This article will help guide some of your decision-making factors when designing or updating your logo, including whether you should hire a professional.
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When you're first starting your business, designing your logo can be one of the more exciting and potentially creative aspects. For many, a logo is the face of their company, so understandably, individuals tend to put a lot of weight on their designs. Going with a well-established logo designing agency will almost certainly produce impressive results. Still, the average DIY digital marketer isn't necessarily looking to achieve the levels of brand recognizability like Coke or Apple, at least not at first.
Don't let those statistics intimidate you! There are countless resources available to help conceptualize an effective logo, and many are free. This article will help guide some of your decision-making factors when designing or updating your logo, including whether you should hire a professional.
Types of Logo Services Available as a Freelance Digital Marketer
When it comes to creating your logo, there's no shortage of available resources, regardless of your level of expertise. I've personally used many different methods to design my logos in the past and tried countless paid services. Ultimately, your overall business strategy and budgetary concerns will dictate which option will work best.
Subscription-Based Website Services
One of the more approachable options is finding an online platform you like and paying for a subscription. The subscription typically allows the user to create and download a high-resolution logo with included commercial use. The beauty of these services is that they will do most of the heavy lifting regarding the technical aspects of your design. For example, I've used Tailor Brands for some of my logos in the past, and by the time you get to the "design" portion, most of the work has already been done.
A subscription-based logo design website is a great solution for designing a professional-looking logo without the hassle of creating something from scratch.
They ask a series of questions like your industry, any taglines, company name, style and font preferences, etc., allowing you to narrow down the concept of your logo. This is an excellent option if you're struggling to envision the look and feel of your logo, especially when first starting out. If you're like me, you may have a general concept for your logo but not the designing abilities to bring it to reality. Services like these give you professional tools to create your logo without needing a degree in design. Here's a quick breakdown of their subscription pricing (they offer a monthly option as well, but you'll save 70% with the yearly plan):
Data courtesy of Tailor Brands
There are many "online logo makers" available out there as well, so don't feel like you need to commit to any single platform. Additionally, since the demand for logo design services is high, these sites tend to offer competitive pricing to appeal to larger audiences. Regardless, opting for a subscription-based logo design website is a great solution for designing a professional-looking logo without the hassle of creating something from scratch.
I've used several freelance marketplaces like Fiverr extensively for logo conceptualization and design. The prices vary depending on what's being produced. Likewise, the quality and experience of the freelancer offering their services will impact the cost. When searching for logo services on Fiverr, you can browse by style to help narrow down your search as well. Based on my experience, the quality widely varies unless you're willing to pay a more substantial amount for a Pro Verified designer (which may be the case for some businesses). That being said, I've had many amazing experiences with freelance logo designers under $20 on Fiverr; there's just a higher potential for a less impressive, "ready-to-go" final product.
If you decide to go with a seller on Fiverr, I recommend choosing a service that includes the logo's source files (or the associated .psd or .ai files). That way, you can always manually edit and update your design as your business persona evolves over time. You can also share the source files with future designers should you choose that route.
Like subscription-based website services, Freelance Marketplaces are a cost-effective alternative to hiring an agency or professional logo designer. Additionally, they're ideal if you're having trouble visualizing your concept for a logo. Often freelance logo designers will provide you with various mock-ups for the design, making it more collaborative. Make sure you choose a seller that offers revisions!
Website builders and development platforms, such as Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, etc., are becoming more inclusive with their features, allowing freelancers to grow and develop their personas. As these website builders move towards full-service development platforms, many are beginning to offer impressive logo design services. Depending on which platform you use, it may be worth it to invest in your existing website builder's logo design software as the interface is already familiar, and you'll be able to maintain your resources on a single platform. Let's take a look at some of the options if you decide to go this route.
Squarespace Logo Maker (Free)
Squarespace offers a free logo maker on their site, which is surprisingly robust, especially considering it's free. You don't even need to have an existing account on Squarespace (though an account is required to download the logo files). The platform offers the barebones tools necessary to create a logo, including a tagline, company name, and icon browser.
I made a quick logo in Squarespace's logo maker to test out the platform (below):
You can change colors and select from a variety of fonts to match the style you're looking for to identify your company's persona. As an added bonus, you can download your logo as a high-resolution .png file up to 5000x2890px for free! According to Squarespace's support page, you will need a Squarespace 7 account or higher to download high-resolution logos for free.
Wix Logo Maker (Basic: $20, Advanced: $50)
The Wix logo maker offers more features than Squarespace, like a wider variety of icons, custom color palettes, and more. Like the subscription-based sites we discussed earlier, the Wix logo maker automates much of the decision-making process by asking a series of questions to design your logo. Though, unlike Squarespace, these features come at a cost.
After designing a logo in Wix's software that you're happy with, you can download a low-resolution sample (198x198px) for free. If you're looking to get the standard file sizes and commercial usage rights, you'll need to pay a one-time fee of $20 for their Basic package or $50 for the Advanced package (which includes resizable logo files as well as social media logo files).
WordPress (Essential: $30, Professional: $60)
Interestingly, WordPress partnered with Fiverr for their logo design platform, using freelance and independent designers for their creations. Like Wix, WordPress uses a questionnaire to help guide your design decisions for your logo. You can manually search for your industry and indicate elements you want to include in your logo to help narrow down the design even further.
Once you've selected a design you're interested in, you can see the associated Fiverr designer who contributed the logo to the site as well. From there, you can also customize the design to better suit your preferences, including the option to select "suggested" customizations.
The WordPress x Fiverr logo maker is the most expensive of these three options. Full commercial usage and a high-quality .png download of the logos will run you $30 for the "Essential" package. If you're interested in a "Print Ready" version of the logo, or an editable/resizable file, the "Professional" package will set you back $60. Considering WordPress uses designs from freelancers and independent designers, the additional cost may be worth it for those looking to support their work.
If you're unsure where to start when creating your logo, I highly recommend Squarespace's free logo maker. Even if your design doesn't become a "forever" logo for your company, Squarespace's software can provide effective results with high-resolution files, all for free.
Digital Branding Agencies
If you're unfamiliar with digital branding agencies, they're platforms designed to help you establish your brand in the digital space and develop brand recognition. This option would be ideal for larger companies looking to improve their existing, established brand. These types of services work closely with their clients to develop a cohesive branding strategy well beyond the company logo. As you might have guessed, this option isn't really intended for individuals just starting out with digital marketing. According to TechCrunch, a professional branding agency could cost you upwards of $3,000 for the logo alone. Though the more expensive option, you get what you pay for with most agencies.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Professional Logo Designer?
Outsourcing your logo design to a professional can be advantageous, especially for those who are just starting out and have the resources to invest in a high-quality logo. Many digital marketers are understandably intimidated by the design process of creating a brand and logo, so it may be worth the extra cost of hiring a professional. As Paulo Coelho wrote, "Nothing can substitute experience."
If you don't have experience with graphic design or are unsure where to start, designing a logo can be a significant time investment. If that's the case, opting for a professional with hundreds of logo designs under their belt may be a sound choice. In digital marketing, as is with most industries, time is money. Additionally, with a professional designer, it's less likely that you'll need to update the logo in the future, saving even more time for you to allocate resources to other aspects of your business.
More Design Variety
If you decide to create your own logo, it can be challenging to imagine variations of your design outside of what you've created. I tend to get so focused on a single design I lose sight of the bigger picture while creating my logo and brand. Most professionals (and freelancers) will provide a variety of logo designs you can choose from. Even if you aren't in love with all the designs, this is immensely helpful for narrowing down your idea.
Often designers will produce designs you hadn't even thought of initially, as their expertise allows them to create modern and relevant logos that might give you the competitive edge you need while establishing your brand.
Tips to Creating Your Own Logo
As we discussed earlier, if you feel confident enough to design your own logo, there are countless resources to help get you started, many of which are completely free to use. If you're still unsure where to begin creating your own logo, here are a few tips.
I've created many logos by using free design software, usually with excellent results. As companies continue to make their software and platforms more approachable and user-friendly, you can design a professional-looking logo, often for significantly less than what a professional or subscription-based service would cost.
I've been a long time GIMP user, and it has never let me down. People have commented on some of my designs, asking if I used Photoshop or Illustrator, to which I happily respond, "I used GIMP, and it's free!" This isn't meant as a brag but rather a testament to the versatility of GIMP's image editing software. The beauty of GIMP is the interface and features can be as simple or advanced as you want, depending on your design experience. Additionally, the GIMP community is very active, so they have training documentation or tutorial videos on almost anything you could imagine. You can even save files in .psd format (and edit .psd files) in case you want to share your designs with a professional or agency.
Visme is a platform I've started using recently. That being said, I also currently use it for almost every aspect of my DIY digital marketing. Whether it's an eBook, a presentation, logo design, or more, they seem to have a feature for everything. For example, I created all the infographics included in this post in Visme. Like this one:
Data courtesy of Visme
They market themselves as an "all-in-one visual communication tool," which I feel is a pretty accurate description. They have loads of icons and designs to choose from, including animated graphics. Though I haven't been using it long, I've yet to come across a project I couldn't do with Visme.
Things to Consider
When you're first starting out, it's ok to keep your design simple. You're most likely not going to create your favorite design on your first try. There's a natural evolution when you're creating your logo, which is part of the beauty of the process. Don't edit yourself too much at first; instead, let your vision develop and improve after several drafts. Also, remember to keep it simple! Some of the most recognizable logos, like Apple, Nike, McDonald's, etc., are incredibly minimal yet universally identifiable.
I recommend researching other company logos that resonate with you and your brand and clearly identifying what aspects work. Try to find ways to adapt those elements to your design and make them your own.
With the resources available for freelancers and DIY digital marketers, you really can't go wrong with whichever method you choose. In my personal experience as a digital marketer, I've found the free software and platforms currently available are enough to create unique and professional-looking logos. That being said, if you have the resources and a clearly defined vision for your brand, opting for a professional designer will make the likelihood of you getting your "forever" logo more certain.
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