Graphic Design

One day you decide to start a business. You have all the paperwork done, taxes, documents etc. etc. One of the things that should come to your mind is the branding of your company and especially your logotype. You don’t have any design or drawing skills and you start a google search. You are looking for a person or a team that can make that logo for you. You will find an ocean of service providers, top designers, cheap graphic design services, world class branding services and of course you`ll find something like… “Get your logo for 5$” “Cheap Logo design”, “Logo for 24h” “Best logo design services”, “ Affordable logo design” etc etc.. the combinations are endless. You`ll get lost right after you hit page 2 on google. Most probably you will get back to page 1 and click on some of the first 3-4 links that appeared in the search. You are excited that you`ll get your brand new logo! And this is where the fun starts (the trap clicks).


A Freelancer platform. You are a few steps closer to get your logo designed. BUT first you have to make a registration -> Verify your profile -> Verify your payment method (Credit card, PayPal etc.) Then you will have to describe your project and post your project. Right after two minutes and a half your mailbox will be flooded with notifications that Mr. Designer X placed a bid on your project. You decide to check what`s going on and suddenly you see that 70 more designers are participating in your project as bidders. What`s next? You start to review all the proposals which is really a time consuming process (checking their profiles, country of origin, feedback, portfolio and the most important – the reviews). Finally you found the right candidate! “This guy looks promising, I`ll award him to make my logo, he will do this for only 30 bucks and that’s great!” You shake your hands and the project starts. The designer tells you that you will get 3 to 5 logo proposals right after 24h, which is great. He also tells you that he will make unlimited revisions (free of charge) till the cows come here, which is also great. Okay let`s get started. On the next day you check your mail and see that you have notification telling you that the designer submitted some files for your project. You check the files right after that but unfortunately you don’t like any of the three proposals provided. The first one is… so-so good but you want to see some other concepts (free of charge) and you clearly explain this to the designer. Of course he got disappointed because he won`t get those 30 bucks for 24hrs and because he has to make new logo options for you. Maybe he will explain to you that concept and revision are two different things and will charge you some money for additional two proposals. If the project reaches this stage, I am perfectly sure that the designer –  Mr. Designer X in our case is already demotivated and you probably won`t receive the desired logo you are after, but okay.. it`s only my opinion, so let`s load another milestone (money loaded into the freelancer platform) for the designer and see what he will come up with. On the next day you receive your additional two concepts and the result is still far from what you are looking for. You see the same fonts, same color scheme, and a similar symbol that should represent your valuable business. You give all the options a second chance, look at them again and again…. And again.. but  NO! This is not my logo. As a customer you have the right to tell the designer that you don`t like his work again and you are looking for something more sophisticated. Most probably the communication between you and the designer will stop here. You already paid your fee to post this project. You already loaded some money in the system, you lost 48hrs. of your time, you put some good expectations and suddenly this guy just stop communicating, WTF? This is one of the most common scenarios if you are new to any of the freelancer platforms out there. And I`m telling you this based on my modest experience of 10 years being part of the biggest freelancer community. I don’t want to offend anyone with this post, there are really, really good designers on those platforms and I`ve learned a lot from them and their experience , but do you really believe that your logo can be done professionally for 30 bucks and in one day timeframe? I`ve got a lot of clients who sent me the logo files they received from this type of service. The main issues I faced were: The files were delivered in raster based format (Adobe Photoshop – .PSD) which means that the scope of usage is very limited. You can`t make large prints, it looks pixelated on the company documents, the colors are different after print,  it’s only 72DPI, and it`s almost useless. Basically you can use this only on your facebook. Of course there were few even WORSE cases where I received just some .Jpeg and the client told me that this is the only file he received from the service provider. Something else.. I really can`t believe that a good logotype can be done in 1 day. The whole process of understanding the brief, exploring the competition, brainstorming, idea sketching, tracing and make those sketches digital, the font choice or even making a custom font, presenting your work to the client can be done in 1 single day. Okay, it can be done but the results won`t hit any bell at all. Here are some tips if you decide to go that way.

Tip No1 – Always make a deep research about the service provider. Check their profile and portfolio section. Many of them are using premade clip art images or generic logos that are overused. Check the image below. Please avoid those symbols and concepts. The chances are 95% that your logo will be the same as Company X from Destination X.
Tip No2 – NEVER send a payment before you see some work progress and you are happy with it. Don’t send the full payment before you receive the project files. ALWAYS ask for source and editable files. This includes – .Ai, .EPS, .CDR, .PSD. The most important thing is to receive the vector .Ai file.
Tip No3 – Learn how to make IP research for the logo they are trying to sell you. The most common practice in this field and between the beginner and intermediate designers is to steal ideas from the internet. They use sites likes Shutterstock, Logopond, and Google search engine to find and copycat images. Don’t let some of those images become your brand symbol. When we make a logo for a client we always double check if there is something similar over the world. Of course we live in a digital era and logos and brands are popping up every day but if some of our work is 70% similar to someone else`s work, we don’t present this product to our client.
Tip No4 – This tip almost covers the first one but I should say is again. Most of the freelancers are UNPREDICTABLE. Probably they left their regular job and decided to become a full time freelancers. This brave act gives them the feel of freedom and they don`t care that much about their clients, also they even don`t have to meet face to face with their clients which gives them another freedom boost. You should expect that demotivation in them right after the first denial of their work. Probably they found some better projects than yours, probably they`ve lost too much time for yours and your 30 bucks, and probably they will cancel all communications with you and both sides won`t be happy at the end.

My conclusions are that this is some kind of way to get your logo done, but you really should follow my tips and spend some time researching and picking the right person for your task. Also you should have real expectations about time and money. There is no way to get a good logo for no money and no time, let`s be real. The last but not least – prepare your brief carefully, define the scope of the project from the beginning, communicate constantly with the service provider and give honest feedback.


The designer guy who can do everything in Photoshop


Hopefully you`ll miss this guy if you don’t browse design forums and communities. But most of those places are full of people who offer logo design for reasonable prices (5-10USD per logo). I won`t submit samples because you can decide that you don`t need a logo at all. There is actually nothing wrong about what they do, everybody should start from somewhere, but the idea of using that logo for your serious company and business is ridiculous. Fast, dirty, unaesthetic work done in Photoshop with the most typical fonts and totally wrong color combinations. The point if this is clear – “I want to earn 10 bucks”. If you are curious about how a logo should not look like, go for that service and you`ll see for yourself. I won`t give any tips here because I think it`s totally wrong to  give your brand`s  image in the hands of a guy like that one.


The Logotype Generator.

Recently I found several services online that can make a logo for you. Here are the good news – some of those services are FREE. Some of them are not – you still have to pay 5-10 bucks. Now the bad news – You have to wait at least 5 minutes till your logo is done. Yes, 5 minutes. 3 minutes can be a lot of time, but for sure it’s not enough to deliver good and sustainable logo for your business. Here is the drill. It’s a database with around 100 free fonts and around 100 premade images. It determines your style by asking you some simple questions like “what color you like?” “what symbol you like?”  “what font you like?” “Tell us a  little more about your business” etc.. And based on that, the software decides what is the best logo for you. You can give it a try, but imagine that 100 other people like you decided to make their logo in that way, and you all work in the same industry? What are the chances for your logo to be unique? I think the chance is somewhere between slim and zero. I definitely do not recommend that way of making your logo. But once again you can give it a try. Good luck.


Design Agency

Graphic design agencies with traditions and strong principles of work are the best chance to do the job right! They will make a complete profile of your task, study your needs and audience and will start from there. Can you still get your logo that way for 10 bucks? I really doubt it. This type of service providers will communicate with you constantly, ask you as many questions as they need to check if both sides are on the same page, you will  get personal approach and extreme care till the job is done. For sure it will cost more than 10 bucks, but this is the face of your business, the most first impression when somebody finds your facebook profile or receive his first document from you. I really think this is very important part for any business. What is the cost for something like this? There is no average price for this service. Some digital magazines say that the approximate price for logo design varies from $500 to $2k depending on the agency you decided to work with. Does it really worth? I really think it’s worth.You will be guided through the whole process, every single step will be commented with you and you will be  part of the whole project. Most of the agencies present just 1 logo concept to the client, but this concept is crafted very carefully with the highest possible attention to detail. Some other agencies prefer to present 3 or more logo concepts but those concepts are really well made, too. During the design process they have developped at least 10 logo ideas and start to eliminate one by one till the very best and sustainable is left. Those are the concepts presented to you. Of course, you have the right to request revisions, but if those revisions are inappropriate , your designer or the person you are working with will tell you their honest opinion and guide to the best possible way. After both sides agree on the logo you will receive the full package of your files. Source files, editable files, print and web ready files and almost everything you`ll ever need in the future for this logo. I think this is  the right way of working and this is your best bet.

My conclusion is that you have the right to go with any of those services, even if you find something else, feel free to go with it/them ,but first you should ask yourself a few questions:

What is the quality I am looking for?
How should  I pick the right candidate?
Is it safe or I can lose my money?


If you got confused and need consultation on the topic, please feel free to write in the comments, send us a message, whatever is best for you. We will be happy to help you!

Todor Todorov

CEO|F5 Design Studio LLC.