Yes, branding is important for any business, and that includes having a great logo. But when you first start out, you may not have the money to invest thousands in getting a custom logo made for you.
Thankfully, these days, there are several options for designing a logo. In fact, you may even be able to create one for free with a little creativity and the help of online tools and resources.
Here are just some of the ways you can get a logo for your small business, no matter what your budget may be.
Do it yourself
Who doesn’t love a bit of DIY?
Sure, you might not be an experienced graphic designer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a decent logo. The good thing about doing it yourself is that you have full control of the process. Oh, and it’s free!
Many would-be entrepreneurs make the mistake of spending way too much time focusing on achieving that ‘perfect’ logo. Countless hours are spent on Google finding inspiration and perhaps even thousands of dollars on a range of pricey designers. And all of this before the business has opened its doors. To me, that’s a massive waste.
Instead, why not focus on the nuts and bolts of your business first and spend money on the logo once you’re actually profitable? Of course, you may not get the best quality results this way, particularly if you’re not very experienced or creative. However, with the help of online resources and tools, you can usually create something that does the job.
The trick is to stick to the basics of design. Simple logos are often the most effective, as they’re easier to understand and therefore memorize. Spell out your business name using a simple, yet eye-catching font, and limit yourself to one or two colors. That’s all it takes. Take a look at some of the most famous logos out there: Nike, Apple, and Amazon all have logos that don’t overdo it.
Not quite confident of doing it all from scratch? You can also use free logo makers and generators if you feel you need a bit of extra help. These free apps provide quick results and require zero design skills, although some will charge you for the finished product. But that’s usually just a couple of dollars; don’t worry, you won’t be breaking the bank.
While online generators can be great if you’re short on cash and creativity, the design quality tends to be average at best, and you may not end up with a unique logo. However, even if you don’t end up using one of the designs as your logo, using such a tool could provide you with a bit of much-needed inspiration.
Hire a designer
Thanks to the abundance of freelance sites out there, it’s pretty easy to find an affordable designer who can create a unique logo for you. There are many designers to choose from, so you should be able to find someone who can create the type of logo that’s right for your business.
The advantage of using a designer instead of doing it yourself is that you can usually get a decent quality finished logo, and you don’t have to worry about wasting time and energy trying to do it yourself. There are dirt cheap options available such as Fiverr, for example. Personally, I’d stick with the higher-end designers that charge a little bit more. Think about it, how much can you really expect for just $5?
The downside to going with a designer is that it can take time to find someone whose work you like. Also, you’ll need to provide an accurate description of what you want, or it can easily go wrong. Luckily, there are several sites that allow you to put your job out as a contest. Companies like 99Designs allow you to start a contest, which puts your brief out to a multitude of seriously talented designers to pitch for your project. You’ll be able to see the work before forking out your hard-earned dollars, which makes this type of solution ideal. Once you’ve found someone you like working with, it’s possible to give the job to that particular designer directly going forward.
To help get the best results, be sure to take your time in choosing a designer, have a look at their past work, and check for reviews from previous customers. Sites like Upwork allow you to see what previous clients thought of their work, as well as having a useful star-rating system. Buying a logo this way can cost anywhere from $20 to $1000, and you tend to get what you pay for. If you’re going to stick to the lower end of that budget, you may as well try and do it yourself.
Go with a design studio
If you’ve got the room in your budget, then you may want to go with the more dependable and convenient option, which is to order your logo from a design studio. I always prefer this option in the long run, as it allows you to work with a design team that goes beyond the visual. If you’re going to go down this route, I recommend going for an agency that you can meet with face-to-face or at least via Skype. Some things can’t be described in an email and need an exchange to solidify the idea. You’re also going to be paying a decent rate for the service, so why not?
Remember, logos are more than something that just “looks good”. You want a visual that isn’t just pleasing to the eye (though, of course, you want this as well!), but also encapsulates your brand and sends out the right message. While it may cost more and take longer to get your logo, the high price tends to guarantee superior results. You’ll be working with professional designers who are used to creating high-quality logos for big brands, so you know that what you’re getting is unique and perfectly tailored to your business.
There are many great design studios to choose from, but you should expect to pay anywhere from $300 to as much as $50,000 (and yes, it can be worth it). If you can’t afford to work with one of the better-known companies, then you can still get good results with a smaller agency. Just be sure to do your research and check their previous work, just as you would with a freelance designer.
Do what’s right for your business
Getting the right logo for your business doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you think you’ve got the skills, then have a go at doing it yourself. If you have the money to invest in a higher quality logo, then take your time in finding the right designer.
And if you do opt for a freelancer or studio remember, don’t let the designer do all of the legwork. It’s not just about signing off that invoice and waiting for that magical logo to appear at your doorstep. Successful logo designs start with the brief; it’s up to you to convey what your business and message is all about. Giving the designer as much info as possible can’t hurt and will help the process along. Don’t be afraid to supply a couple of ideas, though be careful not to get in the way of the creative process.
Finally, if you’re just starting out, don’t blow your budget on the logo (no matter how tempting). As long as you have something decent to represent your brand, there’s no reason to pay over the odds when you’re just starting out. This is particularly true if your business doesn’t really depend on an ‘image’; does a small local plumbing company really need something to compete with the big brands? In the end, it’s about doing what’s right for your business.
Author: Tanya Mayer
Tanya Mayer is a blogger from Brisbane, Australia. She’s interested in writing on various topics relating to marketing, small business and tech.