorials, they read lots of books and blogs about design principles, and color theory. But the thing that makes them professionals is that not only do they care enough about what they do to learn more on their own, but they have [lots of] experience. Educated designers are worth at least a thousand times more than the one who has software and sells logos for $50 or $100. An education in design costs money, in most cases, it costs a lot of money.
I know people who spend over $100 for a pair of jeans, $50 for a tshirt, only buy the more expensive vehicle, or top shelf drinks; which would cause one to assume they understand the phrase “you get what you pay for”. These same people somehow fail to grasp the worth of a logo. That what a logo is worth much more than just the hours a designer puts in. It is not just an expense, but an investment. An investment that will have a huge return on it.
A good investment is not cheap but always worth it. And so it is with a logo. Be willing to invest in a good logo design and you’ll see the benefits and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Design is a wonderful world. I hope you’ll join me here. Because design matters.