There are a lot of business owners today that still seriously underrate logo design. They do not understand how valuable a good logo can be for their business so here I am going to go through several points that should reveal why a company logo is so important, as well as demonstrate why you should not expect to get professional logo design for cheap.
In order to understand the importance of logo design, you must first know what a logo is. It is a symbol that is meant to conjure up immediate recognition and admiration for the business it represents. It is the simplest form of identification for a company, yet it is also the one that usually becomes the most prevalent. Considering its importance, business owners should realize that using cheap design services will not be able to yield them a logo that is capable of fulfilling all of its duties.
The first thing I want to warn you against is spec work. This involves any kind of work where payment is made on a speculative basis. In other words, I work for you and you will pay me only if you like the work I have done. This happens a lot in the logo design industry and it is really bad because it drags down the overall quality of the work. A prime example where this happens is logo design contests where many designers provide work, yet only one get paid. This also creates unrealistic expectations from clients that think that all design teams should do this kind of work. Spec work is wrong because all efforts should receive payment. It is not something that happens in other industries, yet it remains prevalent here.
Then there are also cases of cheap logo design services. This refers to anything between the $5 and $200 brackets. While this might seem like quite a bargain, you will quickly find that all of these logos are done in a rush and are severely lacking in quality. You can see for yourself by finding a logo design contest and looking at the entries. You will quickly find that they usually do not adhere to the characteristics of a good logo (being memorable, recognizable, scalable etc.).
You would be a much better judge of the work if you knew the important questions to ask yourself regarding any logo that you see:
- Can it be scaled in size yet still remain intelligible?
- Does it have immediate recognition?
- It is easy to remember?
- Would it still be effective if it had no colour?
- Does it accurately represent the attitude, character and personality of the business?
- Does it relate to the customer base of the company by giving them a sense of familiarity?
- Can it be associated with satisfaction and quality?
In order for a logo to do the job it was meant to do, the answer would have to be “yes” to all of the questions above. This is not going to happen with a logo design contest. Even the briefs that are usually provided give insufficient information in order to create a good logo, regardless of the skill of the designer.
Now try to think back of some of the most well-known logos in the world: Nike, Coca-Cola, Disney, Starbucks etc. All of them share common qualities and also involve a lot of research, sketching and conceptualizing and this kind of work you will not be able to find for cheap.
Perhaps a better way to illustrate why logo design should not cost just a few dollars is to point out the entire process involved in creating a new design:
- The logo design brief. This involves interviewing the business owner in order to establish the design brief for the company.
- Research. This is necessary and it should focus on the entire industry as a whole, its history and the direct competitors.
- Reference. This involves looking into past logos that have been successful in order to blend their winning aspects with current trends and styles.
- Sketching and conceptualizing. This involves doing the first sketches of the logo based on what they learned so far.
- Reflection. It is important to take breaks between work sessions so that the ideas have time to fully develop.
- Presentation. This is the step where the design team presents some or all of the logos to the client.
As you can see, all these steps alone warrant a significant payment. Then you also have to consider the costs of the equipment necessary: ink, paper, computer, internet connection etc. Just the proper software alone is around $700.