Having a web presence has become the norm for businesses nowadays, as customers want the ease and convenience of browsing products and services at their own leisure, along with being able to read the reviews and experiences of other people. An incredibly basic, yet necessary, part of this web presence is your company logo - something so obvious, you might not have even thought of it!
A logo is one of the basic building blocks in how you communicate your business's values. What type of values do you want people to associate with your business? Think about the feelings you want to evoke in potential customers; do you want to convey a sense of comfort and luxury, or perhaps your business caters for a more edgy, adventurous clientele. All of these sentiments can be expressed through the use of a clear, simple and unique logo.
The cost of a logo will vary greatly, depending on numerous factors. Perhaps you already have an idea in mind; if you're vaguely arty, you might have even sketched a couple of drafts. If you feel confident in your DIY skills, then go for it! You are absolutely the best person at imagining your business's core values and beliefs, and if you have the ability to transfer these into an appropriate logo, more power to you. The only costs involved will be your time and any design software used to bring these ideas to the screen.
Adobe Illustrator is the most popular software used by designers, and this can used across the entire Adobe platform with a Creative Cloud membership plan. This plan costs $20.99 per month for an annual subscription, or $31.49 if you wish to buy month-to-month. Other DIY options for you to consider are Canva (free for their basic model, or their Pro version - $12.95 per month if paying monthly, or $9.95 if paying annually) and Vectr, a free vector graphics editor that includes in-app lessons and tips to help you get the most from the software.
If, however, you are more like me, and struggle to draw a stick-man, then there is plenty of help out there, at a cost. For a small business with a limited budget, logo makers such as Logo Maker and Tailor Brands offer thousands of generic yet polished logos. It costs nothing to design a logo with these sites, and you typically pay $10 to $50 to purchase your design. Tailor Brands offers a subscription service which can include tools to create your own business cards and stationery, a seasonal logo generator (a snazzy little extra to help you stand out from the competition at certain times of the year!), and social media analytics. The cost of this subscription differs over 3 tiers:
Basic $9.99 per month
Standard $19.99 per month
Premium $49.99 per month
You can cancel this subscription at any point, and your logo is still yours to use as you wish; you just lose the on-going benefits of being a Tailor Brands client.
With online logo makers, all you need to do is enter some basic information about your company, feed in your font and design preferences, and then edit the results until you are happy. This is a cheap yet effective way of gaining a professional-looking logo that won't take up too much of your precious business-related time.
Moving up the price scale, design contests and crowdsourcing are the next options. This is a much more interesting concept; basically, you are running a competition! You post a detailed brief about what you are looking for in a logo and the price you are willing to pay, and freelance designers will then submit their designs in the hope of being chosen. Throughout the contest, you have the opportunity to discuss your requirements with the designers, so you get the opportunity to develop a really hands-on approach to your logo.
This can be an excellent way of building relationships with the design community; you may end up meeting a talented designer whose skills you can utilize again and again, and who will help build your brand image into a cohesive, memorable design. A win-win for everyone!
Websites which run design contests include:
99designs. Costing from $399 to $1,699 for a 7-day contest in which you can give feedback, and have up to 2 weeks to choose the winning design. Money-back guarantee is included.
DesignCrowd. Costs $129 for 50 design entries over a 3, 5 or 10-day contest (the duration is yours to decide). Again, this comes with a money-back guarantee.
Designhill. Costs begin at $199, paid upfront, but you can set a higher budget to attract the better designers. The contest duration is again yours to decide.
The final option is the freelance designers, where the cost of designing a logo will range anywhere from $250 to $2,500. I personally wouldn't recommend going for the cheapest option (remember, you get what you pay for!), but rather somewhere around or slightly higher than the middle. Always remember to check the designer's experience and whether they have any reviews. Ask if they can provide any examples of their previous work, so you can check the quality, and whether their style fits with your aesthetic. If you are looking for a minimalist, clean design, it's probably not a good idea to work with someone who specializes in gothic, fantasy-style artwork!
There are plenty of online communities where you can find freelance designers. Some of the most popular include:
Upwork. It is free to set up a basic Upwork account, and most designers charge between $10 to $200 per hour for their work. Upwork will also hold your money until the design is completed and approved by yourself, giving you that additional peace of mind.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services, and designers usually charge between $25 to $150. You decide on the style, price range and deadline, and then pay the designer upfront for the work. A basic logo design will typically cost between $50 to $100.
Dribbble. Designers on Dribbble (don't forget the extra b!) charge roughly between $15 to $200 per hour, and you can adjust your criteria settings to how much you're willing to pay, the type of work needed, and the level of experience you are willing to work with. Be aware, however, Dribbble charges between $199 to $299 per month for its designer search package.
Other useful ways of finding the perfect designer are through word-of-mouth recommendations or by researching your fellow businesses. Are there any companies whose design you really admire? Sometimes trawling through their website can bring up the name of the designer (this sort of information is usually hidden at the bottom of the website or on their "About" page). If you're feeling brave, you could always get in touch and ask who designs their branding!
When paying for a freelance design, it's always a good rule-of-thumb to pay half the fee at the start of the project, and the other half when you are finally satisfied with the logo. This gives you the opportunity to go back over any elements of the design and tweak until it is perfect.
So now you have a unique, fabulous logo, which you are sure everyone is going to love and remember - where to display it? As I'm sure you will have noticed with other companies, it's important to display the logo at the top of every single page of your website, generally in the middle or in the left-hand corner. This gives your viewer some sense of cohesion and consistency; over time, your logo will become the "face" of your brand and something visitors come to recognise. Only use it once on each page, however. If you're plastering your logo over every available space, it will start to look ridiculous, and draw your viewers' attention away from your actual business.
You also want to set your favicon as your logo. Not sure what a favicon is? It's the little image which is displayed on tabs and web browsers, to show a graphical representation of the site being visited. When you open a new tab and go to Google, it's the tiny Google image to the left of the tab. Your favicon should ideally be your logo, as again this helps to cement the link between your logo and your business in the customer's mind. When people see your logo, you want them to automatically recognise your brand.
The same goes for social media, online ads, and any physical means of advertising, e.g. business cards. Make sure your logo is centre-stage, but not too overpowering. You want to advertise yourself, but at the same time, you don't want to drown out the main thrust of your business!
What about your colour scheme? You need to consider the subconscious messages which different colours send out, and whether they help or hinder the core message of your branding.
Green represents nature, the outdoors and quietude - this will work well if your business involves beauty, self-care, or the environment.
Red, on the other hand, conjures up images of passion, sensuality and joy. It all depends on your type of business and the values you wish to communicate.
You should also consider whether your logo will ever be printed in black and white, and if so, will it still appear clear and recognisable.
A good logo will be crisp, concise and memorable. It should represent your business through its design, colour and any text used. There may be many different formats in which you wish to use your logo - on your website, your social media, print advertisements, merchandise. Make sure it is flexible and works well in different sizes.
If your logo includes text, make sure it is quality text, and appropriate. Sans serif typefaces are often cleaner-looking and give a sense of stability, whereas serif typefaces give the impression of dignity and gravitas. Is the text easy to read, big or small?
Your logo should be an ambassador for your brand - it needs to show and tell people what your company stands for. I hope these tips and ideas have gone some way to helping you create the perfect logo!