Every few weeks we come across another article written by a graphic designer touting the horrible things that will happen to your business if you buy a cheap logo.
They often claim that cheap logos are unoriginal. Or forgettable. Or untrustworthy.
Can we be honest for a minute?
Tens of thousands of companies have blown massive budgets (we’re talking millions of dollars) on logos that are both unoriginal and forgettable.
Originality and memorability have absolutely nothing to do with what you pay for your logo design.
To see what we mean, take a look at the following:
Will someone please tell us what memorable message these logos communicate?
None of these logos were done on the cheap. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe millions. But they all look about the same. And they don’t really communicate a particular message.
Here’s the secret about logos: They don’t communicate anything outside of what your brand/product already stands for.
True enough: some logos are better than others. But it has little to do with the price of the logo design.
The Xerox logo above doesn’t get any of its meaning from the red ball or lowercase typeface. If this logo means anything to you at all, it is because you have had an experience with Xerox—you’ve used one of their copiers, or you’ve used them for IT outsourcing, or you own one of their printers. But the logo? That doesn’t mean anything outside of your experience with the company.
The same is true for Carat. And Sony Ericsson. And dozens of other logos with balls for icons.
Logos are meaningless outside of an experience with the product they represent.
This is important: The product gives meaning to the logo, not the other way around.
So while some people suggest that you should spend a bundle of money (and several weeks or months) having a logo design created, we say, buyer beware. (Actually we say Bullsh*t but buyer beware sounds nicer.)
Most startup businesses have just a few hundred dollars for marketing—for the entire year! Why in the world would they spend it all on a logo when they also need a website, business cards, product packaging, email programs, and various other initiatives? The smart money says this is exactly when you should get a cheap logo.
If, after your business is doing well, your cheap logo really is that bad, go back and fix it when you’ve got the money, but not when you’re just starting out and don’t know if you’ll succeed.
What about the argument that inexpensive logos aren’t professional or they make you look like a startup? Well, check out these logos—all of them created using our online logo maker tool and costing just $49.
Do they look cheap? Or untrustworthy? Or forgettable?
All of them are excellent examples of how an economizing entrepreneur can save some money and get a great logo—if they’re willing to put in a little time and effort getting things just right.
If your product or brand experience is cheap, then it doesn’t matter how much you spend on your logo, over time it will come to mean “cheap”.
If your product or brand experience is remarkable or inspiring or helpful, your logo will over time come to represent these values. Even if it was inexpensive.
Sometimes a cheap or inexpensive logo is exactly the right thing for your business. Especially if you’re just starting out. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before trying an inexpensive or do-it-yourself logo.
That’s a long answer to the question.
The short answer, of course, is no!