Today I want to show you how I managed to get a logo and style I love.
A logo is the first item of business for most new ventures.
Whether you’re a startup business, or thinking about a personal blog like this one, you want a great looking logo and you want it to represent your new venture accurately and professionally.
So where do you start?
Today I want to share with you the choices you have and some of the benefits (and pitfalls) around the choices you’re about to make.
First of all, let me state something that’s kind of obvious but where most people mess up.
Your logo won’t be the difference between the success or failure of your business. Unless of course you choose something really offensive.. then maybe it will. But generally speaking, you’re not going to kill a business due to a bad font choice.
Getting a Logo from Fiverr
Fiverr is a good place to start if you’ve got a small budget.
One of my clients recently launched a new venture and needed a logo. He didn’t want to pay a lot because he was launching a website and a bunch of other things all at once – taking a hit on his hip pocket.
I suggested Fiverr.
But I also suggested he doesn’t just buy 1 gig. Instead, he should order 5 or 10 different gigs from different people. The reason is, Fiverr is a bit hit & miss. You can find some great people on Fiverr, but some people are terrible. Sure they’ll send you something, but you’ll be repulsed by the work.
That’s not what you want. You are looking for a logo that you love and are proud of.
Here’s a sample of the logo concepts he got when using Fiverr (You can click on the images to make them larger).
Personally, I liked 4 of these designs and thought any of them could work. At the end of the day, the name is what we wanted clients to remember.
Peter made his choice. Here’s what it looks like on his website;
All in all, Peter spent about $60 to get a logo that looks great with his brand.
Can that be improved. Yes – pretty much everything can be improved. Does it need to be?
Let me answer that question with this; After launching his new website, 1 week later he won a customer who’s purchase made him over a thousand dollars.
Did the logo make a difference? Probably not. Peter is just better off because he launched a website and won new business.
Fiverr Pros: Low Cost, Fast Turnaround
Fiverr Cons: Big variance with the quality of work created.
Fiverr Advice: Order multiple gigs to ensure you get something decent.
Getting a logo from 99 Designs
99Designs is great for someone who has a bit more money and they’re willing to go through a longer process to get the design they want.
If you haven’t heard of 99 Designs, this is how it works;
- You order one of their packages.
- You describe the project.
- Multiple creative people look at the project and choose if they want to design it.
- They give you a mock up sample of what they are thinking. Most are completed designs.
- You end up with a bunch of different design concepts from different artists.
- You choose the one you like the most.
- You then have a chance to refine that work with your chosen artist.
- You finalise the design, agree to release payment and the designer gives you all the files.
Because you have multiple designers, you need to be aware that there’s only one winner. That means, the less you’re spending, the less people are likely to try to ‘win’ the work.
The reverse is also true. The more you spend, the more people will try to win the work. But there’s another advantage. Better artists will be inclined to work on your project.
Here’s a list of the packages 99 Designs sells;
As you can see the $1,500 package gets you hand picked designers picked by the team at 99 designs.
This raises a few issues for creative people.
First of all, if we just use averages, if 60 people design a job worth $1,499 and only one person gets paid, then 59 people get nothing at all.
If everyone won work equally, each artist/designer would win 1 in 60 jobs.
Essentially that boils down to getting paid $25 for each design they create ($25 x 60 = $1,500). OUCH.
Many people don’t agree with this kind of service, but it has proven to work for both the creators and the clients in the past.
99Designs Pros: Crowdsourced design work, a lot of choice.
99Designs Cons: Some would say it’s unethical and treats designers poorly. You need to make up your own mind.
99Designs Advice: The cheaper jobs usually mean the work isn’t as good as the more expensive jobs. IE: You’ll get what you pay for.
Getting a logo from Behance
Let me be the first to say, I LOOOOVE Behance.
If I have nothing else to do, I could spend hours looking at amazing creative work on this website.
Behance shows off portfolio’s of creative people. Photographers and designers get noticed on Behance.
If you have time to kill and you want an amazing artist to work on your brand, then this is the place to find someone.
The premise is pretty simple. Take a look through the portfolio of various designers, then message someone you like and ask them how much they would charge to do design work for you.
Take a look at this project (Click on the image below to see it).
This work was done by Julian Ardila in Colombia. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty cool.
In some cases, you might approach a designer who lives in another country. There may be a language barrier, but don’t let that put you off. A lot of people that work with me speak English as a second language and still deliver amazing work.
Behance Pros: Amazing work. You can find someone who has similar design style to your exact needs.
Behance Cons: Not always reliable. Can take a lot of research and can be a time sink if it’s only for one small project.
Behance Advice: If you absolutely need to get your brand image right, getting the perfect designer is the way to go. Behance is where you should look.
Getting the Steve Fitz logo
Fortunately for me, I happen to have a very good friend who is a lecturer at Tafe.
I was discussing this website as one of my new projects and they happened to mention this work might be great for their students.
So, I went into a room filled with third year graduates and delivered a casual, but comprehensive brief for what I wanted. Students could then decide if they wanted to take on this project as part of their coursework, or if they’d prefer not to.
I agreed that if I ultimately chose to use any designs, I would pay the artist/s involved.
In this instance, two graduates really stood out.
The first, completed a design for the logo and icon of this site. Some of the images below represent the work he did in creating the final product (you can click the images to make them larger)
Benjamin Clark really ran with my ideas and spent hours trying different types of designs by hand, before finally committing his favourite concepts to computer.
That’s old fashioned design technique right there. His hand drawn style ultimately resulted in my signature initials on the bottom of every page of this site. It’s simple, clean and very stylish – just like me (yeah right).
But it’s something that I can be proud of – and Ben who delivered such great work should be also.
Here’s a little more from a Q&A I had with Ben;
How do you get started on a logo design (pen/paper – computer etc..)?
More often than not I will go straight for my sketch pad and start by fleshing out some rough ideas off the top of my head. Although my logo sketching abilities are limited in some respects, this does still allow me to conjure up and visualise any potential fundamental design features that organically evolve without too much thought getting in the way. Eventually I will take it to the computer and continue working on it, ultimately spending most of my time perfecting the minutiae of the design there.
Do you have favourite styles or colour combinations?
I’ve always been drawn towards design styles that are able to mix elegance with confidence and audacity. Strong, bold, economical designs that showcase that perfect balance between simplicity and indulgence are the ones that work the best in my eyes. As for colours… how about a nice pinkish orange and soft powder blue? Sounds good.
What can a client do to help you give them the best design?
Having the client divulge about the purpose and philosophy of the brand they are seeking work for is paramount to gaining an appropriate understanding of the style of work I need to produce. I also like descriptive words and have a deep appreciation for language and a good vocabulary. Finding effective ways to traverse between words and visuals and have them convey the same thing to an audience is something I am constantly working on.
What movie quote/title best sums you up?
Lost in Translation
Benjamin’s portfolio of work is on Behance. I’d encourage anyone who is after a designer with talent and great work ethic to approach him for their own projects. I know I have pencilled his name in for some work in the future.
Livia Eades came up with a concept that I also loved.
Initially, I was thinking this could be perfect for the site, but ultimately felt it locked me into a specific direction. However, it does suit the podcast series I want to launch, so Livia took her work from a simple logo design to a podcast album cover.
The way Livia created the puzzle image with my name is simply brilliant and as you can see perfectly aligns with the lag line ‘Solving the life puzzle’ which was a part of my initial brief to the students.
Getting a logo you love
So whatever you decide with your new logo – make sure you’re happy that it meets with your expectations and delivers what you need in terms of your brand.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money either. Creative work is a tough job, no matter what it is that you’re creating. As you can see by the quality of work displayed in this blog post, designers dedicate a lot of time to create what may ultimately result in a memorable, artistic and clever brand that will be recognised for years to come.