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Your logo is your visual ambassador but it often gets treated like an afterthought in the process of setting up a new organization. If you’re wondering how to kick-start the process of getting a new logo you really have three options: do it yourself, crowdsource, or hire a professional design company. The benefits and challenges to each option are described below.


 

Do it Yourself

If you fancy yourself the artistic type, you might be able to get something off the ground yourself, saving money that you may not have right now to invest into your brand.

Benefits:

  • It’s free, or at least very cheap

Challenges:

  • Logos have to be prepared in very specific formats for printing companies to be able to use them. You’ll need to know how to do that and have proficiency in the software needed. Something like Adobe Illustrator is recommended. If you don’t have access to something like that, there are some online tools that could work.
  • One of the most important attributes of a logo is that it is unique. If you use a DIY logo design tool, it’s pretty much taking a clip art approach, so you can count on it being something that might look decent enough, though it won’t be one of a kind and that’s something that people can often tell by just looking at it.

Recommendation:

For this option, check out DesignMantic. The tool that they provide is really easy to use, and pretty fun to play with. You can have a logo design concept finished in just a few minutes.

Crowdsource

There are community based websites that can provide you with the ability to create design competitions based on your criteria. Once you setup the competition, designers will enter and submit their designs and then you can pick the one you like best.

Benefits:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional design company
  • Offers multiple design options to choose from

Challenges:

  • Crowdsourcing places the buyer as the expert judge in the design process. This means that although the buyer may get a logo they like, it may not be the best option because the buyer is typically not an expert in good logo design practices.
  • Some crowdsourcing design websites are notorious for plagiarism, especially on the lower budget end of things.
  • Crowdsourcing raises some ethical questions. With this approach, a buyer commissions work to be done by multiple people and only one of them gets paid. The only designers that would, typically, be willing to sign up for such an arrangement are those who are in desperate situations and struggling to find consistent work. However, like outsourcing manufacturing to places like china and India, outsourcing graphic design work to other countries gives these people employment alternatives that would not have been available otherwise.  

Recommendation:

For this option we recommend 99 Designs. They are the fastest growing crowdsourcing design website and they offer logo design projects at a reasonable price. They also have a 100% money back guarantee.

Hire a Professional Designer

The best possible option would be to hire a professional design company who is living in the same culture and understands the market that your organization will be appealing to.

Benefits:

  • A designer immersed in the same culture and marketplace will understand how to resonate with your target market.
  • A professional designer will be able to meet with you to assess your needs, understand your target audience, and create a unique logo that will help your organization stand out.
  • They understand what it takes to create a strong logo that follows the logo design principles of being: simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate.
  • Professional designers can develop a branding style guide to ensure that your branding elements are implemented consistently across all present and future promotional materials. This means defining your brand’s colour pallets, fonts, and logo treatments for various applications.

Challenges:

  • The upfront cost of hiring a professional designer is the highest of the three options, ranging anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand depending on the designer’s skills and reputation. Hiring a freelance designer will usually be cheaper, but hiring an established design company will give you more experience and a more extensive design vetting process because they have more people to give feedback about the design.

Recommendation:

For this option we recommend a company called Holds Worth Design Inc. They are the Christian-owned company that designed the logo and developed the branding for the Fisher’s Network (the site that you are on right now).


A Final Note

Although you can design your own logo, or get one for really cheap, in the end you will usually get what you pay for. When you hire a professional who lives in the same culture, you are hiring someone who understands what good logo design looks like because they understand branding, the marketplace, and cultural trends. With something as important as establishing your brand, you should get the best logo you can based on your resources. A cheap logo will represent your organization, but just not in the way that you may have liked it to.