You know that expression “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?” If you need a logo or corporate identity designed for your business, it can be really, really tempting to use an online company that will design one for around $10. After all, a logo is a logo, right? No one will see the difference, right? You’re getting a deal, right? WRONG. Cheap logo companies totally drive us crazy. Not just because we create brands and identities here at Kreativ Rehab and we understand the work that goes into designing a good one, but because your logo is a huge part of your overall corporate brand and we think you deserve better. Here are 3 big reasons why going cheap on your logo is a bad idea:
1. You get what you pay for.
A cheap logo will look just that – cheap. Not well thought out. You can bet there won’t be a “concept” or meaning behind your logo, and your company’s brand identity won’t have a chance to shine. You’ll certainly be sacrificing quality, because a designer who creates a logo for $10 won’t be taking the time needed to really do it right. There are crucial measures taken in proper logo development that will most likely be skipped. Typography is a big one, because your company’s name should appear in the best possible font to suit your brand’s personality. And a good designer will adjust kerning,(1) for maximum readability. Most importantly, a good designer will also make subtle modifications to the font itself, so your logo is truly customized. For example, on Kreativ Rehab’s logo, the “K,” “t,” “h” and “b” are slightly modified. Colour and form exploration is important too, because your logo needs to look good in all sizes – from business cards to billboards – and also needs to look good in in black and white as well as full-colour. If it can only be used in full-colour, you’ll be forced to pay more in printing costs.(2) And then there’s the supplying of your final approved logo in the proper file formats – so it never appears pixelated, illegible or “warped.” Finally, while it’s standard practice for professional designers to create guidelines for proper logo use, you likely won’t get those either.
When Tuneology (a local, east-end Toronto music store) asked us to come up with a less corporate logo version to be used on t-shirts and swag, we decided that starting with a sketch would work best. The end result used no predesigned typefaces whatsoever, but instead, a refined vector illustration of one of our original sketch ideas.
2. You’ll make the wrong impression.
Consumers are getting smarter and smarter. Especially since the average person now sees up 5,000 ads in one day!(3) Even if they don’t know the technical reasons why your logo isn’t good, they’ll still sense it on a subconscious level. A cheap-looking logo will suggest you have lower quality standards overall.(2) A generic-looking logo will suggest you can’t offer them anything different than your competitors. You just won’t make the connection you’re hoping for.
3. You won’t stand out.
First impressions are so important and if your logo design is something forgettable, not created with care specifically for your company, then you’ll be just that – forgotten! Cheap logo companies usually choose from a predesigned, template bank of logos and simply change the name of the company. So there’s always a chance that you will end up having a very similar logo to another company.
A good designer will work closely with you to ensure that your brand essence is captured and featured in your logo. Just imagine if McDonalds went with a literal hamburger logo instead of the famous “golden arches.” Or if Starbucks went with a coffee cup or coffee bean design instead of its iconic “mermaid.” Or if the Olympics used silhouettes of athletes instead of the “five rings.”(4) If you want people to take your business seriously, then you need to take your business seriously. This means investing in a logo that authentically represents you.(5)