Quick!! What company is this?
Let me be clear: your logo is not your brand. Your brand is your business’ personality, and your logo should certainly be indicative of that. Your logo becomes a way to graphically “sum up” who you are. It’s a challenge. Like many other things in the world, it’s a lot easier to use more when describing rather than less, and the editing is where the challenge lies.
As an artist, you may not need logo. If you are an actor, you should be using your face on your website and business cards: after all, that mug is your paycheque. I know quite a few visual artists who use their signature as their logo, like my friend, Madeleine Wood.
But if you are an artist, and you want to have a logo, or you are a small business and you want to create a strong brand, here are a few inexpensive options for creating a logo.
But, before you start, you need to get really clear about what your business is about, and what you stand for. The clearer your idea is, the easier it will be for you to come up with a graphic that conveys that notion. Take lots of time to surf around on the ‘Net and look at all different kinds of logos, and note which ones appeal to you, and which ones do not. See if you can discern why certain ones work for you and why others turn you off. Check out this list of twenty questions to ask yourself when preparing to create a logo. You may also want to turn to a designer’s resource like How Design (h/t @dloehr).
1: Grow Your Own
If you’re like me, your Photoshop and InDesign skills are about good enough to resize photos, crop, and not much else. You are certainly not qualified to create your own logo. There is help, however! There are several excellent programs out there that are free or low cost that walk you through the process of creating your logo. These programs are more for people who already have an idea of what they want their logo to look like. Check out Sothink’s Logo Maker.
2. Hire a Student
….or a recent graduate who’s just getting started. Do a Google search for schools in your area that teach programs in graphic design, and then get in touch with them. Most of them have job boards where you can post your logo design request. The upside of using this method is that you’ll get some fresh design skills, but the downside might be working with someone who is inexperienced. You can also try posting your design request to ELance, although you may never meet your designer in real life with this method, so if that’s important to you, skip it.
Ever since the Gap Crowdsourced its new logo, Crowdsourcing services for logo and graphic design have exploded on the interwebz. Sites like 99 Designs allow you to choose from hundreds, or maybe more, submitted logo designs for just under $300. Here is a list of the top 5 Crowdsourced Logo Design sites. Should you go this route? I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with a few of my #2amt colleagues about this subject while writing this blog post, that I think may lead to another post…
Have you had a logo designed for your business? I’d love it if you would share your ideas. Post a link to your logo and how you got it in the comments section below. Here’s my logo design story.