Cheap Logo Design & Why cheap isn’t always better.

/ October 19, 2017/ Advice, design, graphic design, Logo and branding, Strategy/ 1 comments

Cheap logo design may sound like a good idea. I’m here to try to tell you otherwise.

Sesame Street gif of Kermit The Frog and Nucleus Von Fission saying

Well what do you expect for $6?

There’s an old Sesame Street sketch with Kermit the Frog who interviews Prof Nucleus Von Fission who creates a “version” of the Six Million Dollar Man. For those who don’t know Sesame Street and Lee Major’s famous TV series of the 80’s should check it out. The $6 Man Sketch is here. In the clip, Nucleus Von Fission creates a robot costing only $6. The thing proceeds to wreck the joint and when asked, the good professor says “Well, what do you expect for $6?”

Cheap logo design, cheap.

There’s an old saying: “Cheap thing no good” and that’s kind of debatable. What constitutes “cheap?” Cheap can mean a bargain but what do you get for that bargain? You can get a watch cheaply, but is it a good watch? You can ask for services “on a budget” but what do you get for that service?

The debate centers around the final product. You can possibly get a very good quality product, cheaply, but there is an inherent risk involved. However the chances of getting a very good, long lasting product that is a bit more “expensive” are much higher. You could argue that you can’t afford an Apple Watch but an alternative watch is just fine. You could pony up the money to buy the Apple Watch at a premium and be sure you’ve got something there that will stay with you and work with your for a longer time.

So which would you rather choose? Why not choose both? Find something reasonable that can offer you what you need within your budget. This is a key factor: you must work with a budget. If you can only afford $5 on a logo, by all means proceed to Fiverr and get a logo. However, one could argue that you get what you pay for. Firstly have you looked at that logo you paid five dollars for? I’m willing to bet it’s been modified from an existing template already paid for by someone else, in other words, you’ve just got someone else’s logo that you are now using as your own. Here are some examples:

Quality over Quantity

Secondly even if its not ripped off, you aren’t getting quality. What you are getting is a guy who, in order to pay for his own overheads, has taken on a million gigs each for $5, you are in a production queue with a minimum of 20 other people. He’s going to spend a maximum 20 minutes on your logo (he might steal a few from somewhere else, or repeat a few from his other clients) and none of these would particularly represent what’s best for you or your brand. Yes there’s the argument that “what he does is fine” but you just gave a guy $5 to give you “fine” when you could have gotten “Fantastic”.

I reached out to Jeff Fisher. A master at logo branding and graphic art, based in Portland Oregon. Jeff has been an advocate for original well thought out design for decades. Designers who wish to learn about great logo design can buy his book Identity Crisis: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands. Jeff had this to say about fiverr in general:

“What’s really interesting about Fiverr, and the like, is the number of times myself and other truly professional designers have found their logo design work ripped off by those offering such services. Not only have I found my work displayed on such sites, but in many cases rip-offs found being used by businesses or organization have been the result of clients wanting to get a logo for the cheapest possible price – from a “designer” with little or no experience or creative ability. It is much wiser for a client to work directly with a professional designer, investing in a truly original end product that specifically/uniquely identifies their business, organization or product.”

He also added

“I think I would add that clients opting for the cheapest alternative often get EXACTLY what they pay for – a less than ideal identity and often potential legal problems in the process if the “designer” they have hired through a logo mill is less than ethical

Cheap logo design hates aesthetics

A few years ago a bunch of designers started creating websites, as a joke, showing what $5 logos would look like. If you think “these look nice” let’s break this down. What constitutes “nice.” Is it the color? Is it the typeface? Is it the style of illustration? Do these really encompass what your brand is trying to convey? Look at these logos. What’s the first thing that you see?

If you said “nothing special”, congratulations there is nothing special about any of these. In fact all of these logos LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME. Why is this a bad thing? Because you don’t want your funky computer peripheral brand called “DonkeyDongles” being similar to Mom and Pop’s coding startup “Rooster Juice Software”. The idea of a brand is to stand out and be unique. The $5 logo will not give you unique. It will give you the same thing as everyone else.

The problem isn’t the $5 logo though, the problem is a lack of understanding of aesthetics. You may have a vision, yes, but a designer who sits with you will challenge you to see differently. You cannot survive by being vanilla, you need to be Chocolate Avocado with big-ass chocolate chunks. That’s the designer’s job. I guarantee you that your $5 logo will not help your brand. It will hurt it.

Double Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream

Be interesting, not plain. Click for recipe.

“Suffice to say that it is important to put care and thought into your brands imagery. While it is true that the quality of your business will do more to impact your brand than anything else, it is important to develop a banner under which loyal consumers can rally. This is a core principle in marketing and it can see it in brand success stories everywhere.” – Ben Erickson

Do you want your cheap logo design to be laughed at?

You’ve seen many, many posts on social media talking about the “Ten worst logo designs of all time” or “The 15 Worst Corporate Logo Fails” I myself have an album on Facebook that shows the worst designed local ads of all time. Don’t go looking for cheap logo design on Google, the designer might give you things that look like this:

In reality, you will never spend just $5

If you go to Fiverr today, the top of the list designers, charge a minimum of US$65 to give you a logo. You could argue that you sent a proper brief (nearly impossible if the top designer’s second language is English) and you “always get what you pay for.” (see the whole discussion about aesthetics above). Well if you are happy with your brand looking like some sort of frankenstein’s monster, fine. $5 well spent. A reputable designer can bring so much more to the table, especially ones who work locally.

You don’t need to go very far to find good reasonable designers who will work with you to get your brand represented correctly. Christopher Russell, Dominic Fields and Nicholas Huggins, are just a few designers that I can recommend other than myself. You can easily get the job done locally instead of running to places like Slovakia or even India.

Locally we are experiencing a foreign exchange crisis. So instead of paying for outsourcing cheap logo design, let’s try engaging locals to do the best work they can. You can start by asking me, and I can also safely recommend many artists who could fit your particular needs. So get in contact today. Let’s see how we can get you a unique and fantastic logo, within your budget.

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1 Comment

  1. Cheap clients choose cheap designers.

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