You may have noticed web sites that offer CHEAP! logos for your business, or a logo designed in only two hours. Often for less than the price of lunch, they claim to provide you with a “custom-designed” identity or offer you a choice from the submissions of dozens of designers.
However, if you think about this for more than a few seconds it should be apparent that creating a unique logo with no input from and little or no information about a business is an oxymoron at it’s best. Designing an effective identity for a company involves discovery, research, collaboration between designer and client, and the ability to interpret all of this into a workable creative solution that is uniquely representative of a company. When you remove this crucial interaction from the process, you also remove any hope that the final identity will stand out as the recognizable logo of one business and that business alone. There will be little meaningful flow of ideas between client and designer to create an identity that represents your company better…simply take it or leave it.
And that’s just the beginning. There’s no guarantee that the use of a logo from these sites won’t infringe on intellectual property rights—a company won’t be able to confidently trademark their own logo. There is the possibility that clip art may be used as part or all of the logo, and therefore may show up in other places for far different purposes than to represent the business. There is little protection that an available logo won’t be bought by someone else or altered so slightly for resale that the difference is negligible. Exclusive rights offered for logos will add considerably to the initial cost, and still won’t prevent a slight alteration to a purchased logo design so that it can be offered for sale again!
I received an email recently from one such service with the enticement to sell my “unused” logos for extra money on their site, i.e.; logos I’ve created for my clients that didn’t make the final cut. Leftovers being represented as unique logos to buyers?? I design identities carefully for each of my clients, and while every concept developed cannot be “the one,” they’re definitely weren’t designed with just any old business in mind. I honestly would not even know how to go about designing a generic logo…there is just so much a designer needs to know about the objectives and goals…culture and personality of the business, and the greater understanding that goes with the interchange between company and designer as the identity develops.
A logo is much more than just a pretty picture…it is the visual representation of a business—the face it presents to it’s clients consistently every day in many ways. Being true to that requires so much more than a few dollars, a few minutes on-line and the click of a mouse to fulfill. Isn’t your business worth more than that?