Logos

http://www.olexb.com needs a logo. As I see it there are two ways to approach this; DIY or buy.

Any suggestions for DIY?

Where to go to buy?

Thanks

  • Brian Purkiss
    • Smushie Pies

    Having worked for a design firm, I'm rather biased on this topic.

    Logo design is an incredibly complex and involved process that requires years of learning and experience to do well. There's a reason why the top firms can charge 6-7 figures for a logo and the average firm charges a few thousand. While I think 6-7 figures is a little over priced and is certainly out of most people's budget, it makes my point.

    A good logo will stick with you for a long time. Just look at Nike or Coca Cola. Not only will it stick with you, but it also makes an impression.

    Have a cheap logo? Your company will look cheap. Have a top notch professional logo, you'll look the same.

    A good logo can have a huge effect on the appearance, and ultimately, success of your business. Having a professional website, branding, print material, advertising, etc, all hinges on your logo.

    So in short, don't skimp. Pay a professional for a custom tailored logo.

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I'd 100% agree with Brian on this.

    You get as much mileage out of a brand as the effort you put into it. The designer's ability to take experience and translate than onto their digital canvas is going to be superior to what you might be able to do, and it will show (unless you, yourself, happen to also be a designer).

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    If you're going cheap...

    http://www.logomojo.com/
    http://www.logoinn.com/
    http://99designs.com/logo-design

    The last one is likely to get you better results, but that's hearsay. Check out their portfolios in depth, and be sure you're comfortable with them before pulling the trigger.

    If you're interested in putting an ad up in the Jobs section of this site, that's an option:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/wpmu-jobs/

    The other suggestion I'd have is a design contest. You setup the rules/requirements for the contest and post your contest on one of the sites. The contest website gets a cut sometimes, but you end up with MANY designers competing against each other for the best design. Ultimately, they want theirs to be picked, so quality is rarely lacking in one of these.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=design+contest

  • Imperative Ideas
    • HummingBird

    When it comes to logo design I normally start with a piece of art and a nice font.

    Cheapest Option:
    http://bit.ly/11vMEit

    Often better but $29 an image:
    http://graphicriver.net/category/logo-templates

    Going ahead with a logo contest is a really complex process. Read up on how to write a creative brief BEFORE starting the contest. You will get vastly better results. If you don't have any advertising or design training, consider having somebody who does run the contest for you.

    I've gotten very good results out of logo contests in the past (http://armstronghastings.com/content/themes/armstronghastings/images/png/Armstrong-Hastings-Logo.png) but I have a bachelors degree in Advertising. For the average person, it's sink or swim (mostly sink).

  • Brian Purkiss
    • Smushie Pies

    I'd recommend NOT using a site like 99 Designs, or any of those other ones where a bunch of people design you a logo for free and you pick your favorite. Logo contests are equally bad for everyone involved. The quality you get out of sites like that is mediocre at best and is extremely harmful for the designer and consumer.

    Why Spec work is bad: http://www.no-spec.com/faq/

    When I say "hire a designer" – I don't mean buy a pre-built logo, or use spec work to get a low quality logo, I mean hire a designer.

    Find a designer you like, hire him to make you a logo.

    A good place to start to find a good designer is Dribbble. It's a place where the best in the industry go to show off their work.

  • 11 Plus for Parents
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Thanks for the advice Brian.

    It is my policy to obey the law and stay away from illegal activity. I file my income tax every year and pay whatever is owed down to the last cent.

    By "hire someone to go get the logo" I mean find someone knowledgeable about the process to manage the process and take responsibility for ensuring that OleXb has the right logo in place before the official launch date.

    As it stands I am not sure about file formats or image sizes etc. etc. It's beginning to look like it would make sense to turn this job over to someone else.

  • Ollie
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @spachase yer mate, they do full custom jobs according to the briefs, if you get the pack that offers unlimited revisions until satisfaction, it will only set you back $400 USD ...

    They are very professional and easy to deal with. No problems with English or communication whatsoever.... The company is Canadian based, they deal with logos every day.... highly recommended.

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Sorry for the late reply. I was away for the weekend with my family.

    @Brian Purkiss

    I realize you're staff, but I'm going to defend my earlier post. The design contests I've run in the past have been exceptional for everyone involved. On my end, I get a variety of designer styles for my client to choose from when picking a design direction, and we don't necessarily have everyone change their designs throughout the process.

    The initial design comp submitted needs to be solid from the designer's end, allowing us to see enough of the detail and features that were needed in order to choose a winning comp. We'll further tweak with that designer separately through a private thread.

    In my experience, these contests provide a great variety of creative for a lower budget project. Also, by lower budget, I don't mean $100 for a website design. I'll often post the contests at between $250-500 for a simple logo, and between $500-1000 for a website design (this doesn't include cutting it up). In my mind, for the services being rendered, this is completely fair to the designer who wins. If it doesn't feel like a prize, then it's not going to work...the process breaks.

    I've been in marketing/advertising a long time, and I see value in these types of contests. As long as you play fair when posting your contest and asking for changes to the comps. If you haven't had luck in this area, that doesn't mean they aren't right for everyone. I wouldn't have recommended it if I felt they weren't of some value.

    Okay...I've vented. I'm done :slight_smile:

  • Imperative Ideas
    • HummingBird

    Hey Will,

    I'm intimately familiar with the problem "real" graphic designers have with logo contests, having graduated with an ad degree from an art school. I hear it all the time. basically, it's looked at like stolen business for bottom dollar.

    That view is a bit crazy. It would be like me, a custom theme designer, looking at Themeforest as an entity stealing my business.

    Truth is, the people spending $200-$400 for a logo were never your high-end branding customer to begin with. They're folks who were perfectly happy with their company name in Times New Roman. They're icing on the design cake, not its pulpy chocolate center.

    I'll reiterate my earlier comments. Logo design goes in 3 phases.

    1. Buy a vector graphic and attach a font to it
    2. Sponsor a contest (or hire a logo factory)
    3. Commission a serious design (I don't consider Logobee serious)

    I'm still irked at this entire thread and pissed at Brian in particular for implying I'm a thief because I listed a site-constrained Google image search to a vector stock website instead of a naked link to Vectorstock.com but I'm getting over it.

    Anyhow, Will, you are spot on. I'll admit the difference in price between a Logobee commission and a professionally managed contest is negligible.

    In my personal experience, I've found I get better ideation with crowdsourcing than I do at a logo factory and I've actually formed long-term partnerships with a few of the designers I've worked with in the past. It's really a matter of personal preference.

  • 11 Plus for Parents
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Yo Imperative Ideas

    Perhaps I'm not a "high-end branding customer to begin with" lol... but I still deserve something decent after all $200-$400 is still money... and if I were happy with Times New Roman I would not have started the thread in the first place.

    Lively discussion. I like that :slight_smile:

  • Brian Purkiss
    • Smushie Pies

    @Imperative Ideas All I saw was you linking to a google search for the term "logo." I interpreted that as a suggestion to do a google search, take the image, and run with that. And it would appear that there was some mis-communication somewhere down the line.

    @Will Ashworth My suggestions have nothing to do with me being staff here, especially since WPMU DEV doesn't offer design services in any form or fashion.

    All of my stances come from being in the design industry for over two years before working for WPMU DEV.

    And I firmly stand by the fact that buying a pre-made logo or using a logo contest is a bad choice. Aside from the fact that most pre-made logos or work that comes from logo contests are very poor quality, there is no way a pre-made logo or logo contest can properly account for everything that must go into a proper logo design.

    A well designed logo requires many many hours of research and planning before a single sketch is ever made. From there, many many iterations must be sketched out. A proper logo will have hundreds of sketches. High end logos will have thousands of sketches. Then the logo itself must go through many iterations and refinements before finally arriving at the conclusion. You won't get any of that from a pre-made logo or a logo contest.

    And it also brings up another issue. Picking a logo isn't just as simple as picking something that looks cool. There are countless factors that must go into a quality logo. As such, someone who does not have the proper skill set should not make design decisions. So unless the client happens to be a designer, he shouldn't be choosing which logo to go with as he does not have the proper training and skill sets to make an educated decision on which logo is the most effective.

    The top notch design firms don't provide options. They don't provide revisions. They do all that themselves. They go through thousands of ideas and countless revisions to achieve the best design possible.

    Someone who isn't a design expert shouldn't be making design decisions. Just like someone who isn't a doctor shouldn't be choosing a treatment or an someone who isn't auto mechanic shouldn't be saying what's broken. Quality design requires a large amount of skill, just like being a doctor or auto mechanic. You don't tell your surgeon where to cut, so why are you telling your designer what color to use?

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    @Brian Purkiss

    I realize all of that, and I work in the same industry (have for 13+ years), but our high-end clients that retain our creative/marketing/development services would require a different level of design attention than a small business just starting up, who likely has minimal capital to begin with. Every dollar counts.

    I'm merely providing an alternative means of accomplishing the goal. To the startup, a cool, clean logo that can be used in various formats, on different types of background and medium, etc. would be a great start to them. If they have some significate financial backing, I could see going to an advertising agency like ours to get the job done, and you're right...we'd fight tooth and nail for the concept that we feel is best, because we do all of that research for them.

    The company I work for doesn't utilize the design contest route, as that's a core service that we provide (overall brand marketing), but freelance as a developer, design isn't my thing, and these have come in handy for me in the past where a client's budget didn't necessarily support the idea of hiring a dedicated graphic designer or an agency.

    I think we can argue this until the end of time, but may not get anywhere. Being a designer, I understand you might be coming from a different perspective, but I have my own as well, and this has worked for me in the past for extremely limited budgets.

    To help others viewing this thread, I've included a few links to logo samples on some of the websites that illustrate the quality you can achieve through a design contest. The key is to be as descriptive as possible about the goals behind the logo. Such as, what you intend to do with it, consider printing costs for a multicolor logo, various use cases for online and offline marketing, etc. You definitely want to get your mileage out of it.

    I'd also like to point out that the original post mentioned "logo", rather than "brand". The logo is a critical piece of your brand, but is not the only thing when considering what your online/offline brand will be. Ultimately, at some point, the overall brand will need to have some thought given to it as well.

    http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/logo-stampco-195390
    http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/logo-love-living-longer-195070
    http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/logo-meyer-blair-194908
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1375/casestudy_X3jD1DlFQ.png
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1509/casestudy_HXVGcvzNI.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/603/casestudy_rZUdwIXJ4.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1155/casestudy_syU8wDQRF.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1243/casestudy_m5tkSbsVg.gif
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1420/casestudy_Qz6cyx0tx.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/705/casestudy_UqeRvXdmq.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1302/casestudy_pTQjRMflp.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1340/casestudy_Hfbl8WYo3.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/979/casestudy_bicDHIMGI.jpg
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1414/casestudy_2f8v1B4sp.png
    http://gcdn.designcontest.com/assets/galleries/1575/casestudy_BGrM7lc0D.jpg

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    You're probably going to want to use your logo or color scheme elsewhere as well, yes?

    - business cards
    - letterhead
    - banner with your information hanging up at some event someday
    - branded merchandise (pens, cups, etc)
    - email signature

    Everything you do, you generally want some level of brand consistency in your "image". The designer's job is to tie it all together to create a versatile identity for your business.

    Whether you're hiring them for this is another question. Could be you end up just hiring them for a logo.

  • Imperative Ideas
    • HummingBird

    @Will - apology accepted. All I really wanted was acknowledgement. Moving on -- I do think you are falling into the trap of thinking the average contest logo is being commissioned by a traditional design client. They're not.

    We're talking about customers whose current site looks sort of like this:
    http://www.thecredibilitycode.com/

    They've bought a theme on WPMUdev (more likely Elegant Themes or Themeforest) and they would like something pretty to go with their new site. All they know is that an image mark next to an Adobe font looks a lot better than their HTML-3 compliant web-safe font:

    http://imperativeideas.com/misc/example.png

    (Note, this is not my client - they are just a convenient example I'm throwing out there)

    So, said client would like something better than what they have but they aren't ready to invest thousands of dollars into their branding.

    Low hanging fruit? Sure, but it's the same fruit WPMU feeds on so we'd best be careful how we think about them and their needs.

  • Will Ashworth
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Totally. I get ya.

    And I'm not fishing for clients here...just wanted to make the case for the contests have value under the right circumstances. It sounded as though several people were advocating against them, and that they were not to be used under any circumstances.

    There's no single method that's right 100% of the time. Everything factors in :slight_smile:

  • 11 Plus for Parents
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Thanks for remembering me. I was going to ask about how to prepare a design brief tomorrow.

    Vectors?

    At the risk of sounding like a spoilt child, I don't want to prepare briefs or vectors or anything else for that matter. I just want to say, here is my slogan and here is my site, it needs a logo. Give me something that doesn't scream cheap, (even if it is :slight_smile: and presto mission accomplished.

    You have given me food for thought. Obviously this is something that I should not rush. Perhaps I should also set aside more funds for logo + branding.

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