When you first think of the major brands in the United States, you can probably picture their logos within a few seconds. Nike, Starbucks, Apple, McDonalds, your favorite TV network and your favorite car company all have logos that stand out in your memory. This alone should help you understand why logo design is so important. Images communicate your brand’s essence to your potential customers, giving them something to hold onto and an easy way to recognize your brand among others.
As a small business, having a logo is a critical step toward building your business. You want something consistent to put on your business cards, website, print advertisements, letterhead and materials like apparel or tote bags. Your logo shouldn’t be something that is just cobbled together; it needs to be well thought out and give people the right impression. The two major routes you can take when creating the logo are to do it yourself or to hire a professional, and each option has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros and cons of DIY logos
- You know your company better than anyone else, so you are the best judge of the ideas you want to communicate.
- You may already have a concept for your logo and if you have the skills to execute it, the process can be much faster and less expensive than using a professional.
- Logo design software is widely available, but it often produces a logo with an amateur appearance because of the clip art and fonts used.
- The best logos are created in vector programs, which allows them to be scaled to many sizes without distortion. If you don’t have a program or know how to use it, the cost and learning curve can be steep.
- When you don’t have design experience, the temptation is often to make a logo that includes too many components. The best logos tend to be simple and often just have the company name plus one graphic element.
Pros and cons of professionally designed logos
- A professional logo designer has years of experience at both recognizing and developing effective logos, which is a lot more than you can say even after spending days or weeks researching.
- Professional logos are unique because the designer can create each aspect from scratch, which helps your business stand out among others.
- You are guaranteed to not have licensing or use problems with a professional logo from a reputable company because you know the designer has the rights to each component in the logo.
- Cost is the main factor holding most people back from getting a professional logo. However, many trusted design companies have affordable logo package options at several price points.
- It’s more difficult to tweak a professionally designed logo later than it is with a logo you design yourself. However, if you get the logo right the first time, you won’t have this problem.
The bottom line is that a business can succeed with a DIY logo, but only if it’s actually a good one. If you don’t have technical and conceptual skills, outsource your logo project to a professional. No matter which route you choose, make sure you’re confident in your logo before you put it into use. A bad logo can have a negative impact on your business that can be hard to undo.