I get it.
You invested thousands of dollars into your new business.
Overhead costs. Startup costs. Equipment costs and incorporating fees. You’re spending more money than making it. And that can be pretty frustrating.
Now you’re down to the wire.
You’re ready to get this thing rolling.
The last piece of the puzzle you need is a logo. Something just to get started. You obviously know the importance of having one, but don’t feel the need to invest in one the same way you did in other areas of your business.
It’s just a logo, right?
So you crack open Word, Publisher, or visit Fiverr to get one for $5. Either way, you’re determined to get it for free or for as little as possible. Nothing more than $100. And that’s pushing it. You just need it to be good enough to get started.
No harm in that, right?
Well here’s the thing about “good enough”:[clickToTweet tweet=”The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” quote=”The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. – Maureen Dowd”]
You’ve come this far. Why handicap your business now?
Your logo is such an important part of your brand’s identity. Going for cheap or homemade will result in a cheap or homemade looking identity and compromise the perception of your brand.
In the case of logos we do judge a book by its cover. I do it everyday as a filter to what comes into my space and what stays out.
The author of “Logo Design Love” recorded the first 33 logos he noticed in the first 33 minutes of his day to see how many brands we interacted with in 24 hours. That was in 2008. In his second edition (2015), he pulls an excerpt from Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. that the average American sees 16,000 advertisements, logos, and labels in a day.
16,000 is the number you’re competing against for attention. That’s a huge number. And the cost of not investing in this area of your business is greater than what you originally paid for.
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”Dr. Ralph Speth, CEO Jaguar
Every business relies on their logo to be it’s first impression. It’s a full-time employee working around the clock for you and it has to execute on the following:
- Communicate who and what your business is and does
- Reach your target audience
- Distinguish your product or service
- Represent your company’s culture, values, and vision
- Be professional, memorable, legible, and unique
- Be adaptable to span print, web, social media, and physical products
That’s a lot of responsibility.
And if you haven’t the trained eye for design (which can be learned, by the way!) or the person you’re paying $25 to design it doesn’t, you run the risk of communicating the wrong message and perception.
But since I’m a visual learner (and others might be too), I can show you better than I can explain it with words and text.
The Case of Kate’s Florist
I don’t know Kate. She could be a mom, a newlywed wife, or a single mother setting up an Etsy shop. Either way, Kate is a florist. Her logo does accomplish communicating who and what her business is and does, and will reach her target audience off of the name alone.
But right away we can tell this was something made by hand. It isn’t professional. The white backgrounds on the clip art pieces cover up the green oval. They’re also in different styles: one is in watercolor, the other has flat coloring (no shadows or highlights), and the last one looks cartoon-y.
The overall composition of her logo lacks consistency throughout. Themes and styles don’t come together and it’s hard not to look at it as 5 different pieces trying to work together as a single unit (the 3 clip art illustrations, the 1 font used, and the green oval).
Kate might be extraordinarily good at what she does, but the lack of professionalism doesn’t build the initial trust necessary to give her more than a “meh.”
So let’s see the difference between what Kate did for herself and what it may look like in the hands of a professional.
Okay, Kate! I see you now!
But let’s highlight some of the improvements:
- The font compliments the flower art. Before we had something similar to Times New Roman. Now the font feels just as expressive as the illustrated floral arrangement
- There’s a unified style in how the flowers look. They’re watercolor based and are all using the same color palette. Each is as detailed as the one next to it with neither one stronger than the other. They all work to create a unified arrangement.
- The floral arrangement is slightly incorporated into Kate’s name as the apostrophe is represented in the form of a leaf. This makes it personal as well as memorable.
Now There’s Something to Build On
A logo designed by a professional should always lead to more use. You should get mileage out of it.
The logo Kate designed wouldn’t have stretched that far. Imagine putting that on a sticker label or a favicon (that small graphic to the left of your browser tabs). But the second logo we can stretch a bit.
Now we’re getting into a more cohesive identity. Her business cards feel warm, welcoming, and inviting. The same two fonts used in her logo are now incorporated here. She’s got a new font that can associated with her brand identity, a color palette, and a great set of illustrated, watercolor flowers that can be adapted to change as the seasons go by to keep her marketing materials fresh and relevant.
We’ve taken Kate from “meh” to “Wow!,” and I encourage you to do the same with your business. It takes an investment, but which would you prefer? The logo that Kate designed or the logo the professional designed that lead to building an entire identity?
Highlights, Takeaways, & Quick Wins
- The competition for attention is crowded. 16,000 voices to be exact. Give yourself the chance to compete. Don’t get immediately filtered out by settling for “good enough” on one of the most important pieces of your brand’s identity: your logo.
- Your logo is the face of your company that works around the clock for you. Make sure it communicates who you are and what you do.
- You should always get a lot of use and mileage from a logo. It should scale, it should adapt, and it should bring about many other moving parts to create an identity.
The discussion for all blog posts takes place in my email. If you have a question, comment, suggestion, or just need some advice you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org