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Hire a Professional Designer or DIY – Bad Design is Not an Option! -

christinv hume

Featured image: Unsplash/Christin Hume

A small business needs a lot of visibility to enjoy moderate to high levels of success. Branding for small sized firms invariably becomes a must since design is crucial for businesses and brand. As a small business that’s just starting out in the market, there are a lot of considerations that managers from these firms have regarding design, budgets and in properly positioning themselves in the market with the proper image and message. In this respect, the first thought that crosses the mind of small business owners is that they want a great logo, with nary the bluster and all the magnetic pull. The second thought immediately follows – should they hire a designer to do it, or are there any other alternatives when it comes to logo designing?

Lets tackle the hiring-a-designer aspect first.

Professional Designer vs Nonprofessional Designer

Professional vs Mediocre Designer
Image: Unplash/Carl Heyerdahl

‘It takes all sorts to make a world’. So goes an ancient saying. Good vs bad. Light vs darkness. Ying vs. Yang. This comparison also applies to designers out there.

Graphic designers are a pretty diverse bunch personality and work ethic wise. Design, like beauty, is a pretty subjective entity for them and those who observe their work.

Similarly, we don’t think it’s bad to knock off some designers and appreciate the others. There are no bad designers out there. Just professional designers and mediocre designers. In the end it all comes down to their designing acumen and influences.

Why Professional Designers Are The Best Bet For SMBs?

Why Professional designer best for SMBs
Image: ThinkStock/Ciaran Griffin

A professional logo designer for instance, values quality above all else. They imbue your brand with a unique identity that’s all you. They create something that is sure to keep people talking about you and your business for years to come. They are constantly pushing the envelope and thinking up zany ways to put their immaculate designing chops to use. Professional logo designers come up with some concepts, sketch down some mockups, incorporate some influences and touches as they thrash out a logo for you that is guaranteed to make people go ooooooh.

Related: Online Logo Maker vs. Logo Designer

Professional Designers are a good fit but can you afford them?

Are Designer Affordable
Image: ThinkStock/Hjalmeida

Do you know how much a professional logo costs? Such creations aren’t created in a vacuum (pardon the redundant pun). In fact, professional logo designers usually tell their clients that they don’t follow a deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, when it comes to exercising their creative juices.

And yes, for their services, they do charge a hefty premium. For SMBs that are just trying to gain a foothold on the market, this remains the the million dollar question.

For small businesses operating on a limited budget and a severe time crunch, going for a professional logo designer might seem like a great idea in an ideal world, but practical considerations get in the way. Small businesses need alternatives to high-end premium design services such as the right online logo maker to craft best industry-based logos.

These are the reasons why small businesses don’t go with professional designers as a general rule. They are of the mindset that their branding objectives can still be served by mediocre designers. Time is a crucial factor in their decision too. One doesn’t need to wait for the titans of design when it comes to getting elaborate branding solutions. There are many designers out there who can work at affordable rates. However, designers such as these may have good skills and all, their work may turn out to be derivative of other existing designs getting tweaked and reworked for your brand. This can be chalked up to the fact that logo designers take on many projects at the same time, not investing time in some R&D for their logos.

How Newbies or Non-professionals Are Bad for Logo Design

Why Newbies or Mediocre
Image: Thinkstock/PureStock

Newbie logo designers are still learning the ropes of the design business. Their initial efforts involve a lot of to-and-fro from clients, until they get the design invariably right. That results in a lot of time being wasted when deadlines are looming straight ahead. Much time will be lost as the designers will have to act on feedback and then modify the logo as per the client’s request.

Furthermore, these designers will rarely invest the time and the effort that goes in understanding your brand inside out. They lack experience that’s so crucial in communicating the true essence of your brand to all and sundry. They lack that invisible x-factor that’s so important in making a brand identity permanently etched in people’s memories. This can only happen if the designer understands your market demographic like the back of their hand.

With so many issues concerning conventional logo designers in the marketplace, is there no other option for small businesses to make use of?

Related: Professional V.s. Mediocre Designers; what sets them Apart?

If you Can’t Afford Professional Designer, Do IT Yourself!

What-are-alternative

As it happens, small businesses can call the shots AND design their own brand identity in a manner of minutes. For this, the online logo maker option seems to be the most independent and prudent way of letting small firms take the reins. Professional design services and that too at a fraction of the price that pro designers end up charging small-sized businesses.

There are myriad reasons why logomakers take over logo designers. The online logo maker is made for everybody, and requires no specialized design knowledge or tools. Users can design their logos by just inputting their company name and choosing their industry. Thanks to some amazingly creative algorithms and code, the online logo maker offers a bevy of logo options for your brand.

Logo Maker vs Logo Designer

Too limited? The logo maker also contains some simple tools to modify and tweak any design that you choose. For clients that want to do anything from changing color palettes to transforming some text layers, the online logo maker user interface allows for this and much more. Price-wise, these online logo makers offer the biggest bang for your buck and that with you calling the shots when it comes to design. No wonder 2016 is the year for online Logo Maker!

Small sized businesses are hamstrung by issues such as their limited operating budget and looming deadlines. Instead of compromising their time and their money by going after logo designers, small companies can design and develop their own spanking new logo until they get it exactly right by utilizing the features of an online logo maker.

Update:

We asked our friends on LinkedIn how professional designers are distinguishable from naive ones and if they share the perception that cheap logos are crappy, here’s what they think:

Aleksandar Topolac
In general you get what you paid for. However, the price tag itself doesn’t determine the value of a logo (or any other design for that matter).

Coca Cola – $0
Nike Swoosh – $35
Gap rebrand disaster – $100 million

One thing to keep in mind is that due to the very definition what a logo is, any price paid for prefabricated logo acquired from any of the online logo-mills and alike, is way too much as you are not buying a logo, but worthless decoration.

Paul Meyers
A design is not about beauty, it is about function. How does it engage it’s audience? If the effort is made to research and fully think out the design then no, it does not come cheap as time is money. If a design is done cheaply, then that to me indicates that the designer was only concerned with beauty, not the overall design or its purpose and varied uses.

David 'Ed' Edwards
Professionals let their work, results and accomplishments speak for them, knob-heads talk big to compensate for being unable to do the same.

In my own experience that’s been fairly true across the board – whatever industry or profession, those who truly know their shit are fairly humble and don’t feel the need to ‘big up’ every little thing they’ve done.

Oh, and professionals pay on time.

CREATE PROFESSIONAL LOGO

Peter Connolly
It’s perfectly possible to have ‘professional mediocre’ designers. Very little of my design work gets put forward for awards, but I get paid for it, so I guess I fall into that category.

For me, the sign of a professional designer (apart from the money) is that the final work is exactly what the client wants and needs; my artistic feelings don’t come into it.

Steve Chittenden
I’m surprised no one said this by now seeing the OP says “there are no bad designers out there,” but there are. Unless of course we take into account that they’re not really designers. Then the statement is true. Like João indicated, the computer allows bad design to be perpetrated by anyone feeling empowered by the software; IOW it makes a lot of people believe they can design.

I’m with the others above who said that it must be well planned to meet objectives. When designing for business, the acid test is whether or not it helps contribute to business success.

For buyers of mediocre design (since the price is generally lower), they usually believe they are saving money thinking that qualified design is expensive. What they are really doing is sacrificing opportunity and that truly is expensive.

James Cole
Since in most cases it is difficult at best to determine what the client brief might have been asking for when looking at design, it becomes very difficult even for those in the profession to determine exactly what bad design is. It all comes down to the fact that the client might be looking for something specific, thus removing most of the “design” aspect from the project, and will not pay for anything that does not look like what they are asking for. These clients might feel that they have a better grip on their target needs than what a designer could learn in a few short weeks or days of the project scope, and some are absolutely correct.

As Helena Brusic says “A good designer makes the best of mediocre. This is not fine art.” If a professional designer feels that they need to put out fine art in order to show professionalism, they are limiting themselves to a very select client base and I wish them well.

Andrew Meza
Where is the line of “bad designers” and non-designers who just know the software? I feel like there are only “good” designers who focus on solving a business problem with visuals. Anyone else, is not a designer to me.

Paul Meyers
A design is not about beauty, it is about function. How does it engage it’s audience? If the effort is made to research and fully think out the design then no, it does not come cheap as time is money. If a design is done cheaply, then that to me indicates that the designer was only concerned with beauty, not the overall design or its purpose and varied uses.

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Author Bio:    

Evan is an Expert in Digital Marketing. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and more. Currently, he is leading content marketing efforts at DesignMantic and has played an integral part in the success story of DesignMantic through strategic marketing campaigns. Evan is also a design pro, who has shown a predilection towards DIY design projects.

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