So you are setting up your business, as a sole trader perhaps. You have spotted your niche in the market, acknowledged that your skills are a perfect match to fill that niche and have decided to take the plunge.
You know you need a logo. Everyone knows you need a logo. But you’ve got important things to spend your money on and the logo ain’t one of them. With the amount of websites out there, you’re bound to find someone who can do something for £100 or so. That’ll do, right?
Unfortunately this is a common attitude in the world today. Businesses large and small are popping up everywhere, desperate for success at as small a cost as they can get away with. And why not? There are thousands of websites dedicated to providing logos for as little as £10, offering ’100% Unique’, ‘great looking’, affordable logos at a fraction of the market price.
But you know that you’re not going to get anything worth having for £10, right?
Let’s go back to basics. Why do you even need a logo? Actually, let’s go back a little further. How important to you is your business?
Your business, your identity
Your business is your livelihood. It’s your source of income. Often it’s your brain-child, a treasured idea that you’ve worked hard at developing and are, rightly, very proud of and protective over. Maybe it’s your route to financial success and fame, maybe your way of making a difference. Maybe it’s your childhood dream and something that you’ve finally been able to turn from imagination to reality. In any case, you pour your heart and soul into it and long for it to thrive.
So you need to present it to your market. Your customers need to see it. But they need to see it and know they want it. You need them to need your product or service. At the very least they need to see it as a viable option and one that’s worthy of them giving you a try.
Marketing is a complex art. There are many aspects to give consideration to, but the way your business looks to (and communicates with) your market HAS to be considered as a priority. And one huge way that your business communicates with your market is through its branding.
…are you really willing to spend less than you’d spend on a meal out…?
Your logo, as part of your branding, is likely to be the first thing your customers see of your business – are you really willing to spend less than you’d spend on a meal out on what is potentially going to be the lynchpin of that communication process for the next ‘x’ number of years?
No, of course not! It should be much more of an investment than that. When you invest in a professional service, you know that you get what you pay for. Be that service a gadget, a holiday package or a new clutch on your car. If you go for the cheap option it’s rarely worth doing at all, whereas you know that if you pay what it’s worth you’re more likely to find you get the quality you require. Why not the same for a logo? As I mentioned earlier, your business is your livelihood and your passion. Creating an appropriate visual language for it should therefore, arguably, be worthy of a much greater investment than all of the above! Shouldn’t it?
It’s all relative
That is not to say that I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of investment, and depending on the size of your organisation, probably not even tens of thousands.
The size of the project (and therefore the fee) will relate directly to the size of the organisation, their market size and the amount of research required to gain a full and thorough understanding of the brief. So, for example, a large multinational company with markets across the globe, huge advertising and marketing needs and high profile competition will need to spend a lot more on getting their identity right than a sole trader or small limited company trading and marketing locally and within smaller boundaries.
But the process of finding the right solution for your branding is vital. If you go to the right person or agency it will be carried out by a professional with training and experience with passion for doing a great job. They will take the time to get to know your business and your vision. They will provide insight and advice. They will spend time in research, sketching, developing and artworking ideas. Valuable time, but well invested time.
And it’s not just valuable, it’s exciting! Sharing the deepest ambitions and plans for your business with a designer may be scary, but seeing them understand how your business is special, jump onto your wavelength and help carry your plans forward make it very rewarding for the client. Particularly seeing the visual elements take shape and either become something you’ve imagined but not yet been able to articulate, or even more thrilling, giving you more unexpected insight and adding a completely new slant that, though you hadn’t thought of it before, fits the bill perfectly!
Unfortunately, if you are unwilling to invest fully in the process, I’m afraid you are running the risk of being disappointed. You may find you end up working with a designer who is unable to spend the required time researching your needs and thinking about how to solve your problem.
The result will likely be a cosmetic solution, maybe a nice font with a couple of tweaks made to the letters, or perhaps a generic ‘clip-art’ style icon that gives no real insight other than the obvious (e.g. A spanner for a plumber, or a computer keyboard for a networking company). Your ‘logo’ may be enough to get you by in the short term but may well portray your business as ‘run of the mill’ rather than outstanding, probably needing to be redesigned as your ambitions grow and the months or years go by.
Your ‘logo’ may be enough to get you by in the short term but may well portray your business as ‘run of the mill’ rather than outstanding
If obvious and cheap IS what you’re after, for your personal blog header for example, by all means shop around and don’t feel you need to break the bank! A serious professional will hopefully be able to gauge your needs and won’t charge you the world for something you don’t want. But if you want your logo to work hard for you and your business, there are plenty of professionals, myself included, who would be delighted to help that to happen.
Feel free to get in touch and chat through any design needs you may have and I'd be glad to help you work out what you require.