How important is a logo to a company’s brand?
A logo is at the core of a company’s image, communications and marketing brand. It is the symbol and icon that heralds the promise of great products or service from a firm. A great logo is memorable and easily recognized. The design and development of a logo, which encapsulates and communicates clearly the spirit and essence of a company; one that connects with buyers, demands some real sleeves up work from an experienced designer. It is not something that is whipped up in a day or a task charged for by the hour like plumbing. There is a process of research, design and development of many concepts, testing and finally implementation of the best idea which can take weeks if not months to achieve a great corporate icon. It is the most difficult and most important part in the development of a marketing and branding package. A logo often guides the overall graphic direction and defines the spirit of a company’s communications designs. This is important for the integrity of a brand. Sure, it sounds expensive and when done right, it can be. But it doesn’t always have to be.
Should you employ crowdsourcing to save money?
Despite the claims by websites offering discount design services, designers competing for work in crowdsourcing sites are not highly qualified professionals. Qualified professionals in any white collar industry do not work for as little as $5 per hour. They do not ignore the fundamental research and contact with the client needed to do the job correctly. The offer of a $99 logo design, worked on by a team of so called designers, may look appealing economically in the short term. But in the long term may spell disaster for any business just looking to save a few dollars. The thought of employing a cheap designer for your business communications should be as shocking as looking for a cheap dentist to do your root canal work. The outcome can’t be good in either scenario.
People working for crowdsourcing sites may know nothing about your industry or market. It’s impossible for you to interview designers in a crowdsourcing site to find out if they have what it takes to do your project. Add to this, the fact that crowdsourced designers work all over the world, in many different cultures, markets and economies. It is not reasonable to ask a designer in Mumbai to understand the market in Toronto. Culture and economy affect buyer attitudes and decisions. Corporate design must reflect these attitudes locally to be effective. If a logo design is done poorly, it will inevitably reflect badly on the business. It will affect customer attitudes negatively and therefore the bottom line. Once a bad logo is seen in public it is difficult, if not impossible to recover from it.
In addition, crowdsourcing devalues the design industry, making it increasingly difficult for legitimate local designers to find work and to charge reasonable rates in line with that profession. Anyone employing crowdsourcing sites is contributing to the decline of the local economy.
What if a business can’t afford to hire a qualified professional designer?
Often small business branding demands are considerably less than that of a large corporation. Their offerings and market segment may be simpler and smaller which can help simplify what a logo needs to communicate to the market. Also, many designers understand that a small organization’s budgets may be tight. A good designer is capable of still providing a meaningful and productive service which will help a company get off the ground. A highly skillful logo designer can draw upon their years of experience and relatively quickly come up with solutions which still yield the desired result for their small business client without straining the budget.
I urge every business owner to avoid crowd sourcing, invest in a local designer who understands the local market and knows how to develop a good corporate image. A local designer will care about your business and continue to support you in the future. Employing crowdsourcing takes work away from the local market and designers who may need the work. Crowdsourcing sites don’t care about the long term success of their clients and businesses, they’re in it for the quick buck and that is all.