I know that with the headline alone, I'm inviting controversy from graphic designers. Bring it.
Every industry has to evolve to stay alive and continue to provide value. And similar to many jobs, graphic designers and even marketers have felt the squeeze brought on by technology.
There are SO MANY software tools, courses, and free insights available to businesses nowadays. And YES, those tools and information have certainly chipped away at a set of services that marketers and graphic designers used to HAVE TO provide for businesses. But times change, and with them, we have to evolve our strategies to continue to serve our clients in a meaningful way.
Some of the most powerful tools available to small businesses today are design tools. In years past, a highly skilled graphic designer trained in typically Adobe software products was the way anyone developed and provided design services such as logos. The rise of tools such as Makr and Canva have given traditional logo design tools and logo designers a run for their money. These new tools provide a continually updated collection of templates, fonts, iconography, photography, and illustration to leverage in creating your own unique design. Even apps and sites such as Fiverr or 99 Designs have given entrepreneurs an easy and inexpensive way to get a logo design.
For these reasons and more, I become absolutely incensed when I hear and see designers on Facebook business groups, in blog posts, etc., selling their "custom logo design" services for hundreds of dollars - and in the same breath, claiming that anything less would be lacking in quality.
That... is bullshit and here's why.
1. LOW ROI
When starting a business, money is tightest. You are not seeing any sales yet and so every dollar you spend is an investment toward those sales. Whether you are the smallest of businesses or the largest global firm, ROI (return on investment) should always be top of mind. A great looking, modern logo that speaks to your prospective clientele or customers is all you need. And what I mean by great looking and modern isn't necessarily complicated and it's not so much a certain style. I recommend simply avoiding fonts and iconography like those shown below - that frankly, show their age and could, in fact, reflect poorly on your business by giving the impression that you are behind the times.
NOTE: I have found that using services like 99 Designs can still turn up the use of outdated fonts and iconography, so it's just something to keep an eye out for. But tools like Canva and Makr have hundreds of fresh and modern designs to inspire your logo. A good logo. Because that is all you need when getting started. In spending hundreds of dollars on a logo, you will NOT see that ROI. Designers will convince you the difference in quality is evident and you should "invest in your business because it's worth it". But I promise, your consumers will not see that difference in quality, but they will see your competitors first and more often if you spent money on your logo that you can allocate to other activities, such as advertising.
2. BUSINESSES EVOLVE
Think of the biggest brands in the world. The logos they use now are not the same as the one they launched with. Depending on how long the brand has been in business, there are probably many iterations that have taken place to update their look and feel over the years.
While updating a logo for these big brands is a much larger deal and can sometimes make national headlines, it is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to your business. In starting small and lean, with a strong, timely logo, know that you can always make tweaks and changes without having to re-launch your entire brand.
Now imagine if you spent a ton of money only to find that the font used or style use has fallen completely out of vogue just 2 years later... Or, if you find that in order to stay competitive and in line with the design expectations of your clientele, you need to tweak things just a year later... because you spent a TON of money on your first logo, that is going to hurt. And don't let any logo designer convince you that they are providing a logo that is more evergreen and will last you longer per the extra money you are spending. They are lying. Not on purpose or to be hurtful. They are just trying to make a sale and charge what they believe their time and skill is worth. (I'll get into one of my favorite topics "the market is the market" in another post.) But unless they also possess some level of clairvoyance or have a time machine locked in their garage... they have NO WAY of knowing how design, industry, and consumer trends will evolve.
3. VALUE IN TRYING
I wholeheartedly recommend that any business owner try their hand at wearing all of the hats. I mean, at first, you typically have little choice, but as your business grows, you learn more and more about what you're good at and what you enjoy in managing your business. You may already know that you don't have an eye for design and couldn't choose a font or color scheme if your life depended on it. That's cool. In that case, you know that hiring out your design work is probably best, and frees you up to tackle other things.
But, if you have any kind of interest in or eye for design, I recommend trying a design program like Canva or Makr. Play around with them! Have some fun! The tools and templates available may help you better visualize something that has been floating around in your brain, and could really help you develop THE LOGO that you use for your business! And if you are feeling self-conscious about your designs, pass them by friends or post them on Facebook business groups you may be a part of for feedback. Or, you could pass them by a designer for a fine-tuning or a tszuj. We, in fact, are happy to do so and offer design tszujing services.
So there you have it, 3 reasons why I call bullshit on expensive logos, 3 things to keep in mind if you are in the market for a logo design, and 3 reasons why I love what I do.
Happy to hear your comments! Leave your thoughts below and help us start a discussion on this important topic while helping small businesses thrive.
And, if you have a logo design, website, brochure, etc. that needs a tszuj, let us know!