My once five year old son came home from kindergarten and proudly preached, “Mari says, ‘You get what you get and you don’t get upset.’” He probably regrets saying that six years later. Those wise words couldn’t be more true and if only adults lived under this same phrase, we’d have a less cynical and complainy bunch. So how do we carry this through to logo design you ask? There are different categories with the level of design and you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
Before I go into the different categories of logos, let’s talk about why business owners choose to have a logo. We all want something to identify — please remember that word — our company and set it apart from our competitors.
When I’m thinking about grabbing toilet paper, maybe new home goods, and snacks, I immediately realize, “Hey! I finally have a good reason to go to Target.” That red bullseye immediately sparks joy and I spend a ridiculous amount of money that probably would make Dave Ramsey shake his head at me for spending unnecessary money. Target does a great job at creating an irresistible identity — remember that word? The bullseye is their logo mark; the red is part of their identity. We remember both components and never one without the other. Target probably didn’t go to one of those free logo design companies to create an identity system.
When you’re deciding which level of design you’re going to search for, ask yourself, “Do I want my brand to resonate with people that are willing to spend or those who clench when they think of doing business with you?”
Here are a few design levels:
Create your own logo; it’s free! Go ahead, ‘google’ it. Even our favorite e-commerce platform, Shopify, has their own logo maker. There are logo generators out there that will design you a logo for free. Plug in your business name. Click refresh and voila! You have a logo! Yay?
These logos are super random and you might get lucky and love it. That’s okay. We don’t judge you. Sometimes that’s all you can afford and all you have time for.
There’s Fiverr and there’s your next door neighbor’s cousin who can whip you up a “good” logo because they can draw. So they sketch something and you’ve got this great picture of a sketched logo that looks great, but it’s literally a photo taken with their cell phone and it’s not optimized for print or web and you end up going on Yelp to find someone who can “vectorize” it for you — whatever that means right? (We’ll give you another blog post on that later.) It can sometimes cost you a six pack of beer or maybe a hundred bucks, but chances are you won’t have everything you need to get your brilliant business idea off the ground and before the herds and before you know it, your idea’s old news.
Not all “agency” design levels are the same. Sometimes you’ll get a one page PDF of colors and a mark with a few options and call it a day. Sometimes you’ll get a suite of dos and don’ts mixed with usage, fonts, the whole shabang. Either way, it’s really hard to mess up your brand identity — unless of course you’re not a rule follower. That’s why brand managers exist. It’s their job to make sure your company is following the rules for your identity. The brands that decide to follow the rules have beautiful websites, packaging, print collateral, commercials, and experiences. Those are the memorable brands and the ones that keep you coming back for more. It’ll usually cost you a pretty penny, but you’ve got this great product, why not give it the love it deserves?
When it comes to our business, most owners need it yesterday. If that’s you, maybe the free algorithm is for you. If you have a gazillion years to wait for your best friend’s nephew to draw a logo in his spare time, go for it. If you want something that’s memorable and setup for you to use properly across all media, search for brand identity design. Why? Because you get what you get and you don’t get upset.