Social Media Magazine

5 Reasons Why You Should Leave Logo Design to the Pros

Posted on the 05 August 2011 by Kpcreative @kpcreativeltd

For many companies, graphic design is considered a luxury, not a necessity — even in good economic times. And in the midst of a recession, I bet you’re looking for ways to cut back on your budget, and graphic design might be on the chopping block. It’s all fluff, you think. If it were important, I wouldn’t be able to run my business on my own… right?

Business card

What appears on this card could make or break your business. (Image: SXC)

Wrong. Design is more than making things look pretty. You may have the greatest message in the world, crafted by the most compelling copywriter. But guess what? If you can’t make it look pretty, ain’t no one gonna read it. Then your wonderful message is lost to the world.

Logos are one of the most important parts of a company’s message. With a single glance, a logo can convey volumes of information to potential clients. What kind of people are you? What is your focus? Are you able to give clients the one-on-one care they need, or are you so big that you don’t have the time? Should I work with you? With this much pressure resting on one piece, it’s best to leave it up to the pros. Here are 5 reasons why.

Clip Art Logo

Does it look like this logo was made in under 5 minutes? It was. I just made it. (Thanks, Microsoft, for the reliably awful clip art.)

5. Clip art does not make an acceptable logo.

Yes, I admit: Clip art has its place. That place is 1995. Thanks to Microsoft, our eyes have been assaulted by terrible graphics for more than 20 years. And now we have amateur designers using this clip art in their companies’ logos. Clip art in a logo?! This should be an obvious no-no, but I regret to say it does happen.

If you are one of these offenders and you really don’t know why clip art is so offensive to our ocular sensibilities, allow me to enlighten you:

  • It is amateur. There are very few businesses that can get away with a cartoon logo.
  • It is mass produced. Everyone has Microsoft Word. We know when you plop clip art into a document, type your company name underneath (probably in Times New Roman), and call it a logo. We are not impressed.
  • It is unoriginal. Using clip art in any scenario, not just logo design, says you are lazy. You won’t even spend the time to look for a good image to steal for your use. Come on, at least make the effort to copy a Van Gogh or something. (That was a joke.)
  • It is forgettable. I doubt you want people to forget your logo. Unless you are a hitman. In which case you probably don’t need a logo. (This occupation is one of the few that are probably better off without one. Spies and terrorists are two others.)
Photoshop Disasters

There is something very wrong with her leg. I hope she's seen a doctor about that.

4. The weapons of design are dangerous in the wrong hands.

I’m not gonna lie. Logo design is hard. And this is coming from someone who does it for a living. Thinking you can crank out a logo in an afternoon is actually kind of insulting to those of us who spend months or even years designing a logo.

Tools like Illustrator and Photoshop can be deadly in the hands of someone untrained to wield these powerful weapons properly. Well, okay, maybe they don’t really kill people, but they do take time to learn how to use. A lot of time. You’ve seen those Photoshop bloopers with the models whose heads or limbs have accidentally been cut off, or they’ve somehow grown a third leg, or they look dangerously anorexic, right? Yeah, Photoshop’s not for everyone.

Now imagine if something like that were to happen to your logo. You might not notice it, but your clients will. By then, you’ve already put it on your stationery, Web site and the side of your building, and you’re stuck with it. And then won’t you feel silly?

3. You can’t afford to divide your attention.

You’ve got a business to run, clients to keep happy, employees to pay. Why would you want to add to your workload? You’ve got too much going on already, so adding another task (and an important one like the design of your logo) may just send you over the edge of a cliff. Proverbially speaking.

When you divide your attention among too many projects, your efficiency, productivity and effectiveness will suffer. If you can’t devote enough time to your logo because you’re juggling so many other things, then it’s not going to turn out well. You focus on keeping your company in business (after all, we designers like to get paid for our work!), and let a qualified graphic designer handle the logo — as well as your brochures, mailers and Web site, too. Wink, wink.

2. If you can’t do it right, you might as well not do it at all.

What’s worse: Having no logo at all, or a crappy logo that makes you look unprofessional and all of your customers laugh at behind your back (or maybe even to your face)? Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but I think I’ve made my point.

One complaint I hear on a regular basis how expensive design services are. This is a good excuse to putting off a logo design or re-design, and citing the weak economy clinches the argument. But like anything else your business needs to function, you must make an investment in order to get a payoff. A new restaurant needs a building, a well-equipped kitchen, a knowledgeable staff, menus (which, might I add, I also design!)… the works. It’s ludicrous to think you could get by without all of that. So why should your logo be any different? Yes, it’s going to cost you money, but if you do it right, it will pay off.

If you want to win the lottery, folks, you’ve got to buy a ticket first!

1. Odds are, your attempt at logo design will be an epic fail.

Epic Fail

Please don't put this in your amateur designer portfolio, because, well, it sucks. But at least you won't have to worry about anyone stealing your creative work.

If you design your own logo, you will probably fail miserably and look like a big amateur. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is an undeniable fact for about 98% of the non-design population.

You want to look professional, confident, reliable and together. So if you’re trying to land a big account, and your potential client’s first impression of you is that clip-art logo you put together over your lunch break, what do you suppose she’ll think of you? The options include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • This logo is ridiculous. I can’t trust my company to an amateur.
  • If this company doesn’t even give its own image the attention it deserves, how can I trust them to give me the attention I need?
  • Well, that meeting was a waste of time, but at least I got a good laugh out of it.

I could go on and on. People may not put it in so many words, but it’s likely they’ll have an immediate reaction, one way or another. If it’s a bad one, potential clients will recognize that, either consciously or otherwise, and it might very well affect your future with them.

That’s the great thing about logos: They say so much about you and your company. Wouldn’t you prefer that instant reaction to be a good one?

If you’re one of the few who successfully pulled off designing your own logo, I applaud you. Give yourself a pat on the back, ’cause you’re in the minority. For the rest of you… please leave logo design to the pros!

Talk back…

Have you come across a really terrible (and obviously amateur) logo in the recent past? We’d love to see it. Are you a veteran of amateur logo design? Share your old logo and your new logo in the comments… That is, if you don’t mind a little ridicule. Just kidding.

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By Hassan Craven
posted on 20 January at 03:21
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By Simon Hightower
posted on 28 December at 07:18
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Hi there everybody, here every one is sharing such familiarity, so it's pleasant to read this webpage, and I used to go to see this web site every day.

By Jai Catalano
posted on 01 April at 01:56
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You are right. Usually people fail at doing their own logo. I have so many blogger friends that don't want to spend the money.