Logo Design in the Age of DIY: Should You Hire a Professional?
Every homeowner knows that there is no shortage of projects that require our attention in the maintenance and improvement of our home. Of course, there are many tasks we can complete on our own. Our time and money are valuable, and not every project warrants the expense. However, there are tasks that we simply cannot perform well - if at all - on our own. Our success depends on the knowledge and expertise of another.
I doubt you would attempt to replace a gas line in your home or attempt extensive electrical repairs. Many of us wouldn’t even know where to begin. And these projects can be deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Would you try to fill a cavity yourself or have it fixed cheaply by someone unlicensed? Would you attempt to perform surgery on yourself or service the aircraft engine before your next flight? Of course not. You would consult someone who has a proven reputation of success for many years, someone operating with extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. You would consult a professional.
These are dramatic examples, but the same principles apply in logo design. Before we discuss the alternatives of hiring a professional, we must first understand why logos are so important.
The Face of Your Company
Your logo is the face of your company and the foundation for your entire brand. Your logo serves utility in identifying your business clearly and simply, providing distinction from your competitors and helping your customers remember your business. A logo is the lifeblood of business. Without an effective logo - one that is simple, memorable, and appropriate - a business will forever be hindered.
Perhaps you, like many, have not considered the importance or necessity of professional identity design. If you’ve started a new business and don’t know where to begin or if you are the owner of a successful business aware of deficiencies of your current logo, hiring a professional is critical to laying a successful foundation of your business.
Consider with us several alternatives to professional logo design below.
We live in an increasing age of do-it-yourself-ers. You can learn how to do almost anything - and do so well - through books, articles, YouTube videos, and tutorials. Knowledge is more readily available than ever.
However, rarely are the proper procedures of logo design identified, understood, or followed by the business owner who designs his/her own logo. The results are haphazard and ultimately ineffective if the business owner is unaware of the necessity for simplicity in a function of a logo, emotional effects of colors and shapes, font selection that is an appropriate reflection of the business, proper hierarchy and scale of elements, and the like.
2. Amateur Designer
While certainly not always the case, more often than not, a young designer such as a student or recent graduate simply will not have gained the experience to produce effective logo designs. Proper logo files will not be delivered in the necessary formats; attention to detail is often overlooked; and their design fundamentals have not yet been refined.
They may be well educated in book knowledge, but they have not taken on projects, dealt with problems, failure, learned the necessity of distinction, or refined their skill, unlike a professional who has studied and experienced the factors that produce effective logos and who understands why.
3. Logo Competition Site
Another popular consideration of hiring an amateur designer is acquiring a logo design from a logo competition site. This has the appeal of access to a wide range of designers from across the globe, affordable and flexible package prices. When you post your project, you pick what you want to pay! On similar sites such as fiver.com, you can pay as little as a couple of bucks for any number of graphic design tasks, including logo design. Sounds like a dream, right?
As with most cases, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Sadly, many inexperienced logo designers will either use clip-art by simply typing your company name beside a generic stock image, or even worse, plagiarize the logo of an existing business. Both of these scenarios can cause a multitude of financial and legal issues for you in the future. Oftentimes, those whose designs are original are over-detailed, indistinct, generic, and ultimately ineffective tools to identify.
Additionally, such means of logo development relies on the business owner to rifle through the junk to make a subjective selection based on personal preference and style alone, failing to consider the function of a logo.
4. Friends and Family
Asking a friend or family member to design your logo can be even cheaper than many competition sites, maybe even free. Don’t let the low budget appeal cloud your judgement to receive low budget results.
Beware of logos designed by your friend who “studied art in college” or your family member who “knows some Photoshop.” Your logo is not art. Your logo is a tool serving a specific function. The artist and designer each serves a purpose – although they are not the same. More often than not, if an individual's knowledge and passion are for graphic design, he/she will be doing it full-time. If someone is equipped to design professional brand identities, they likely would already be doing so. Effective logo design is not a part-time, passive hobby. It is a highly skilled profession.
Your Logo is an Investment
It may seem counterintuitive to pay more for a professional logo design when each of these alternatives saves valuable resources. However, the investment in professional logo design pays for itself in attracting and retaining more customers, longer lasting use, and avoiding a costly rebrand.
A professional logo designer understands the full scope of work that a logo design project encompasses and rightly applies knowledge and experience to develop a logo that identifies your business simply and clearly. When done right, these trademarks can last a lifetime.
Save time and money by doing it right the first time. Consult with a professional identity designer to bring out the best of your vision.
Your logo is one of the most important investments you will make in your company. The investment in a professionally designed logo will more than pay for itself through the multitude of benefits provided. Ultimately, a professionally designed logo is an investment in your success. We take this seriously, and so should you.