Creating a Logo Without Breaking the Bank

One of the many steps to starting a business is creating a logo. If you’re a master of design, this step will be easy. But if your design skills are a work in progress, you’ll want to pay someone to create a logo. I recently went through this process and I’m pleased with how my logo turned out. I’d like to share with you the resources I found in the process.

Tech Made Plain logo

I paid $50 for my logo. I gave the designer a few ideas of what I was looking for and he came up with a few mockups. Based on my feedback he made some changes, and after 3 or 4 revisions, we ended up with the logo you see above.

The first step is finding a logo designer. It helps to find logos you like. Then you can look for designer portfolios with similar logos. The cost of creating a logo can go from free to tens of thousands of dollars. A common price I’ve seen is $350, but I’m going to show you how to have one created for less too.

A common payment approach is to pay 50% up front, then pay the remaining 50% when you’re happy with the end result. There are a few rare folks who will take the initial 50% and run, but I’ve never had that happen personally. Some background checking before you hire them to make sure they have other happy customers is a wise investment of time.

Now let’s get your logo created.

Word of mouth

The best way to find a designer is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend. Ask your friends in person or on social networks if they have recommendations for a designer, or better yet, who they used to design their logo. You may want to share your budget, or ask how much they paid for theirs, but that’s up to you. If you have designer friends, make sure to pay them something, even if it’s just taking them out to dinner. Even though they’re a friend, they’ll appreciate the compensation.

Reddit

Reddit is a popular news site with thousands of subreddits, or categorized sections of the site. Make sure to follow the guidelines of the subreddit in the right sidebar. When you find someone that looks interesting, contact them via email if it’s listed or send them a PM (Personal Message) through Reddit.

Here are a few subreddits where you can find designers:

I found my designer on the DesignJobs subreddit. A lot of people cross-post on DesignJobs and forhire, but it’s worth looking at both. Freedesign sounds great, but there is a lot of competition. If you have a really entertaining idea or one that people would love to work on, go for it. Otherwise you may not get much of a response. Even if you don’t get a response, the document you have to fill out to describe the kind of logo you want will be useful later on.

Craigslist

You can find just about everything on Craigslist, including designers. And since logo design can be done online, you don’t have to limit your search to cities near you. I always start locally just in case I want to meet in person, then expand out if I don’t find what I’m looking for nearby.

Fiverr - $5

Fiverr is a site where you pay $5 for nearly any service you can think of. Here’s their logo design section. You can browse through their portfolios and look at reviews. And since it’s only $5, you might order a few different logos to have a better chance at getting one you like.

Sacha Greif, a designer, posted a long article about his experience having logos created with Fiverr. He’s biased as a designer who runs a designer marketplace, but he has some valid points.

Crowd design

Instead of working with a single designer, crowd design sites expose your job to dozens of designers. First, you post a design project explaining what you’re looking for. Once the project is open, any designer in the community can submit one or more designs. You then review the submissions and choose the one you like best and the designer of that logo is paid.

Many designers refuse to participate in such sites because they are working for free unless you choose their design. They argue that the quality of design is lower. But I’ve seen plenty of great-looking designs on those sites. The primary benefit for you is getting to have lots of different designers all working on your project, then you get to choose your favorite one.

99 Designs has over 300K designers and DesignCrowd has over 400K. I wasn’t able to find how many are at 48 Hours Logo. I also suggest looking at a few open or completed contests to make sure you like the logos you see before you start a project.

Freelance designers

Another option is to look for freelancers on portfolio sites where designers can show off their work. You can also search for local freelance talent and contact them directly.

A few portfolio sites to look at include:

Local freelancers:

Outsourcing

This is similar to the idea of hiring a freelancer online, but instead of going directly to them, you can use an outsourcing marketplace where workers from all over the world gather.

The two that I’ve used most are:

Tips

Your main goal is to get a logo that looks good, but there are a few pitfalls to be aware of.

First, make sure your designer is doing original work. You don’t want to find out later that they copied a logo and you now have a lawsuit on your hands.

Second, make sure you own the copyright of the logo at the end of the transaction. You don’t want to have to pay to use your own logo.

Third, make sure to get high-resolution images of your design. If you plan to use them in print like business cards, brochures or stationary, make sure to have them in 300 DPI.

Lastly, if possible, get the original files so you can take them to another designer later on. This will probably cost more, but gives you greater flexibility if you don’t have a good experience and want another designer to make adjustments without starting from scratch.

Conclusion

Creating a design may seem like a big commitment, but even the biggest of companies have revised their logos over time. Instead of looking for the perfect design, just get one that’s good enough and keep moving forward. Good luck!

August 7, 2014
1122 words
6 minute read

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