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Logo Design Advice

If you need a professional company logo, here’s some advice that is a little controversial.

I’ve designed around 50 logos over the years, including those for my own businesses (some examples are in the image above). I don’t design logos anymore, and I’m not the world’s best logo designer, but I like to think I know what I’m talking about.

When I designed logos, I usually charged around $1,000. (IMO they were worth it, and that’s on the low end of the “professional logo designer” pricing scale)

Here’s my advice to you: if you just started your business, don’t spend $1,000 on a logo.

I also don’t think you should design your own logo (unless you are talented creatively). It’s extremely important to have a professional logo, and if your skills aren’t up to the task, you could be doing more harm than good.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to get a less-than-perfect logo and use that until your business takes off. It’s just a starting point, you can always redesign your logo later. That’s what we did with Press Coders, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we redesigned our logo again at some point.

Yes, I’ve read books on the importance of branding, and I appreciate a great logo more than the average person. I just don’t think it’s important to pay thousands of dollars for a perfect logo if you don’t even know that your company will be around in a year or two.

What’s more important is getting something to use affordably while you get your business cranking.

How to get an affordable logo

I’ve reviewed the portfolios of many different companies offering “cheap” logo design, and most of it is crap.

Just because you aren’t going to spend thousands of dollars doesn’t mean you have to get an unprofessional logo that is going to make your company look bad. For around $100-$300 you can get something that works just fine until your business gets cranking.

A few companies stood out to me, and here’s one of them.

99 Designs

These guys have a couple of options for you, you can either buy a pre-made logo for $99 (they put your company name in the logo in 24 hours), or you can start a design contest.

Pre-Made Logo

Go to the 99designs website and click on “Logo Store” in the top left. You can choose one of these designs, and they will put your name into it within 24 hours, and it’s only $99!

I would recommend this route if you want to spend as little as possible. The logos look professional, and you can see exactly what you are going to get without worrying about revisions or deadlines.

Design Contest

The design contest is an interesting way of “crowdsourcing” your design. You basically set the conditions of the design, and lots of different designers can submit their designs. You choose the best one, and pay the winner. *Note this is a little controversial, see the comments below

Pros – While I’m against crowdsourcing from a designers perspective, it can be good for a small business owner without a lot of money. You get to see the work of a bunch of different designers while you only pay one.

Cons – It seems to me that you get what you pay for. It’s not worth doing a contest unless you spend at least $300 to get designers interested in your project. If you are going to spend that much, you might as well save up a little more and pay a designer.

Does this work for everyone?

This advice does not apply if you have a business with a decent income, and some staying power. In that case you would want to get a logo that will last, and you shouldn’t get cheap with your long-term branding.

However, if you’re just getting started, and you don’t have much of a budget, 99designs could work great for you.

P.S. – If you have some time to kill, and you want to see some beautiful, professional logos, check out http://logopond.com/.

What has been your experience with getting a logo designed? Share it in the comments below…

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